Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time rocking the boat in Congress on her first day of freshman orientation and joined a group of protesters at the office of her future colleague Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
The sit-in protest, organized by climate group Sunrise Movement, was there to demand that the new Democrat-led House reinstate a committee to tackle climate change. They thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her participation.
Incredible to have @Ocasio2018 stand in solidarity with hundreds of youth today to collectively voice our generation’s demand that @NancyPelosi and Democratic leadership put forward a plan for a #GreenNewDeal to stop the climate crisis.
We got your back AOC. Stay fighting ✊? pic.twitter.com/qooISA07jz
— Sunrise Movement ? (@sunrisemvmt) November 13, 2018
The young Congresswoman-elect, who was in the Capitol for the first time as part of the transition period to new leadership, addressed the protesters.
“I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting your selves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation, and our future,” she said.
“We do not have a choice. We have to 100 percent renewable energy in these next couple of years, there is no other option. The IPCC let us know that. And what I hope we all show is that this moment is the rallying point. It’s not just about confrontation but in a way, it’s about real meaningful unity behind our goals that’s what this is about.”
Watch Ocasio-Cortez speak to the climate protesters below:
Incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins sit-in in Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's office calling for efforts to combat climate change: "We don't have a choice." https://t.co/uEMkN3JpIz pic.twitter.com/tMaaFGL0hR
— ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2018
Pelosi agreed with the protesters outside her office. In a statement released Tuesday, she said that she recommended the reinstatement of the committee to address climate change. The former Speaker also said she was encouraged by the crowd.
“We are inspired by the energy and activism of the many young activists and advocates leading the way on the climate crisis, which threatens the health, economic security and futures of all our communities,” she said in the statement.
“We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded by thanking the Pelosi and laying out her plan for what House Democrats are calling the Green New Deal.
Thank you, @NancyPelosi.
We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster.
Reinstating the Select Committee is exactly what we need to do. https://t.co/Uy5BnrLZcR
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018
“I have spoken with
@NancyPelosi about how our commitments to climate change should take shape in the 116th Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Her office has responded quickly, and she has recommended the reinstatement of the Select Committee on Climate Change.”
She added: “Next, we should define the standards of that committee. To be truly effective, it should: 1. Have a mandate to draft a Green New Deal plan by 2020; 2. Not have officials appointed to it that accept fossil fuel industry contributions.”
Ocasio-Cortez will officially take office to represent New York’s 14th Congressional district in January.