Democratic Candidate Faces Questions Over Her ‘Working Class’ Bronx Background

July 2, 2018 Updated: July 2, 2018

Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s self-described background has come into question after a revelation that she, in fact, mostly grew up in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.

The 28-year-old Democrat Congressional candidate recently defeated long-serving Rep. Joe Crowley in a stunning upset, by running on a socialist platform. She currently resides in the Bronx and has created a “girl from the Bronx” working-class image.

Ocasio-Cortez said in her campaign video: “I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family — mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the South Bronx. I was born in a place where your Zip code determines your destiny.”

But multiple reports revealed that when she was around the age of five, her father Sergio Ocasio moved the family from a community in Parkchester, Bronx, to a home in Yorktown Heights, a wealthy suburb in Westchester County. The New York Times described her childhood home as “a modest two-bedroom house on a quiet street.”

Her official biography omits this fact and instead states in part that “she ended up attending public school 40 minutes north in Yorktown, and much of her life was defined by the 40-minute commute between school and her family in the Bronx.”

According to data from the Economic Policy Institute, Westchester County ranks #8 in the nation for the counties with the “highest average incomes among the wealthiest one percent of residents.” The average annual income of the top 1% in the county is a shocking $4,326,049.

Her campaign biography states that her father was a small business owner and that “she grew up in a working-class household where her mother cleaned homes and everyone pitched in on the family business.”

According to Data USA, the median income in Yorktown Heights is $95,523 and the median property value is $396,400.

After getting a degree in Economics and International Relations at Boston University, she returned to the Bronx and began to work in community organizing, according to her bio.

The candidate’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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