Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) began her first day of new-member orientation on Tuesday by protesting for bold climate change policies at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) office lobby.

“This is not about me, this is not about the dynamics of any personalities,” she told reporters outside Pelosi’s office. “But this is about uplifting the voice and the message of the fact that we need a Green New Deal and we need to get to 100 percent renewables because our lives depend on it… I don’t want to see Miami under water. I don’t want to see my district under water. And I know that Leader Pelosi doesn’t either.”

The protest was organized by Sunrise Movement, an advocacy group inspired by the recent grim report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose scientists warned there are 12 years left to limit the damage of climate change. The Sunrise Movement advocates for a Green New Deal, a historically drastic plan which would quickly switch the United States to 100% renewable energy.

“We’re here because we’re scared and we’re angry,” said Garrett Blad, a Sunrise Movement spokesman. “We don’t believe we need any more education or any more science.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s presence drastically increased media coverage of the protest, which was attended by about 200 people, and prompted Pelosi to respond in a statement.

Ocasio-Cortez has thus far declined to come out in support of Nancy Pelosi’s likely bid to retake the House leadership position, simply saying “I think she’s a candidate to consider.”


Nathan Wellman is a Grit Post contributing editor in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @LIGHTNINGWOW. You can also email him at info AT gritpost DOT com.

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