Sergio Ocasio: The hardscrabble biography of Democrat Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been called into question after the revelation that she grew up mostly in wealthy Westchester County.
Though Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was born in and currently lives in the Bronx, county land records show her late father Sergio Ocasio Cortez-Roman bought a quaint three-bedroom in Yorktown Heights, New York in 1991, when she was about two.
It is an apparent contradiction with the candidate’s official biography, which states in part: ‘The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. 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.’
Ocasio-Cortez also boasted on Stephen Colbert’s late-night show that President Donald Trump, born in Queens, wouldn’t know how to handle ‘a girl from the Bronx’ such as herself.
The candidate did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday evening.
Questions are emerging about the early biography of ‘girl from the Bronx’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after it emerged she spent most of her childhood living in Westchester County
Ocasio-Cortez’s family moved to this home in Yorktown Heights, New York when she was five and lived there until she left to go to college at private Brown University
The candidate’s official bio (above) omits her time living in Westchester, instead claiming that her life was ‘defined’ by the commute between the Bronx and an upstate school
Little-known before her shock Democratic primary defeat of 10-term Congressional incumbent Joe Crowley on Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez has featured her own hard-luck biography as a key selling point in her insurgent campaign.
With New York’s 14th district, encompassing parts of the Bronx and Queens, leaning heavily Democrat, she is believed to be a shoo-in for the House in the November general election.
Ocasio-Cortez was born in 1989 to parents Sergio Ocasio Roman, who was born in New York City, and mother Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, a native of Puerto Rico.
Her father, who tragically died from lung cancer in 2008, was an architect and the CEO of Kirschenbaum & Ocasio-Roman Architects, PC, which focused on remodelling and renovations.
Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign biography describes her father as a small business owner’.
‘She grew up in a working-class household where her mother cleaned homes and everyone pitched in on the family business,’ the bio continues.
Ocasio-Cortez is seen as an infant with her father Sergio Ocasio-Roman, an architect and the CEO of his own company. He died of lung cancer in 2008
The young family initially lived in Parkchester, a planned community of 171 mid-rise brick buildings in the Bronx (above)
Ocasio-Cortez is seen as a young girl with her father. The family moved to Westchester County when she was five, and she went on to attend Yorktown High School
Initially, the young family lived in Parkchester, a planned community of 171 mid-rise brick buildings in the Bronx.
When she was about five, Ocasio-Cortez’s family moved to the house in Westchester County, a detail that the bio omits.
The timing of the move is confirmed in a New York Times interview with mother Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, but the report does not address the discrepancy.
The home, a single-story with a finished basement, most recently sold for $355,000 in 2016. The median annual income in the area is $116,741, compared to the median annual income of $48,315 in Parkchester’s zip code, according to the latest Census data.
‘It was clear to her, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny,’ Ocasio-Cortez’s official bio reads.
While attending Yorktown High School in Westchester, she entered the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair where she won second place for her microbiology project.
MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory named an asteroid after her, 23238 Ocasio-Cortez, as a prize.
Ocasio-Cortez with her mother Blanca, brother Gabriel, and her grandmother in 2015
Ocasio-Cortez was a freshman at Brown University, studying economics and international relations when she received the devastating news of her father’s death.
Her father’s death came amid the financial crisis and he left no will, putting their home on the brink of foreclosure, she has said.
The house was sold and Ocasio-Cortez now lives in the same Bronx apartment where she lived until age five.
‘My mother cleaned homes and drove school buses, and when my family was on the brink of foreclosure, I started bartending and waitressing,’ she told MSNBC’s Morning Joe in an interview on Wednesday.
Ocasio-Cortez has said that during college she volunteered for Senator Ted Kennedy, where she fell in love with doing community work, serving as an immigration caseworker and handling foreign affairs.
After graduating, she returned to the Bronx where she founded Brook Avenue Press – a publishing house which seeks designer, artists, and writers from urban areas to help paint the Bronx in a positive light in children’s stories.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had worked as a bartender at FlatsFix Mexican restaurant to make ends meet, before toppling Democratic incumbent Joe Crawley during the New York Primaries
Her biggest political involvement until the primary election was with Bernie Sanders’ failed bid for the 2016 nomination – but it was not the only one.
That same year she participated in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock and visited Flint, Michigan, an epicentre for left-wing outrage over its poisoned public water supply.
Last year, she participated in vigils for Hurricane Maria – which she has claimed took the life of her grandfather in Puerto Rico.
She returned to bar-tending at FlatsFix, a trendy Mexican restaurant in Manhattan’s Union Square.
It was while she working was there that she got a call from other veterans of the Sanders campaign asking her if she wanted to run for Congress in the 14th District.
Most recently, Ocasio-Cortez visited Tornillo, Texas, to protest against U.S. border policy
Ocasio-Cortez is seen as she celebrates her landslide primary win on Tuesday night
She has never held elected office, she had no funds to conduct polling on the race and Crowley was one of New York’s most powerful Democrats, a man on the way to possibly succeeding Nancy Pelosi as leader of the party’s Congressional caucus, and conceivably becoming speaker.
But Ocasio-Cortez managed to defeat Crowley with a modest campaign that she says she started ‘out of a paper bag’ while passing out flyers between her restaurant shifts just 10 months ago.
Her family helped film her campaign ads, and she said she would not take ‘corporate cash’ – paining Crowley as the creature of the establishment and making his 18 times larger budget less of an advantage.
The race, not closely watched by the New York media, stunned political observers when Crowley was knocked out by a veritable landslide.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and was endorsed by the group.
Her platform includes abolishing ICE, an ‘assault weapons’ ban, universal guaranteed employment and a $15 minimum wage, and Medicare for all.