Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history when she became the youngest woman ever elected into Congress. But like many working-class people, the 29-year-old’s finances don’t allow her to simply pack up and start her life anew in another part of the country. In an interview with The New York Times, Alexandria revealed that she cannot afford to get an apartment in Washington DC – where a one-bedroom apartment goes for about $2,170 a month on average – until she begins her job.
Ocasio-Cortez, who worked as a bartender before she decided to run for office – saved money before she left her job, but she’ll still have a “very unusual” transition period because she “can’t really take a salary.”
“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress,” she said. “So how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real. [My partner and I are] kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling way and then hoping that gets me to January.”
Many are sympathetic to her very relatable problem. But she took to Twitter to both point out how “our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead” and to let her followers know they shouldn’t worry about her.
Once she begins her role, she’ll earn $174,000 a year.