AOC is bartending this week to promote a national living wage

‘Let’s see if my margarita+mocktail game is still on point’

Katie O'Malley@KatieOMalley_
Thursday 30 May 2019 10:55
AOC: 'I'm proud to be a bartender. Ain't nothing wrong with that'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is returning to her former profession as a bartender this week to promote a national living wage.

Before and during her campaign to become a US Representative, the politician worked at Flats Fix, a popular Mexican restaurant near Union Square, New York City.

On Wednesday, the 29-year-old announced she would be bartending this week in the Big Apple in support of the Raise The Wage Act, which would eventually double the federal minimum wage by 2024.

“To the silver spoon classists saying they’re going to 'make AOC bartend again': You’re in luck! I’ll be bartending in NY-14 this week to promote a national living wage,” she tweeted.

“So there you have it, ya bunch of milk drinkers. Let’s see if my margarita+mocktail game is still on point.”

The politician also joked that she would unveil her newest platform policy at her bartending shift. “Abolish Sour Mix 2020!, she tweeted before advising her followers to use real citrus juice for their sour beverages.

The Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United announced Ocasio-Cortez’s temporary return to bartend, but the exact location won’t be disclosed until later in the week.

“We’re very grateful for our partnership with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who fully understands the struggles of these workers,” said Saru Jayaraman, who is the ROC co-founder and president.

“As a former tipped worker, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can shed light on the importance of One Fair Wage to lift up these workers and their families."

In February, the House Committee on Education and Labor held its first hearing on the Raise the Wage Act.

Under federal law, employers across 43 states including New York are permitted to pay certain workers below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (£5.74) if they earn the full minimum wage counting tips. The Raise the Wage Act would institute a full minimum wage for tipped workers in every US state.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously spoken about the importance of a national living wage from her experience working in bars and restaurants.

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on stage during the 2019 Athena Film Festival closing night film, "Knock Down the House" at the Diana Center at Barnard College on March 3, 2019 in New York City.

Last year, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “When we think of tipped workers, we usually think of some restaurant workers.

“But tipped workers are far more than that: they are nail salons, car wash techs, and more.”

Since becoming the Democratic representative for Congressional District 14 last year, the politician has faced relentless jibes about her previous bartending job from President Donald Trump.

Last month, Trump joked about Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which calls for the United States to put an end to the production of greenhouse gas emissions and prioritise the use of environment-friendly energy sources by 2030.

While speaking at the National Republican Congressional Committee, the president said: "The Green New Deal done by a young bartender, 29 years old.

Trump later added: "A young bartender, wonderful young woman, the Green New Deal. The first time I heard it, I said, 'That's the craziest thing.'"

In response, Ocasio-Cortez later said she was proud of her former career.

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"There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America," Ocasio-Cortez said at the National Action Network in New York.

"I'm proud to be a bartender," Ocasio-Cortez added.

"Ain’t nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy. There is nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbours will eat. There is nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work."

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