Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is reveling in her congressional victory in the midterm elections.
But the 29-year-old Democrat who will represent New York’s 14th Congressional District, is finding her victory will come with a cost.
Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times she’s unsure how she will be able to afford an apartment in Washington, D.C., without a salary for three months.
She told the Times she has some savings from her job earlier this year as a bartender at a Union Square restaurant, and she’s hoping that will hold her over for a couple of months. But living without a paycheck is something she said her and her partner tried to plan for, but it’s a hardship that’s she says remains “very real.”
“We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January,” she told the Times.
Her financial struggles are a reason that some people can’t afford to work in politics, she said. That’s coming even as a member of Congress makes $174,000 per year without a raise since 2009.
“There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead,” she said.
Her service, she hopes, will help alter that.