Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is expanding her squad goals…
The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician and congresswoman, who recently won her Democratic primary to remain the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, has joined forces with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts to launch a joint fundraising committee called the “Squad Victory Fund.”
It’s the latest effort by the well-known freshmen lawmakers to support one another and their advocacy for progressive priorities.
The Squad Victory Fund will be able to raise money to support the reelection campaigns for the four congresswomen, as well as their political action committees known as leadership PACs.
The four members of the so-called ‘squad’ have become high-profile targets for criticism from Republicans, who’ve tried to turn their support for progressive agenda items like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal into a liability for the Democratic Party.
At the same time, each of the four lawmakers has amassed devoted national followings and unusually high name recognition during their first term in office. They all have the ability to raise substantial amounts of money with Ocasio-Cortez and Omar ranking among the top fundraisers in Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The joint fundraising committee will create a new opportunity for the four freshmen lawmakers to combine the power of their resources in support of shared goals.
Money raised by the victory fund will be distributed among the four congresswomen’s campaign committees and their respective leadership PACs.
Once money is spread among these entities, it could be directed to bolster the members’ own bids for re-election, as well as to support other progressive candidates and efforts.
Its formation comes as two of the members of the squad — Tlaib and Omar — face upcoming primary challenges.
In Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, Tlaib is facing a re-match in an August 4 Democratic primary against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. Jones beat her once before to serve out the remainder of former congressman John Conyers‘ term, but lost to Tlaib in the full-term election for the seat.
In Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, Omar is facing off against several Democrats, though none with a major national profile, in a primary on August 11.
In announcing the victory fund, the four lawmakers also announced Wednesday that they are all officially endorsing one another for reelection in 2020.
Ocasio-Cortez recently notched a resounding win over a well-funded primary challenger in her heavily Democratic New York district that includes parts of the Bronx and Queens.
The creation of the fund comes after a series of strong showings by progressive candidates in other congressional races, including candidates endorsed by members of the squad like Jamaal Bowman, a 44-year-old Black former educator, who challenged veteran Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel in a New York primary.
“(M)ake no mistake, last week’s victories put an even larger target on our backs. Wall Stree and Trump donors poured over $3 million into an attempt to defeat me and now they’re preparing to do even more to stop this progressive momentum in its tracks. The Squad Victory Fund will help us fight back,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement in a press release announcing the victory fund.
“In the wake of George Floyd‘s murder, Minneapolis inspired a movement. Right now, people across the country are taking to the streets to demand an end to our broken systems of injustice,” Omar said in a statement, adding, “While GOP and corporate donors fight to silence us, we are building a multi-racial grassroots movement to take on entrenched systems of inequality. Our movement is for justice. Our movement is for equality. Our movement is for peace. And our movement is for a better future.”