Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Volunteers at Houston Food Bank After Raising Nearly $5 Million for Texas Winter Storm Relief

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t just fundraising to help winter storm-battered Texans, she’s also giving her time…

A fundraising effort spearheaded by the 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, to help people in the Lone Star State affected by this week’s winter storms has raised nearly $5 million in just a few days.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

And, on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez visited the state to celebrate the success of the fundraising effort, which will go to local organizations providing Texans food assistance, homelessness relief and elder care.

She was joined by Democratic Texas Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee, all of whom helped fill boxes at the Houston Food Bank.

“When disaster strikes, this is not just an issue for Texans; this is an issue for our entire country,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. “And our whole country needs to come and rally together behind the needs of Texans all across this state.”

She added: “That’s the New York spirit, that’s the Texas spirit, and that’s the American spirit.”

Winter storms across Texas left dozens dead, knocked out power for millions for several days and many still don’t have safe drinking water.

Garcia said the fundraising idea was spurred by Ocasio-Cortez, who sent her a text saying she wanted to help. “You know, we’re from Texas right?” Garcia told reporters. “Who does things with New York? We always kind of make fun of New York. But this time we love New York.”

Ocasio-Cortez announced the fundraising Thursday afternoon on Twitter. Within two hours, the effort had pulled in $325,000 in donations. By Friday morning, the total was up to $2 million. As of Saturday afternoon, $4 million, according to Ocasio-Cortez. And, by Sunday, that amount was at nearly $5 million.

The money will go toward several organizations, including the Houston Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center. But charity itself, while helpful, doesn’t replace the need for policies that prevent power grids from failing in the future, Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We need to make sure that we make short- and long-term policy decisions to that this devastation — preventable devastation — never happens again,” she said.

A number of factors contributed to the massive power failures in Texas, which relies on its own electricity grid.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Helps Raise $2 Million for Winter Storm-Ravaged Texans

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has stepped up to help Texans dealing with the aftermath of deadly winter storms…

The 31-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician, currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, has helped raise more than $2 million in less than 24 hours to help bring relief to the state of Texas.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On Thursday evening, AOC announced she was partnering with several Texas charities and encouraged her millions of Twitter followers to donate money to help residents in Texas reeling from widespread power outages, water shortages and freezing temperatures.

“Team AOC is launching relief efforts for Texas starting today,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday evening. “Our first effort is a partnership w/5 Texas orgs getting on-the-ground relief to Texans ASAP. If you’re able, please donate here – it’ll split your contribution to all 5.”

By Thursday night, more than $1 million had been raised, and by Friday morning, the charities raked in more than $2 million.

The funds are being split between The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition, Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, Feeding Texas and several other charities.

Dozens of people have died in hard-hit Texas since Sunday as massive winter storms hit the region.

Millions of homes and businesses in the state went without electricity for days as single-digit temperatures increased the demand for heat while freezing most of the state’s energy infrastructure.

While most of the power in the state has been restored, many are still experiencing a lack of safe drinking water due to damaged pipes that carry the water supply.

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1362809024480243714?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1362809024480243714%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fchanging-america%2Fresilience%2Fnatural-disasters%2F539664-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-raises-2-million-in

Melissa Villaseñor to Host This Year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards Ceremony

Melissa Villaseñor has the spirit

The 33-year-old Mexican actress, stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member is set to host this year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony.

Melissa Villaseñor

The show will not be live from the Santa Monica Beach this year due to COVID-19.

Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member of NBC’s long-running SNL, cut her teeth on the stand-up circuit in Los Angeles, and was further propelled to stardom by being a semifinalist on the 2011 edition of America’s Got Talent before landing on the SNL cast.

She is famous for her impersonations of celebrities like Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more.

This year’s show will be airing on Thursday, April 22, on IFC and AMC+ at 10:00 pm ET, breaking tradition as the Spirits typically take place on the Saturday afternoon before Sunday’s Oscars.

Said Blake Callaway, Executive Director, IFC and SundanceTV, “Melissa and the unique circumstances of now will make this year’s ceremony like no other. It will certainly be a departure from the past, but with Melissa, the chances of Dolly, Ariana Grande, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga showing up have skyrocketed.”

“As someone who considers herself a pretty dependent person, I’m truly honored to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards,” said Villaseñor.

Outside of SNL, Villaseñor has provided voiceovers in films like Toy Story 4 and Ralph Breaks the InternetShe also was a guest on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee; and in projects like Hubie Halloween, Barry and Crashing, among others.

She’s currently working on her first book, a creative self-help journal forthcoming from Chronicle Books.

She joins a roster of past Spirit Awards hosts that includes Aubrey Plaza, Nick Kroll, Kristen Bell, Joel McHale, Patton Oswalt, Queen Latifah, John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson and Kumail Nanjiani.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Routs John Cummings to Earn Second Term in U.S. House of Representatives

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is heading back to The District

The 31-year-old New York-born Puerto Rican politician, handily defeated Republican John Cummings in her bid for re-election as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

AOC, as she’s known, took 68% of the vote, while her opponent, a former NYPD officer, scored 31% of the vote to earn a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2018, the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist won the seat with nearly 80% percent of the vote, defeating Queens County Democratic Party leader and longtime Congressman Joe Crowley in the primary. She swept her way into the U.S. Congress with a historically diverse midterm group of freshman, including 36 women and 24 people of color.

Ocasio-Cortez currently sits on the House Financial Services Committee and Oversight and Reform Committee.

AOC has racked up several memorable moments in her relatively short time in Congress, including a searing takedown over the summer of Rep. Ted Yoho after he called her “crazy,” “disgusting” and a “f*cking bitch” on the steps of the U.S. Capitol within earshot of a reporter.

In a moving address to the House, she attacked deep-seated sexism and misogyny. “I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women. It happens every day in this country,” she said, adding, “I am someone’s daughter too.”

Previously, AOC, whose parents are of Puerto Rico descent, was targeted by an infamous President Donald Trump racist Twitter tirade that urged her and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” The four became known as The Squad, and all four won re-election on Tuesday night.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Among the Real-Life Heroes Celebrated in DC Comics’ “Wonder Women of History” Graphic Novel Anthology

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting illustrated

DC Comics has unveiled the new young adult graphic novel anthology Wonder Women of History, which celebrates real-life heroes, including the 30-year-old Bronx-born Puerto Rican politician who currently serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, or simply AOC, as she’s known, drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party‘s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district in June 2018, defeating Democratic Caucus chair Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November general election.

Taking office at age 29, Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress

Female and non-binary writers and artists tell 17 stories of those “who take up Wonder Woman‘s iconic mantle” in their respective fields of science, sports, entertainment, politics, social justice and more, according to the DC Comics blog. 

New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson edited the collection after recently writing the original graphic novel Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Wonder Women of History also spotlights singer-actress Janelle Monáe, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Iskwew Air CEO and Founder Teara Fraser, LGBTQ+ rights activist Edith Windsor, transgender activist and Stonewall uprising figure Marsha P. Johnson, Parkland shooting survivor and gun control advocate Emma Gonzalez, disability rights activist Judith HeumannNASA‘s first Hispanic female astronaut Ellen Ochoa, deputy director of Wuhan Institute of Virology and China’s “Bat Woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli, 23-time Grand Slam winning tennis player Serena Williams, stand-up comic Tig Notaro, actress Keiko Agena, and the first African American gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal Dominique Dawes.

The graphic novel will officially hit bookstore shelves everywhere on December 1. The anthology will also include portraits of illustrators Weshoyot Alvitre, Colleen Doran, Agnes Garbowska, Bex Glendining, Ashley A. Woods, and Safiya Zerrougui.

Wonder Women of History is already available for pre-order here.

Eva Longoria to Speak on Opening Night of the Democratic National Convention

Eva Longoria is taking the national stage once again…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress, former Desperate Housewives star and activist has been added to the lineup of speakers for this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Eva Longoria

Longoria, who gave a spirited speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, joins a lineup of new additions to the roster that includes three other Hollywood figures who’ve long been active in party politics: Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Longoria, who also appeared at the 2012 DNC and later served on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, will appear on Monday. Ross will speak on Tuesday, Washington on Wednesday and Louis-Dreyfus on Thursday.

Monday’s lineup includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The convention will run from 9:00 – 11:00 pm ET each night.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak on Tuesday.

The convention also will feature performances from Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce and Stephen Stills.

In addition to the lineup of speakers, Democrats plan to feature testimonials from everyday Americans who will appear from locations across the country.

Convention organizers also announced that the keynote address, traditionally delivered by one up-and-coming party figure, will instead feature 17 different speakers.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Speak at Next Week’s Virtual Democratic National Convention

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to make a major splash…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician and current the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district will have a speaking slot at next week’s virtual Democratic National Convention, which, because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be almost entirely virtual from locations across the country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, the star of the progressive left, had yet to enter elective politics in the last cycle.

The first-time congresswoman will speak on Tuesday, August 18, on the same nice a virtual roll call of delegates will take place to formally nominate Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Catherine Cortez Masto will also take the national stage.

The 56-year-old half-Mexican American lawyer and politician, who has served as a United States senator from Nevada since 2017, will appear on Monday, August 17.

And, Michelle Lujan Grisham will speak at the convention.

The 60-year-old Mexican American politician, the current governor of New Mexico, will speak on Wednesday, August 19.

In 2018, Lujan Grisham became the first Democratic woman elected governor of New Mexico, as well as the first Democratic Hispanic elected state governor in U.S. history.

Other speakers include Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.

Some of the speakers are pre-recording their speeches. The New York Times reported that Michelle Obama was pre-taping her appearance, while a source said the Bill Clinton was doing the same.

The proceedings will take place from 9:00 -11:00 pm ET each evening, starting on Monday.

The lineup:

Monday

Bernie Sanders, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Kasich, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Tuesday

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DL), Bill Clinton, and Jill Biden. Also planned that evening are keynote address, with the speaker yet to be identified, and a virtual roll call of delegates to formally nominate Joe Biden.

Wednesday

Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Barack Obama.

Thursday

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Newsom, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former South Bend, IN mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DL), Harris, the Biden family and Biden.

Democrats also announced nine speakers “from all walks of life,” designed to showcase everyday Americans at the convention.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Appear on HBO’s New Talk Show Special “Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is joining the conversation…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician, who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, will appear on Seeing America with Megan Rapinoe, the Team USA soccer star’s new talk show special for HBO.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

On the special, Rapinoe will engage with guests like Ocasio-Cortez in today’s cultural conversations. 

The goal is to help shape the ongoing cultural conversation that’s been taking place during this significant time in our country’s history.

“It is an honor to host a show with a critical conversation between some of America’s most innovative thought leaders,” Rapinoe said. “I am so thankful to HBO for providing such a powerful platform for this important dialogue.”

In addition to AOC, the special will include appearances by comedian and Netflix’s Patriot Act host Hasan Minhaj, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Seeing America with Megan Rapinoewill premiere at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 PT on Saturday, August 1.

Rapinoe, a two-time Women’s World Cup winner with Team USA, has made international headlines for years through a combination of her talent on the field and her dedication to activism. From kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 in support of Colin Kaepernick to her success and unyielding outspokenness throughout the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, where she was named the tournament’s most outstanding performer, Rapinoe’s ability to galvanize worldwide attention on social, economic and political issues has transformed her into one of the country’s most recognizable and admired advocates for change.

“We are grateful Megan Rapinoe would choose HBO as home for this conversation and look forward to more opportunities with her to continue this dialogue,” said Peter Nelson, EVP of HBO Sports. “Megan is fearless in speaking out on issues.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Democratic Primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District

It’s a blowout win for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician, currently serving her first term as the U.S. Representative or New York’s 14th congressional district, handidly won her district’s Democratic primary, a victory that effectively ensures a second term in the heavily Democratic distrct.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez warded off three Democratic primary challengers, including Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor and self-described fiscal conservative who criticized the first-term progressive’s expensive agenda.

AOC was leading with 74-percent of the vote, compared to Caruso-Cabrera’s 19-percent, with less 2 percent of precincts reporting, accoridng to The Associated Press.

Ocasio-Cortez noted on social media Tuesday evening that her surprise upset in 2018 was not a “fluke.”

The Democratic socialist shocked political pundits after defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley during the 2018 midterms. 

“Our win was treated as an aberration, or (because) my opponent ‘didn’t try,’” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet. “So from the start, tonight’s race was important to me. Tonight we are proving that the people’s movement in NY isn’t an accident. It‘s a mandate.”

Ocasio-Cortez has raised more than $10 million since 2019, and she spent more than $2.4 million on Facebook ads alone since January—far more than any other member of Congress has, The New York Times reported last week—as the COVID-19 pandemic effectively halted traditional campaigning in her district.

The Kid Mero’s Showtime Show “Desus & Mero” Returning in July

It’ll be a memorable Fourth of July weekend for The Kid Mero

Showtime’s Desus & Mero, starring the37-year-old Dominican-American writer/comedian, has been scheduled to return with new episodes starting July 5, after a June hiatus.

The Kid Mero

The premiere date marks a move from Mondays to Sundays for the late-night series, creating a first-run block with The Chi and Black MondayIt also will continue to air on Thursdays starting at 11:00 pm ET both nights.

Desus & Mero will continue to be shot from the hosts’ homes with Desus (Daniel Baker) and The Kid Mero (Joel Martinez) offering their take on the day’s hot topics and talking with guests from the worlds of pop culture, sports, music, politics and more.

The longtime acquaintances reconnected online in the early days of Twitter, where they unleashed their potent personalities and found themselves kindred spirits. That led to stints on Complex and MTV, the Bodega Boys podcast and a daily late-night show on Viceland

Desus & Mero originally aired on Viceland from 2016-18 before moving to Showtime in February 2019, when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the duo’s first guest. It expanded to two nights a week for last year’s summer run.

Desus & Merois produced for Showtime by Jax Media