Monday, October 17, 2022

Democratic Congressional Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's National Hispanic Institute [NHI] Connection

 Most U.S. anti-war movement supporters don't think that the U.S. Congress's support for shipping more munitions to the Ukrainian government since February 2022 has either decreased the danger of World War III breaking out or brought much peace to the people living in Ukraine.

Yet one of New York City's Democratic representatives in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has apparently not attempted to do very much in Washington, D.C. to oppose the U.S. Congress's support for shipping more munitions to the Ukrainian government.

Although Rep. Ocasio-Cortez now represents some Bronx and Queens residents in the U.S. Congress, the Democratic Party congressional representative has, historically, been connected politically to an organization, not based in New York City, which operates under the name "National Hispanic Institute" [NHI]. As David Freedlander observed in his 2021 book, The AOC Generation: How Millenials are seizing power and rewriting the rules of American politics:

"If there was another guiding force in Ocasio-Cortez's life it was...the National Hispanic Institute [NHI]...Ocasio-Cortez participated in NHI programming before her junior year in high school when she, along with 150 or so of her peers, went to the group's Lorezo de Zavala Youth Legislative Session [LDZ]...

"At this summer institute, Ocasio-Cortez ran for every office available...Ocasio-Cortez was just one of two students from the East, and the only one from New York. She lost every election she ran for...It is easy to draw a straight line from 2018 to the teenager who went to the NHI summer program, where she learned the skills of a candidate...Ocasio-Cortez told [NHI Founder Ernesto] Nieto...`...I found that NHI helped me so much...because NHI helped me develop who I am...'

"The NHI wasn't just something that Ocasio-Cortez did a couple of summers while she was in high school. It's how she got connected to Boston University, which was actively recruiting among NHI students when Ocasio-Cortez was in high school. During college and after, she returned to work at the institute in various capacities, and when she refers to herself as `an educator' in her campaign materials, she is referring to her time leading students at NHI.

"Ocasio-Cortez wrote the afterword to [NHI Founder Ernesto] Nieto's memoir, Third Reality Revealed: Vision, Persistence, and Inventing a New Latino Identity while she was still in college...After graduation, AOC returned to NHI as a social entrepreneurship fellow and then, a couple of years after that, as a...trainer. She worked several summers in a program called the Collegiate World Series 2018...lead one of the institute's seminars.

"People who were with her at NHI remember her as...ambitious...As Ocasio-Cortez bounced around in her college years, she had what was essentially a standing offer to return to NHI and work full-time..."