The successes of Ada Colau and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's electoral campaigns demonstrate the promise of a bold political vision, an antidote to the far-right forces on the rise across the world. These women have demonstrated what is possible. They have signaled the arrival of a new form of doing politics: bottom-up, ambitious, participatory, feminized, and radically centering the common good. As more progressive activists stage electoral insurgencies up and down the ballot, or consider doing so, now is the time to learn from these experiences. At this event, Colau and Ocasio-Cortez will engage in a conversation about their personal trajectories, the opportunities for social movements to run candidates for elected office, the limitations that arise once within those institutions, and the urgent need to challenge the status quo definition of what is possible.
Ada Colau Ballano is Mayor of Barcelona, under the citizen platform Barcelona en Comu and the first woman to hold the office. Colau was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), which was set up in Barcelona in 2009 in response to the rise in evictions caused by unpaid mortgage loans and the collapse of the Spanish property market in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. A longtime activist and a fierce advocate for the feminization of politics, anti-displacement, participatory democracy, and economic equity.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is an educator, community organizer, political activist, and recently turned politician. On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district, defeating the incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joseph Crowley, in what has been described as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by various social movement organizations.
Amy Goodman is a journalist, columnist, and author, best known as the co-founder and host of Democracy Now! The War and Peace Report, a progressive daily news program produced in New York City. It is syndicated on radio and television in the United States and broadcast on the Internet.