‘AOC plus 3’ living in Trump’s mind rent-free

Samira Kassem

The group has been nicknamed “the squad” and consists of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley. 
Photo: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via Instagram

The phrase came up in the last presidential debate: ‘AOC plus three,’ but who are they? 

Otherwise known as ‘the squad’ or the group of progressive women of color has taken congress by storm. 

When I say they live ‘rent free’ in Trump’s mind I mean RENT FREE. Trump is constantly tweeting about them and talking about them while they are honestly living their best lives and paying him no mind.  

The women I am talking about are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley who were all elected to the House of Representatives in 2018.

Together they are currently among the most progressive members of congress and they have some very powerful and inspiring stories. 

 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (otherwise known as AOC)   

Ocasio-Cortez serves the 14th district of New York which includes parts of the Bronx, North-Central Queens and Rikers Island. 

When she won her race against a 10-term incumbent, the 29 year old became the youngest woman to ever be elected to the United States Congress. 

The race was widely considered to have been the greatest upset of the 2018 midterm elections. 

She is famed for helping to author the Green New Deal along with fighting for other progressive legislation like medicare for all and the abolishment of ICE. 

Before she decided to run for congress she was a waitress and a bartender. Although no one ever expected her to win, she fought like hell and campaigned until her shoes had holes in them which led her to the inspiring victory. 

In many ways she has become the face of the left and has a starpower that is rare for a politician. 

She spent much of the primary season campaigning for Bernie Sanders who is her close friend and mentor. 

She has handled the media attention with grace and continues to fight for the working class. 

Her campaign was one of several featured in Netflix’s Knock Down the House.     

Photo: Wikimedia Commons   

Rashida Talib 

On a personal note, Talib is my favorite member of congress. The 44 year-old represents the 13the District of Michigan which includes Western Detroit and its suburbs. 

She is the eldest of 14 children of immigrant parents and comes from a working-class background.

 Before her election to the Federal House of Representatives, she served in Michigan’s state legislature and was one of just 10 muslims serving in state legislatures across the country.

 She is the first-ever woman of Palestinan descent to get elected to congress and, along with Omar, is also one of the first muslim women in congress. 

She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and famed for her “impeach the motherf**cker” quote. 

She is not afraid to criticize Trump and stand up for the working class of America. 

The thing I admire most about her is that she is one of the only members of congress willing to stand up against US involvement with the apertheid Israeli government and has called for an end to US aid to Israel.

She is a strong willed woman who is not afraid to stand up for what she believes in who serves as a major inspiration for me and many other Palestinian and Muslim women in this country.       

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ilhan Omar 

Omar serves Minnesota’s fifth district. She is the first ever Somali-American, naturalized citizen of African birth and woman of color to represent Minnesota in the United States Congress. 

Alongside Talib she is one of the first Muslim women to ever serve in the US congress and the first hijabi. 

She too served in the state legislature of her state prior to her election to the US House of Representatives. 

She has spent her time in congress so far fighting for a living wage, affordable housing, universal healthcare and student loan debt forgiveness. 

She has also spoken out against Trump’s travel ban and advocated for the abolishment of ICE. She has acted alongside Talib as a critic of Israel. 

She followed a six-term incumbent when she won her seat in 2018. She has faced a lot of criticism from the Republican party but has remained strong and unafraid to stand up to them.

 Her daughter, who is also an activist, was recently featured on the cover of Teen Vogue.

 A little known fact about Omar is that she received the largest percentage of the vote of any female candidate for the US House of Representatives in US history and the largest percentage for a non-incumbent candidate in Minnesota history. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Ayanna Pressley 

Pressley serves the seventh district of Massachusetts which includes parts of Boston, Cambridge and Milton. 

She won in the primary against a 10-term incumbent like AOC. She previously served on the Boston City Council where she was the first-ever Black woman to be elected. 

She is also the first-ever Black woman to be elected as a representative of Massachusetts in the United States Congress. 

Pressley was raised in Chicago but moved to Massachusetts when she enrolled at Boston University. 

She is the oldest and most experienced of the group and has used her expertise to speak out against Trump’s attacks against all of them. 

She was the member who filed an official resolution calling for the House Judiciary Committee to launch official impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

Along with other progressive policies, she has fought for criminal justice reform and called for the decriminlization of consensual sex work, abolishment of cash bail, the legalization of marijuana, abolishment of capital punishment and solitary confinement and the shrinking of the US prision population.

After her election, she publicly shared that she has alopecia which has caused her to lose all of her hair. 

Since then, she has rocked her bald head and inspired girls to not care what others think and embrace who they are confidently.