POLI 330N Week 3 Assignment: Essay – Representing a Democracy
Representing a democracy
In a democracy, elected officials represent a group of people to identify different aspects of society, its needs, demands, demographics, and other information to create and update policies to fulfill the needs in the congress. The three representatives from Bronx, New York are Senators Charles Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as one of the promising leaders and political figures due to her policymaking abilities. Both the senators have contributed to their constituencies to make a mark at the state level. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the background of the representatives by including their education, previous occupation, political experience, income, family background, and other demographics.
Senators Charles Chuck Schumer is a veteran politician who has more than 40 years of experience in politics. He was elected in 1999 and since then he has held his seat. He graduated from Harvard law school and served in the house of representatives, and represented the 19th, 10th, and 9th congressional districts in his political career. He won with a vote share of 70.7% in 2016 (Schumer, 2021). Mr. Schumer married Iris Weinshall in 1980 and they have two children together. He had a net worth of $635,008 in 2012 and has a base salary of $193,400 (Ballotpedia, 2021).
Throughout his career, he had different roles in the democratic party as a senator where he served as a senator in the senate judiciary committee, senate finance committee, and commission on rules and regulations in 2012 (Schumer, 2021). Later, he served banking, housing, and urban affairs from 2013 and 2016. In 2017, he was assigned Committee on printing and intelligence. Later, he was assigned to a committee for rules and regulations in 2020. He is the Dean of New York’s congressional delegation (Schumer, 2021).
Two of the important policies under Mr. Schumer are permanent tax credit policy to reduce increasing College and education cost and direct support to communities’ act bill, which provided additional support for communities in rural and urban development as pandemic affected the infrastructure of the society (Schumer, 2021). Both the bills reflect his ideology and ideology of the democratic party as both the bills address economic reforms to reduce the high influence of corporate in increasing costs of education and housing (Schumer, 2021).
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is a junior United States senator and a lawyer. She completed her graduation from Dartmouth College and graduated from UCLA school of law. She worked as a private practitioner and then worked as a government lawyer. She worked as a lawyer for the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1991 and later worked with different firms (McNamee, 2021). As she worked under private firms, she took woman abuse cases on a pro bono basis and this increased her recognition (Gillibrand, 2021). In 1999, she took part in Hilary Clinton’s US senate campaign and donated $12000 for the campaign. She was a member of Blue Dog Coalition and in 2008, she voted against the emergency economic stabilization act (Gillibrand, 2021).
In 2001, she married Jonathan Gillibrand and they have two children together. In 2006, she was elected and represented the United States house of representatives. Later, she was elected to represent New York’s 20th congressional district (Congress.gov, 2021). She became only the second female senator from New York (Gillibrand, 2021). It was evident from her stands that she advocated left ideology at different levels.
In 2010, a special election was conducted and she won the election. After that, she held the position from 2012 to 2018. In 2020, she filed for nomination for presidential elections but later withdrew the nomination as she failed to qualify for the third debate (McNamee, 2021). After working for nine years as a junior senator, her conservative views on immigration and guns changed considerably as now she has a liberal ideology.
Her base salary is around $174,000. She is a member of the US Senate from New York since 2009. She served in different positions from 2011 to 2014, she was in the armed service committee, agriculture, nutrition, and forestry committee (McNamee, 2021). From 2015 to 2018, she worked in a committee for aging and environmental and public works. In her last election, she had a vote share of 67% (Gillibrand, 2021).
Her liberal views and left ideology were evident as she advocated for the return of American troops from Afghanistan in 2011 and the Sexual Orientation Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) in 2007 (Gillibrand, 2021). Both policies reflect the broader inclusive views of left ideology. Also, in left ideology, gender equality plays a major role (Blofield et al., 2017).
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. She is famously known by her abbreviated name AOC. She was born to the couple, Sergio Ocasio-Roman and Blanca Ocasio-Cortez in 1989 (Alter, 2019). She graduated from Yorktown High School and came second in Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the same year on the project nematode Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. As a result, MIT Lincoln Laboratory honored her by giving her name to a smaller asteroid. She attended Boston University and became LDZ Secretary of the State (Alter, 2019). In 2011, she graduated from Boston University in economics and international relations.
Ocasio-Cortez worked as a waitress and bar-tender as her mother worked as the school bus driver and house cleaner. She started Brook Avenue Press and worked for National Hispanic Institute (Alter, 2019). In 2016, she played a prominent role in Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign (Cortez, 2021). Later she was recruited as a progressive candidate. Her salary is around $174,000.
Despite facing financial hardship, she contested in New York’s 14th congressional district election in 2018 and won with a vote share of 78.2% in the general elections. In the primary election, she won with 57.13% votes (Alter, 2019). After defeating Joe Crowley in the election, she defeated Anthony Pappas in the general election and became the youngest woman to serve in the congress (Cortez, 2021).
She associates herself with democratic socialist ideology and has backed many of the policies related to democratic socialism. She also advocated for Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) for economic reforms and advocated for liberal policies for tax reforms, environment, immigration, LGBTQ equality, health care, anti-poverty, foreign policies, and domestic policies (Cortez, 2021).
Two of the important policies she backed were the use of deadly weapons by Israel Defense Forces against Palestinians in Gaza and labor rights to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour (Cortez, 2021). The first policy that reflects her ideology was democratic and socialistic reforms at a global scale where a powerful country is using its weaponry and political strength to suppress a weaker country (Dana, 2020). It also indicates human right violation as well. The second policy reflects her life and the need for socialistic reforms to reduce disparity in society by increasing minimum wages for workers as increased disparity is against American dream (Aronson, 2016; Hamilton, 2018).
POLI 330N Week 3 Assignment: Essay – Representing a Democracy
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Aronson, P. (2016). Contradictions in the American dream: High educational aspirations and perceptions of deteriorating institutional support. International Journal Of Psychology, 52(1), 49-57. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12396
Ballotpedia. (2021). Chuck Schumer – Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://ballotpedia.org/Chuck_Schumer.
Blofield, M., Ewig, C., & Piscopo, J. (2017). The reactive left: gender equality and the Latin American pink tide. Social Politics: International Studies In Gender, State & Society, 24(4), 345-369. https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxx016
Congress.gov. (2021). Kirsten E. Gillibrand. congress.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://www.congress.gov/member/kirsten-gillibrand/G000555?searchResultViewType=expanded.
Cortez, O. (2021). Biography. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/about/biography.
Dana, T. (2020). A cruel innovation: Israeli experiments on Gaza’s great march of return. Sociology Of Islam, 8(2), 175-198. https://doi.org/10.1163/22131418-00802003
Gillibrand, K. (2021). Home | Kirsten Gillibrand | U.S. senator for New York. Gillibrand.senate.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/.
Hamilton, S. (2018). The big rig: trucking and the decline of the American dream by Steve Viscelli. Labor, 15(1), 130-132. https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-4288827
McNamee, G. (2021). Kirsten Gillibrand | biography & facts. encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Kirsten-Gillibrand.
Schumer. (2021). About Chuck | U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Schumer.senate.gov. Retrieved 19 March 2021, from https://www.schumer.senate.gov/about-chuck.
POLI 330N Week 3 Assignment: Essay – Representing a Democracy.