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Posted under: News Politics

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Congresspersons Who Don't Pay Interns, Promises To Pay A Respectable Wage To Her Own

The incoming representative is calling out Republicans for employing underpaid staff on the basis of "fiscal responsibility."

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Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising to put her money where her mouth is when she settles in her new role as representative to New York's 14th district next month.

Using her favorite social media platform of Twitter to deliver the good news, the future New York representative said that unlike other members of Congress who misinterpret intern help as free labor, she is vowing to pay her interns for their services. 

"Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them," her tweet read.

She then called out her colleagues on the opposition regarding their stance on masking "fiscal responsibility" by employing an underpaid staff.

The next day, Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, confirmed to the Washington Post that the incoming representative would pay her interns "at least" $15 per hour.

In a celebrated move, Ocasio-Cortez was very transparent to her nearly two million Twitter followers, revealing the amount congressmen are given for operations needs, explaining what the funds are supposed to cover.

"That’s supposed to cover all salaries (DC and district), rents for district offices, travel home, tech devices, services, contracts, etc," her tweet read.

Pay Our Interns, a website aimed at discussing the disparity between a substantial congressional budget and the lack of funding for staff, released that a 2017 report, detailing that "just 51 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats in the Senate pay their interns." As for the House, only 8 percent of Republicans and 3.6 percent of Democrats provide a paid internship experience. This revelation was first reported on by The Cut.

In a tweet on Monday, Pay Our Interns also called out long-time Senator Chuck Schemer (D-NY) for posting a job description looking for an "unpaid intern."

After considerable backlash, a spokesman for the senator spoke with Rolling Stone and said the ad was published "in error," and when the 116th Congress assumes office on January 3, 2019, they will be paying their interns.

Blavity fam, if you would like to be a part of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's team, there are plenty of open positions for your consideration. Positions are based in both the Bronx, New York and Washington, D.C. If you find a posting you fit the qualifications for, you can apply here. Best of luck!


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