Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Walked Into a Bar…And Poured Scorn on the Minimum Wage

The ex-bartender serves up soundbites on low wages for restaurant workers.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) at the Queensboro Restaurant in QueensDrew Angerer/Getty

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When was the last time your bartender talked to you about the need for a fair wage or about the exploitation of tipped workers? Well, if you were at the Queensboro Restaurant in Jackson Heights last night, you sure would have gotten an earful from the 29-year-old behind the bar. 

Wearing a blue and gray apron, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) mixed drinks and served tables for an hour last night to show support for the Raise The Wage Act, which would gradually boost the federal minimum wage for tipped workers.

“The federal tipped minimum wage is $2.13 an hour—that is unacceptable!” Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender, said. From behind the bar, she told patrons and supporters that any job that pays that rate is “indentured servitude.”

Ocasio-Cortez delivered pizzas to hungry customers and showed her skills with a shaker behind the bar, chatting about the need to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $15 an hour. The restaurant was packed with people taking selfies and posting videos of the congressional freshman and internet celebrity

And she wasn’t the only politician hanging out at a bar on a Friday evening. Former President Barack Obama met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a brewery in Ottawa, Canada. Let’s hope that they left a nice tip for their bartenders—who already get a minimum wage of about $10 an hour. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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