37 local and state candidates take the ‘Courage to Change’ Pledge, says AOC

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has announced that, to date, 37 candidates for local and state office have successfully completed the questionnaire and received the ‘Courage to Change Policy Pledge Distinction,’ which is designed to help constituents identify candidates who are committed to social, racial and economic justice.

This was disclosed in a press release sent to NYP on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022.

According to AOC Press Secretary, Lauren Hitt, the candidates come from 14 different states and include candidates for school board, selectman, state legislature, city council, county commissioner, and mayor, among others. 

“When voters see that a candidate has received the Courage to Change distinction, they know that candidate is people-funded, committed to the grassroots, and supports policies that prioritize the working-class in the pursuit of social, economic and racial justice,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a statement.

“The CTC policy distinction is awarded to candidates who clearly demonstrate an unwavering commitment to change a political system that puts wealthy special interests ahead of working people. It means you have the courage to stand up to established interests, big money, and politics as usual no matter the Party,” Rep. AOC added.

“As part of the questionnaire, candidates are asked to make a range of policy commitments – including rejecting all donations from corporate PACs; increasing funding for crisis response services; making public undergraduate programs free; ending exclusionary zoning; repealing the Faircloth and Hyde amendments; and limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities,” Hitt said.

“Multiple candidates in the same race can receive the ‘Courage to Change’ Policy Pledge Distinction. The distinction does not serve as an endorsement from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, or the Courage to Change PAC. The Courage to Change Policy Pledge Distinction was used for the first time in 2021 in the New York City council races. Sixteen candidates who received the distinction won office – including Shahana Hanif, the first Muslim American woman elected to New York City Council.

In January, the Courage to Change PAC released a national policy questionnaire for candidates running in state, local, and federal races in 2022. The Courage to Change PAC was founded by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez with the goal of elevating candidates who display political courage — people who refuse to bow to establishment pressure, who advocate ferociously for working-class families, and who have lived the same struggles as the people they seek to represent,” Hitt concluded.

The full list of candidates can be found here. The questionnaire can be found here.

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