Blog Post

Insight: Town hall in Price shows the value of political engagement

By: Natalie Gochnour

Originally published in the Deseret News

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — commonly referred to by her initials AOC — attracts significant attention among political commentators because of her views on Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, a federal jobs guarantee, and a 70 percent tax rate on incomes over $10 million. I’m used to people talking about AOC on college campuses, but wasn’t expecting to hear about her at a town hall this week hosted by Rep. John Curtis in Price. It shows just how far the political battle grounds in this country have stretched — from a congressional district in New York to the heart of Utah’s coal country.

The woman who referenced AOC must have been in her 70s. She had white hair and a firm grasp on the issues. I admired her political engagement. Standing in a large auditorium in Price City Hall and speaking into a microphone she said, “If we ran our households like our elected leaders run our government, we would go bankrupt. They need to learn how to budget.” And then came the refrain, “I’m personally worried about AOC.”

Ocasio-Cortez makes a lot of headlines these days. She represents New York’s 14th congressional district and at age 29 is the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and boasts one of the largest social media followings in Congress. And now … her ideas (or fear of her ideas) have made their way to eastern Utah.

Curtis responded to the AOC comment by saying, “Who would have guessed that we would have a day when Nancy Pelosi would be pulling the Ds to the right? There are a number of new Congress members who embrace full-out socialism.”