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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles on December 21, 2019. AOC will speak at the Democratic National Convention next week. (Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

DNC Announces Progressive Champion Ocasio-Cortez Will Speak at Convention

Previous speculation indicated the popular New York Democrat would be left off the program.

Lisa Newcomb

After earlier speculation that they may leave her out, the Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most outspoken progressive voices in Congress, will speak at the party's national convention next week, when the party will officially nominate Joe Biden for the presidency.

News of the speaker schedule came after weeks of speculation that AOC may be excluded from the event. But organizers have lined up several Latinx speakers to help the party win support from minority groups and left-leaning voters.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will also have roles in next week's event, CNN reported.

While the schedule hasn't been completely ironed out, additional confirmed speakers include Biden's primary opponents Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Also speaking are President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The DNC made headlines last month by announcing former governor of Ohio John Kasich, a Republican and critic of President Donald Trump, would also address viewers.

Ocasio-Cortez has been a consistent critic of centrist incrementalism, and of Biden, but defeating Trump remains a unifying goal for Democrats. The former vice president tapped AOC and former U.S. Senator John Kerry to head his climate task force, which the represenative from New York said has pushed his policies forward.

A list of speakers and events for the convention, which the DNC has dubbed "Uniting America," can be found here.


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