AOC Gets Engaged To Longtime Boyfriend
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Riley Roberts leave the 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
James Devaney/GC Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) confirmed on Thursday that she is engaged to longtime partner Riley Roberts.

“It’s true!” the progressive lawmaker said on Twitter. “Thank you all for the well wishes.”

“We got engaged last month in my family’s hometown in Puerto Rico,” she told Business Insider. “No future details yet, we’re taking some space to savor this time before diving into planning.”

A photographer from The Hill snapped a picture earlier on Thursday of Ocasio-Cortez sporting an engagement ring. “While Ocasio-Cortez maintains a famously heavy social media presence — with more than 8 million Instagram followers and nearly 13 million on Twitter — she’s typically kept details of her romantic life under wraps,” the outlet explained.

The ring, according to Ocasio-Cortez, is “zero emission and recycled gold.”

Ocasio-Cortez began dating Roberts, a marketing professional, during their time as undergraduates.

“Roberts and Ocasio-Cortez met at Boston University’s Coffee and Conversation in 2011 — a Friday-afternoon student town hall where Ocasio-Cortez often drove discussions — but friends of the couple didn’t know they had been dating until years after they all graduated,” Insider reported. “After they were both done with school, the couple broke up, and Roberts eventually moved back to Arizona. They later rekindled the relationship in New York.”

Ocasio-Cortez and Roberts “came from different corners of the country,” according to the New York Post. “Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx and moved at a young age with her parents to Yorktown in suburban Westchester County where she attended public schools until she graduated high school in 2007… Roberts grew up in a wealthy area of Paradise Valley, Ariz., the son of a real-estate agent.”

Roberts helped Ocasio-Cortez in her 2018 upset victory over longtime Democratic lawmaker Joe Crowley by collecting signatures to put his girlfriend on the ballot.

According to Rolling Stone, Roberts rarely steps into the limelight, but appeared in the 2019 documentary “Knock Down the House,” which details the rise of several progressive lawmakers. In a biography about Ocasio-Cortez, author Josh Gondleman wrote that Roberts “doesn’t fit the stereotype of a politician’s partner.”

“He doesn’t seem focus-grouped or media-trained for state dinners and press conferences. We know he’s supportive and encouraging in private,” Gondelman explained. “And his expertise, as far as his public image goes, is his elusiveness and restraint.”

Ocasio-Cortez is most famous for her “Green New Deal,” which seeks to fight the “intertwined economic, social, racial and climate crises crippling the country,” according to her office.

“The Green New Deal has three core components: jobs, justice and climate,” said Ocasio-Cortez in a statement. “The dozens of bills that have sprung from this resolution since we introduced it two years ago all contain 1) a commitment to creating good-paying union jobs; 2) prioritizing frontline and vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by climate change – including communities of color, indigenous land, deindustrialized communities and fossil fuel hubs; and 3) reducing greenhouse gas emissions from human sources by 40 to 60% within 10 years and net-zero global emissions by 2050, in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s finding that global temperatures must not increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialized levels in order to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.”

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