AOC to bartend again in support of wage equality for restaurant workers

Photo: Gary Miller (Getty Images)

Before she became the breakout freshman member of Congress and Republicans’ new favorite boogeylady, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bartended at the New York City taqueria Flats Fix. When she launched her then-longshot campaign—exactly one year ago—to represent her hometown New York’s 14th Congressional district, Ocasio-Cortez would bring up her recent past slinging drinks and waiting tables to articulate issues of fair wage, especially among service workers.

This week, Ocasio-Cortez will return to her hospitality roots, when she bartends and takes orders in a to-be-announced restaurant in her district. The New York Daily News reports that it’s part of an event organized by Restaurants Opportunities Centers United, an organization that aims to improve wages for restaurant workers.

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Ocasio-Cortez and ROC United are pushing for New York state to implement One Fair Wage, a campaign that aims to eliminate the tipped minimum wage (as little as $2.13 an hour in some states) in favor for all restaurants workers receiving the full minimum wage. The campaign’s tagline: “The restaurant industry’s two-tiered wage system is broken. We can fix it.”

Just exactly why is there such a pay disparity between servers and cooks? Our own Salty Waitress has an explainer.

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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.