Since the 2016 presidential election, a record number of women have decided to run for political office. Now, two of those women are generating major nationwide enthusiasm: 28-year-old Bronx native Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who on June 26 ousted a longtime incumbent when she won the Democratic nomination for Congress in New York’s 14th District, and actor and activist Cynthia Nixon, who is running a campaign for governor of New York.

While both of these women are running for office in New York, their campaigns have nationwide significance. As the Democratic Party struggles to find its answer to President Donald Trump, both Ocasio-Cortez and Nixon have embraced democratic socialism, and are campaigning to push the Democratic Party to the left.

What remains to be seen is if these candidates and their proposed policies — such as Medicare for all, free college and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement — are the future of the Democratic Party, or if they are merely sparking some change.

Ocasio-Cortez and Nixon sat down with Mic’s editor-at-large Jake Horowitz in front of a live audience at Mic’s New York offices to discuss their policy proposals, vision for the future of the Democratic Party and challenges they’ve faced as first-time women candidates.

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Sheena Samu
Associate producer, Opinion, Mic