As Rep.-elect Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., bid a touching goodbye to her colleagues on the Boston City Council Wednesday, her fellow members-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., observed from the gallery — a show of kinship between the women of color at the forefront of the Democratic Party’s newly emboldened left flank.
Council members were effusive in their praise of Pressley, who was the first woman of color to be elected to the council in 2009 and has in the years since championed diversifying its makeup.
“You’ve changed the course of history in the city of Boston,” Councilor Michelle Wu told Pressley, according to the Boston Globe. “I would not be sitting in this seat without your courage and your conviction throughout your entire career.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib teared up at the farewell, the Boston Herald reported.
“Ayanna is a history-maker unto herself, but it’s not just everything that Ayanna’s been through, it’s what she represents to so many people,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with the paper. “I felt just such a strong common bond with her.”
Ocasio-Cortez described the coalition between herself, Pressley, Tlaib and Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as a “squad” in an Instagram post last month. The post went viral amid a surge of interest in the new class of diverse and progressive lawmakers.
Pressley also previewed the policy agenda she plans to tackle in Congress Wednesday — including securing Medicare for all, reducing gun violence and reforming laws on cannabis.
Watch: Ayanna Pressley Says She Won't Be a Single-Issue Representative