This viral ad for 28-year-old candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped topple a powerful incumbent, causing one of the biggest political upsets in NYC. Via the Intercept:
Within a day, the video had over 300,000 views. It’s not hard to see why. The video is tightly produced, crafting a narrative about an organizer-candidate who has the same sort of working-class background that is representative of the majority of New York’s 14th Congressional District — the median income in the district is $53,512 — taking on a powerful incumbent backed by Wall Street dollars.
What you may be surprised to find out is that the video was produced not by Hollywood video production veterans or high-dollar political consultants, but by a ragtag pair of socialists based in Detroit.
Last year, Detroit-based Democratic Socialists of America activists Naomi Burton and Nick Hayes formed Means of Production, a media production company that works exclusively for the working class. (DSA has since endorsed Ocasio-Cortez.)
Both were veterans of other communications firms and were troubled by the fact that many of these firms worked both for progressive candidates and corporations working against the very same causes.
“It just didn’t compute to us that the same people creating working-class propaganda are creating essentially propaganda for corporations,” Hayes said.
“We did this, really, with the goal of building kind of an effective, functional left media structure,” Burton explained.