Feb. 5, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
The Astoria-based activist and community organizer who made headlines last year after confronting then-Sen. Jeff Flake at Capitol Hill over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination has been invited by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be her guest at tonight’s State of the Union.
Ocasio-Cortez announced on Monday that Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, would join her during Tuesday’s address after she “famously jumped into the elevator with Sen. Flake to elevate the stories of survivors everywhere.”
Archila, a sexual assault survivor, confronted Flake in September 2018 over his support for Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault, to the U.S. Supreme Court as he stepped into an elevator on his way to a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the item.
“What you are doing is allowing someone— who actually violated a woman— to sit in the Supreme Court,” Archila said to Flake in a plea that went viral. She was joined by another woman, Maria Gallagher, during the confrontation.
NOW: @AnaMariaArchil2 confronts @JeffFlake before Senate Judiciary Committee. Shares her story of sexual assault and demands an explanation on his statement saying he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. He refuses to answer. #StopKavanaugh @CPDAction @BeAHeroTeam pic.twitter.com/VUZI8C0XVM
— Make the Road Action (@MaketheRoadAct) September 28, 2018
She later added: I have two children— I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl. What are you doing, sir?”
The encounter appeared to influence Flake, who asked for an FBI probe into the sexual assault allegations made against him after first backing Kavanaugh at the outset.
Archila, who is also on the board for Make the Road New York, appeared in a video with Ocasio-Cortez on Monday, where they both spoke to tonight’s State of the Union.
“What is our future really supposed to look like?” Ocasio-Cortez asked Archila after presenting her with matching pins they will wear to the address (from a Jackson Heights shop) that say “Well behaved women rarely make history.”
“I think our union is one of people who believe in each other and believe that we all deserve to live with dignity…” Archila replied.
She also tweeted that Ocasio-Cortez’s spirit brings her hope and thanked her for allowing the voices of many to be heard.
Ocasio-Cortez referred to Archila as “the NY-14 shero,” and said her September confrontation was a “defining moment.”
“She’s living proof that courage within all of us can change the world,” she said.
Trump’s address, which was rescheduled from its original Jan. 29 date due to the government shutdown, will take place tonight at 9 p.m. in the House chamber.