Thanks to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the sexual assault survivor who confronted former GOP Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator last year during Brett Kavanaugh‘s confirmation process will now be attending the 2019 State of the Union.
Last year, activist Ana Maria Archila and another woman confronted the now-retired Arizona senator because he had come out in support of then-Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, despite sexual misconduct accusations from several women.
According to Newsweek, Archila is the co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. And so when she saw Flake, she felt compelled to share her own sexual assault experience while passionately pleading with him not to support Kavanaugh.
“I didn’t tell anyone, and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them,” Archila said as she her companions prevented the elevator doors from closing on Flake.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you. You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter, that what happened to me doesn’t matter, that you’re going to let people who do these things into power.”
Women confront Sen. Jeff Flake after he says he'll vote yes to Kavanuagh: “That’s what you’re telling all women in America, that they don’t matter. They should just keep it to themselves because if they have told the truth you’re just going to help that man to power anyway.” pic.twitter.com/T7fSpyT69E
— CNN (@CNN) September 28, 2018
The video of the emotional exchange immediately made headlines and sparked national debate. Now Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has invited the vocal activist to be her guest during Tuesday’s address.
“I just feel particularly moved that in her first participation in the State of the Union she is inviting me to join and inviting that moment of the elevator, my confrontation with the men who do not understand the life of women and the lives of people who are not in power, that she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again,” Archila told The Intercept.
I’m filled with hope by @AOC’s fierce spirit & her relentless belief that we all deserve to live with dignity & share in the abundance of our country.
— AnaMariaArchila (@AnaMariaArchil2) February 4, 2019
Following his encounter with Archila, Flake called for a brief FBI investigation into the sexual assault claims made by Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who alleged Kavanaugh assaulted her in the 1980s. Ultimately, he was still voted to advance and confirm Kavanaugh.