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Get To Know Ritchie John Torres, Black American Politician From New York

Get To Know Ritchie John Torres Black American Politician From New York
Get To Know Ritchie John Torres Black American Politician From New York

 

Ritchie John Torres is a Democratic politician in the state of New York, representing the 15th congressional district. Torres was born on March 12, 1988 in the Bronx, New York. He identifies as Afro-Latino, as his mother is African American and his father is Hispanic and from Puerto Rico. Torres’ father was married to another woman and was not around in his youth.

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The two reunited when Torres was 15. Torres’ mother raised him, his twin brother and their sister in the Throgs Neck public housing project located in East Bronx. He was frequently hospitalized for asthma as a result of mold and leaks in the apartment.

Torres came out as gay during his junior year of high school. He aspired to be a lawyer and served as captain of the law team, taking part in moot courts and mock trials. Torres was also picked for the “District Manager for a Day” program, where he shadowed Bronx politician Jimmy Vacca.

In 2008, he graduated from Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx. Torres was a member of the inaugural class of the Coro New York Exploring Leadership Program the same year.

Following graduation, he worked as an intern in the mayor’s and attorney general’s offices, as well as volunteered for Vacca, who ran successfully for councilman. Torres briefly attended New York University before dropping out in his second year owing to acute depression about his sexuality, which included suicidal ideation. Torres rejoined Councilman Vacca’s office and quickly rose to the position of housing director after Vacca was chosen deputy leader of the New York City Council.

Torres decided to run for council member of New York’s 15th district in 2013. Torres was elected as the first out gay Afro-Latino member, the first openly gay candidate elected in the Bronx, and the year’s youngest elected politician. As one of his first acts, he convened a New York City Council meeting in a public housing project so constituents could have a firsthand look at government.

He subsequently became chair of the council’s Public Housing Committee, as well as the Oversight and Investigations Committee. Torres was a Bernie Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is an outspoken defender of Israel.

Torres served on the council from 2013 until 2020. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the passage of approximately 40 pieces of legislation. He stated his intention to run for the seat of retiring 15th district representative Jose E. Serrano in July 2019. Torres was elected to Congress as the first openly gay Afro-Latino in November 2020.

He took office in January 2021 and is now one of the 117th U.S. Congress’s nine co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. Torres, who lives in the South Bronx, is a member of the Financial Services Committee and the Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee.

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Written by How Africa News

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