The U.S. Congress has never had an out LGBTQ+ Afro-Latinx member. Ritchie Torres might just be the first.
Torres, currently a New York City councilmember, is running to be the next member of Congress for the Empire State’s 15th congressional district in the South Bronx. It’s a majority Latinx district that also happens to be one of the smallest districts in the country geographically. The district is currently represented by fellow Democrat José Serrano, who is retiring this year after 30 years in Congress.
“I’m a product of the Bronx, born and bred,” says Torres, whose mother is African American and whose father is from Puerto Rico. “I was raised by a single mother who kept our family afloat on a $4.25 minimum wage. I grew up in a housing project that was full of leaks and lead, with no reliable heat or hot water in the winter. As a product of public housing, public schools, and public hospitals, I had a dream of fighting for my community in the hopes of building a better Bronx.”
Torres became the youngest ever member of New York City Council when he was elected in 2013 at the age of 25. He’s also the first openly LGBTQ+ elected official from the Bronx.
As a member of Congress, “I’ll fight for quality health care and housing, schools and jobs. I'll stand up for immigrants, seniors, and youth. I'll fight everyday to protect our neighborhoods from gun violence and make the Bronx a safe, decent, affordable place to live,” says Torres.
“My motto in life is simple: ‘If you do nothing, nothing will change,’” says Torres. “We can build a better Bronx, but we have to do it together.”
For more information, please visit his campaign website.