Representative Ritchie Torres made history in 2020 when this fighter from the Bronx won a very crowded, expensive, and contentious race and became the first openly LGBTQ Latino-Black Member of Congress ever elected.
Ritchie has spent his entire life working for the community he calls home. Like many people in the South Bronx, poverty and struggle have never been abstractions to Ritchie, and he governs from a place of lived experience.
Ritchie’s mother single-handedly raised him, his twin brother, and his sister in a public-housing project. She paid the bills working minimum-wage jobs, which in the 1990s paid $4.25 an hour. While Ritchie grew up with mold, lead, leaks, and no reliable heat or hot water in the winter, he watched the government spend over $100 million dollars to build a golf course across the street for Donald Trump. In 2013, at the age of 25, Ritchie became New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly LGBTQ person elected to office in the Bronx.
On the City Council, Ritchie stood out for his passion and work ethic. During his seven-year tenure, he tenaciously tackled problems big and small for the Bronx and for New York City. He passed over forty pieces of legislation, including legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock and tackling the city’s opioid epidemic. As the Chairman overseeing New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), he held the first committee hearing ever in public housing – which led to a $3 billion-dollar FEMA investment, the largest in NYC history. As Chair of the Council’s Oversight & Investigations Committee, Ritchie led investigations into the heating outages and lead poisoning at NYCHA, the Taxi Medallion scandal, the City’s controversial Third-Party Transfer program, and Kushner Companies.
Ritchie represents the South Bronx – the same community where he grew up and his mother still lives. He is a Member of the Committee on Financial Services and serves as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security.