Thinking Citizen Blog — Why Isn’t Ritchie Torres a Household Name Like AOC? Should He Be? Why?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: Why Isn’t Ritchie Torres a Household Name Like AOC? Should He Be? Why?
I’m always looking for inspiration. For hope. Found any lately? Please share. This week I Iearned a little about Ritchie Torres, the “first gay Afro Latino member of Congress.” I had never heard of him before. Have you? Today, a few notes on this pragmatic progressive. I don’t agree with everything in his platform, but I find his story inspiring. Eager to learn more about him. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
POVERTY, COLLEGE DROP OUT, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL
1. “I was raised by a single mother who had to raise three children on minimum wage and I lived in conditions of mold and vermin, lead and leaks.” (Torres)
2. “Torres enrolled at New York University but dropped out at the beginning of his sophomore year, as he was suffering from severe depression. He struggled with suicidal thoughts based on his sexuality.”
3. At age 25 he became “the first openly gay public official in the Bronx,” and the youngest elected city official.
CHARTER SCHOOLS, HOUSING VOUCHERS FOR ALL, HIS DISTRICT
1. “If there are parents in my district who have concluded that the best option for their children is a charter school, who am I to tell them otherwise?” (Torres)
2. “One of the great ironies of our time is that some of the most progressive cities are among the most systematically racist in their housing policies,” he says, mentioning San Francisco’s policies of single-family zoning and other land-use practices that are the way in which liberals discriminate today.” (third link)
3. Torres represents the 15th congressional district (the South Bronx), the poorest in the nation and sees himself as the “national champion of the urban poor.” The district is one of the safest Democratic seats in the country and has had a Latino representative since 1971.
WHY SO LITTLE MEDIA ATTENTION RELATIVE TO AOC AND THE SQUAD?
1. “There’s a sense in which the media narrative diminishes me.” (Torres)
2. “I resist the temptation to fit into a preconceived narrative.”
3. “My career in politics long predates the Squad.”
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