At the young age of 25, Ritchie Torres became New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly LGBT person elected to office in The Bronx. But he had started devoting his life to serving others long before he was sworn in as a United States Congressman. Torres’ story has humble beginnings: raised by a single mother and lived in poverty. However that environment led him to want to seek public office. He has been a leading voice on housing equality, marriage equality, and providing critical access to treatments and vaccines for the monkeypox outbreak. His work in Congress also extends to being one of nine co-chairs of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. In New York City, Torres helped open the first homeless shelter for LGBTQ+ youth and secured funds for elders in the community across all five NYC boroughs. Torres has been called a political leader for the future. —K.M.
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