Between the nail-biting, refreshing feeds every minute to update the candidates and tachycardia experienced by everyone in the United States, some victory has been gained.
As we all waited (and continue to wait) for the results that may make or break a nation’s morale, Ritchie Torres was elected to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Torres’ win is a historical one. He has now become the first openly gay, Afro-Latino to make part of Congress. This, my friends, calls for a celebration. Finally, we are moving towards making American great for once in its lifetime.
The drive for a more inclusive Congress has been mighty these past few years. It is no secret that those from marginalized communities have been historically underrepresented in the US government. In fact, according to the Brookings Institution, 79% of lawmakers are White. But some solace comes from knowing that we are currently living to see the most racially diverse Congress ever with 10.4% Black members and 9.6% Latinx members.
The newly elected Democratic Congressional member is a 32-year-old Bronxite who has made equity and equality part of his vision.
He’s been vocal about building better public housing and other programs that will contribute to putting a halt to the poverty lived by most of the residents in the 15th Congressional District. The feat to overturn poverty in his district is astronomical, considering it has the nation’s lowest household income.
Torres also has expressed his disdain for the police brutality we so often see throughout the nation. He believes in increased accountability and independent oversight towards the police force as per NBC News.
On top of that, his win showcases the phenomenon of young people being placed in positions of power at a more rapid rate than before. Torress, actually, is now considered the youngest member of the New York City Council. Thankfully, his passion superseded any unfounded concerns about his age.
Many other candidates that form part of the LGBTQ community were on the ballot on Tuesday, and if that doesn’t epitomize progress, I don’t know what does. Remember, queer voices are a vital part of the reconstruction of our country.
These elections are screwing with all of our emotions right now, but one thing’s for sure — we are moving in the right direction.
Democracy, isn’t she a beauty?