We would like to thank Council Member Torres for hosting our first annual Torres Debates!!! MS 45 is one of the top MSQI debate schools in the league and host of our annual MSQI debate. Click here for the video of our MSQI Debate Tournament at MS 45! Council Member Torres was also a debater in high school and visited MS 45 for a special workshop and debate coaching session with the debate team of MS 45.
More about Council Member Torres
Councilmember Ritchie Torres was elected to office in November 2013 to represent the communities of the Central Bronx. Ritchie is the first openly gay candidate to be elected to legislative office in the Bronx and the youngest member of the City Council.
A lifelong son of the Bronx, Ritchie was raised in a single-parent household, growing up and living most of his life in a NYCHA public housing development. When Ritchie’s mother lost the only good job she ever had and precariously shifted from low-wage job to low-wage job, his family struggled to keep up and needed to rely on social safety net programs to survive. His family’s hardship instilled in Ritchie a deep-seated commitment to serve New York’s low-income and working class communities.
Ritchie is a product of Bronx public schools, and got an early start in public service at the age of 16. While attending Lehman High School he was selected to be the “Community Board District Manager For A Day” with James Vacca, who went on to became the local City Council Member. Ritchie worked for Vacca’s first campaign in 2005 and by 2011 was named Council Member Vacca’s first Housing Director.
As Housing Director, Ritchie organized tenant associations in dilapidated buildings throughout the district, and rallied residents to fight for building improvements and rent reductions. Ritchie pressured landlords to fix boilers so tenants could have heat on cold nights, and to seal leaky roofs to prevent water damage and mold in common areas and apartment units. Ritchie knocked on thousands of doors in both private and NYCHA developments to personally conduct site inspections and document conditions, ensuring critical housing issues were promptly and adequately addressed.