In this week’s edition, John Riley talks with Ritchie Torres, who was officially named the Democratic nominee for New York’s 15th Congressional District a few weeks ago and is highly favored to win the seat in Congress. In a deeply personal, insightful interview Torres lays out his progressive ideology, including his particular passion for gun reform, and the mistreatment of LGBTQ people under the current president. “The fact is, Donald Trump has been consistently hostile toward the equality of LGBTQ people,” he says bluntly. “There’s a whole host of regulations that he has put in place or attempted to put in place that have conspired against our community.”
Born and raised in the Bronx, Torres is personally invested in serving his congressional district, one of the poorest in the nation, and his country. “When I think about all the struggles affecting the poorest parts of our country,” he says, “whether it be poverty or inequality, food insecurity or housing, these are struggles that I’ve lived in my own life. For me, policy is personal.”
As a gay Afro-Latino, Torres will occupy unique intersectionality in Congress, and he is frank about the Congressional rule that will not allow him to be part of both the Latino caucus and the Black caucus. “Under the traditions of Congress, you can either be Latino or Black, but you cannot be both,” he says. “But in the real world, Afro-Latinos like me do exist. And we should never be forced to choose between two identities that are equally important to us.”
The issue also offers an exclusive sneak peek at DC’s Different Drummers’ dazzling new uniforms, a look at the new documentary Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, and features reviews of the HBO hit We Are Who We Are and the newest record from Sufjan Stevens. Plus we feature the usual abundance of arts and entertainment highlights, and a news section curated with some of the top stories of the day you might have missed. RetroScene, meanwhile, takes a spin back to Annie Kaylor’s 80th Birthday celebration at Annie’s Steakhouse, Scarlet’s Bake Sale at Titan, and a night out at Omega.
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We’ll be taking next week off, so we’ll see you again on Oct. 1 with a brand new issue, featuring an inside look at Netflix’s new Boys in the Band, the debut of a savory new regular feature, and the triumphant return of our Nightlife Section!
Miss an issue? Check out our new 2020 Back Issue Bookcase here.
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