Things That Matter

Ritchie Torres Is Running For Congress To Give His Community The Representation It Deserves

Politics is getting particularly young, and we like it. From Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to State Senator Alessandra Biaggi to Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou to legislator Caleb Hanna, all of these young politicians are bringing a breath of fresh air to their policies and to the political discourse. Now, there’s another name to include in the list that is breaking barriers in more ways than one.

Meet 31-year-old Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres who is running for Congress. If he wins his next year, he will be the first openly gay black or Latino member of Congress.

Credit: ritchietorresny15 / Instagram

Do not think for a second that Torres, while young, is new to the game. Born and raised in the Bronx, Torress has been in the political world since 2013, bringing change on a local level but making a considerable impact. Currently, he is the chair of the Committee on Public Housing and is a deputy majority leader. He is also the chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee. 

Next year, Torres and 12 others will seek to replace Rep. José Serrano in New York’s 15th Congressional District. His competition includes Assembly Member Michael Blake, Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez, former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Tomas Ramos, among others, Buzzfeed reports. But he is a frontrunner in the campaign, and here’s why. 

While Torres is running against several other Latino politicians, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has officially announced they are officially endorsing him and helping to fund his campaign.

Credit: ritchietorresny15 / Instagram

“In a crowded field, Torres has been able to build a strong and diverse coalition of support from labor groups, LGBTQ groups, and many of his own colleagues on the city council,” Rep. Tony Cárdenas, chair of BOLD PAC, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “He knows the issues that keep Bronx families up at night — not just from his time as a city council member — but from growing up in the Bronx and being raised by a single mother. He’s proven to be the stand-out Latino candidate in this field, and BOLD PAC is proud to put our full support behind his campaign to bring home a victory next November.”

Of this endorsement, Torres tweeted, “Honored to earn the endorsement @BOLDDems which has been at the forefront of strengthening Latinx representation in Congress. The backing of @BOLDDems is a game-changer in the #SouthBronx, which is home to one of the highest Latinx populations in the US.”

The ambitious politician is half Puerto Rican and half Black.

Credit: ritchietorresny15 / Instagram

“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 said in his campaign video. “I remember asking myself, why would the city spend $100 million on a golf course, rather than on the homes of struggling New Yorkers like my mother. I knew at that moment that I had to fight for people like me.” 

Here he explains further why he chose to become a lawmaker and serve his community in the Bronx.

Credit: ritchietorresny15 / Instagram

“As a product of public housing, public schools, and public hospitals, I had a dream of fighting for my community in the hopes of building a better Bronx,” he said on his website. “At 25, against all odds, I became the youngest elected official in New York City, and the first openly LGBT elected official from the Bronx. I have represented Bronx communities on the New York City Council, and now I’m running to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District – because the Bronx needs one of our own to fight for us in Washington.”

His motto is: “If you do nothing, nothing will change.” 

Credit: ritchietorresny15 / Instagram

Torres is inspiring significant change already. Several of his staff employees are young people of color. One of the young Latinos that work for Torres said in a video published by the New Yorker that most kids that are from the Bronx work hard to leave the area. He said he remains there to give back to the community, which is why he works for Torres. 

Fun fact: he was named Ritchie after you guessed it: Ritchie Valens.

According to a 2015 interview in Newsweek, Torres said his mother wanted to name him Ritchie after she watched “La Bamba.” Well, that does it. He’s got our vote.

READ: This Is How Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Plans To Tackle Poverty In The US

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

Things That Matter

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

partyshopavenue / ashantiheadwraps / Instagram

Black and Afro-Latino businesses are crucial to the growth of wealth within their communities. Latinas are the fastest-growing population of entrepreneurs. Here is a list of Black and Afro-Latino businesses you can support to help build them up.

Cafe Con Libros

Cafe Con Libros is a feminist bookstore and coffee shop serving the Brooklyn area with conversations about things that matter to the community. Though they are closed because of COVID-19, there are several ways you can continue to support the bookstore.

Azteca Negra

Azteca Negra is a textile, jewelry, and accessories line that is all about being culturally conscious. Marisol Catchings, the artist behind Azteca Negra, is a Black/Chicana artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Catchings also aims at recycling by reusing resources to create her products.

Kimpande Jewelry

Kimpande Jewelry is telling the history of African life and people in Puerto Rico. Eduardo Paz, the designer of the products, wanted to highlight the different African cultures brought to Puerto Rico during the slave trade. The brand is all about buying a piece of history with every piece of jewelry.

Marisel Herbal Bath & Body

Based in Puerto Rico, Marisel Herbal Bath & Body is giving people herbal and natural alternatives to the bath and body products on the market. The store, which has been dealing with the COVID-19 lockdowns, is slowly coming back to life and is offering to ship orders to customers.

Ankhari Crochet

There is something so fun about crochet. It might be that it makes us think about the vintage clothing that we have seen in our parents’ photos. It is fun, stylish, and the colors really giving us some life right now.

Ashanti Headwraps

If you are looking for some new and fun headwraps, this is the place to check out. The brand has stores in Puerto Rico and New York and the stores offer up some beautifully crafted headwraps that anyone can wear.

Pensar Africa

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Fatima – in traceable, ethically made Swag 😷😍💚 . . . Matching mask, Fanny pack and Headwrap available by custom order. DM for more information ℹ️ . . Prevention is better than cure 🦠 😷 . . Local Puerto Rican designer Sanel @disenador_sanelrivera and Pensar Africa have worked together to produced these beautiful masks to protect yourself and others from the spread of Corona Virus – best protection and prevention is to observe social distancing by staying at home but if you need to go out CDC recommends wearing a mask with two layers of tightly woven 100 percent cotton fabric. . . We have created these beautiful reversible, washable mask using high tread count pure Tanzanian 🇹🇿 cotton fabric with pellon interfacing in between for a filter. It also has a pocket to add additional filter if you choose to do so. . . Limited quantity and available in San Juan for drive through pickup only and shipped worldwide 🌍 🌎 . These masks have been disinfected, aired out, packed and ready to go. . . Fanny pack in collaboration with @jashbags . . #facetimephotoshoot with @jorlyfloress #Teamwork #togetherwecan #socialdistancing #coronavirus #protection #protectionisbetterthancure #cdcrecommendation #wearamask #stayathome #coronachronicles #protectivestyles #pensarafrica #sanelriveradiseñador #mask #facemask #santurce #sanjuan #sanjuanpuertorico #puertorico #africanprint #africanfabric #kitenge #ankaramask #africanprintmasks #afroboricua #afrolatina

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Pensar Africa is more than a place to buy things, it is a place to empower African creators. According to the website, Pensar Africa’s mission is to bring African goods to the Americas while providing the creators the opportunity to make money off of their products.

The Salvi Vegan

This food blogger is showing how you can take your favorite Salvadoran dishes and make them vegan. It is a nice reminder that not all support has to cost something. Some times you just have to show support to help those in the community attract opportunities that come with money.

Party Shop Avenue

This is one company we should keep in mind after this is all over. Who doesn’t want a nice balloon structure at their party? These are truly some beautiful pieces of art that you can use to celebrate just about anything.

READ: This Boricua Is Bringing An Indie Bookstore To Her Neighborhood Of 1.4 Million

Bad Bunny’s ‘Safaera’ Is No Longer On Spotify And Fans Are Pissed All The Way Off

Entertainment

Bad Bunny’s ‘Safaera’ Is No Longer On Spotify And Fans Are Pissed All The Way Off

Spotify / badbunnypr / Instagram

There are a few things bringing us joy at the moment. One of them would have to be our favorite songs, movies, tv shows, and other forms of entertainment. That’s what makes the recent Spotify scandal so devastating to Bad Bunny fans.

Bad Bunny’s “Safaera” is not on Spotify anymore and people have some real questions.

Look, Spotify. We just want to know what is going on. Bad Bunny’s music is something special and it isn’t right to play around with something that so many people hold sacred. Not to mention that we are all in a time when music and other forms of entertainment are all some of us have at the moment.

Bad Bunny claimed that he knows why it got removed but can’t tell why.

Fans on social media want to know why the song was removed. According to a tweet from Spotify, there are some times that music gets removed temporarily because of licensing issues. This could explain the sudden removal of Bad Bunny’s song.

Yet, the song’s sudden departure has left some fans with no choice but to cancel their Spotify Premium subscriptions.

Now, we don’t know if people really followed through with it or are posting these screenshots for clout. However, if social media is a measure of customer dissatisfaction, there are a lot of upset Spotify users right now.

It is really affecting people and their already disastrous 2020s.

We’ve been quarantined for months. Concerts and large gatherings in major cities have been canceled for the rest of the year. This Bad Bunny album has been a major moment and now one of the most popular songs from the album is gone from Spotify.

Some people are willing to reverse the release of Bad Bunny’s last album to bring back “Safaera.”

Bad Bunny recently released an album of unreleased songs to give his fans something new to listen to. Yet, it seems like some people are just not interested in the album if they have to go without “Safaera.”

It seems pretty clear that Bad Bunny fans want one thing, “Safaera” back on Spotify.

Hopefully “Safaera” will be coming back to Spotify before you know it. So, sit tight, take a deep breath, and just wait until the song comes back to the streaming platform.

READ: The Internet Is Showing Its Love For Bad Bunny For Helping Us Get Through 2020 With These Incredible Memes