Header image
Conversations with leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors about working together to make NYC greater.

Ritchie Torres: Talking About the Future of NYC with Our Newest Congressman in DC


Vaccinations, ending persistent poverty, and the Cross Bronx Expressway: these are some things on the mind of new Congressman Ritchie Torres. He joined Congress in an unusual year, in the midst of Covid-19, and following the January 6th attacks on Washington. He’s advocating for his constituents in the Bronx on everything from housing to pollution to job growth to make sure New York City has the best future possible.

ABOUT OUR GUEST:

Representative Ritchie Torres is a fighter from the Bronx who has spent his entire life working for the community he calls home. Like many people in the South Bronx, poverty and struggle have never been abstractions to him, and he governs from a place of lived experience.

Ritchie’s mother single-handedly raised him, his twin brother, and his sister in a public-housing project. She paid the bills working minimum-wage jobs, which in the 1990s paid $4.25 an hour.  While Ritchie grew up with mold, lead, leaks, and no reliable heat or hot water in the winter, he watched the government spend over $100 million dollars to build a golf course across the street for Donald Trump. In 2013, at the age of twenty-five, Ritchie became New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly L.G.B.T.Q person elected to office in the Bronx.

At the City Council, Ritchie stood out, and during his seven-year tenure he tenaciously tackled problems big and small for the Bronx and New York City. He passed over forty pieces of legislation, including legislation protecting the City’s affordable housing stock and tackling the city’s opioid epidemic. As the Chairman overseeing NYCHA, he held the first committee hearing ever in public housing, which led to a $3 billion-dollar FEMA investment, the largest in NYC history. As Chair of the Oversight & Investigations Committee, Ritchie has led investigations into the heating outages and lead poisoning at NYCHA, the Taxi Medallion scandal, the City’s controversial Third-Party Transfer program, and Kushner Companies.

Ritchie currently lives in the South Bronx and represents NY-15 in the South Bronx. He is a member of the Committee on Financial Services and serves as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security.


LINKS RELATED TO THIS EPISODE:

ABOUT THE HOSTS

Cheryl-Cohen-Effron-Greater-Podcast-Host-288x300

Cheryl Cohen Effron

Cheryl Cohen Effron spent most of her career as a New York-based real estate developer. Ms. Effron left full-time real estate work to dedicate her time to tri-sector (government, non-profit and corporate) solutions for urban issues. Ms. Effron is currently board chair of Greater NY, a non-profit she co-founded during the financial crisis in 2009 which pairs civic leaders in the business world with the heads of non-profit organizations in two-year one-on-one strategic partnerships.

Jamie-Rubin-Greater-Podcast-Host-288x300

Jamie Rubin

Jamie Rubin is a veteran of federal and state government and a longtime investment professional. He served in the Clinton Administration, then spent 15 years on Wall Street as an investment banker and partner with two global private equity firms. Jamie rejoined the public sector in 2012. Jamie is now CEO of Meridiam NA, a developer of large infrastructure projects in the US and Canada. Jamie is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. He and his wife, author and podcaster Gretchen Rubin, live in New York City with their daughters and a dog.