Blacks, hispanics, gays: in New York at the Congress to shake up the status quo

Noirs, hispaniques, gays: de New York au Congrès pour bousculer le statu quo

New York | They are young, black, hispanic, gay, poised to be elected democrats of New York in Congress, where they want to promote a policy more to the left and changing habits, including within their party.

They walk in the footsteps of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, socialist self-proclaimed puerto rican descent, who had defeated a part of the democratic party in a primary in new york, before becoming the youngest elected in the history of the Congress, in 2018.

Mondaire Jones, 33 years old, and Ritchie Torres, 32 years old, won the inaugural democrat in their districts and are virtually assured of becoming, in November, the first two elected black openly gay in Congress.

“I am not in Congress to go down in History as the first elected black homosexual, but I am well aware of the power of representation”, explains Mondaire Jones to the AFP.

From a modest background, raised by his mother, Mondaire Jones has built the prestigious universities of Stanford and Harvard, before working for the Obama administration.

In Washington, the two thirty-somethings should be accompanied by part and parcel, and Bowman, a principal of college 44-year-old, also black, and heterosexual.

In a district that includes parts of the Bronx, this new policy has ruled out another democrat, Eliot Engel, 73-year-old, in Congress for 31 years.

The “new left”

For Mondaire Jones, these faces embody “new voices, more variety, and carry with them an urgency on the climate crisis, the health system, housing”.

They contrast as well, according to him, with the general tone of the Congress, which has not, so far, done enough “to ensure that everyone is able to live comfortably, with dignity, and establish racial equality”.

“Those who have failed in this direction need to go, to be replaced by people who are aware of the issues”, urges the one who was high, in part, by his grand-father, a janitor, and her grandmother’s maid.

In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was an exception on the political level, within a contingent democrat in Congress who is féminisait but remained rather moderate.

The new thrust of Bernie Sanders in the democratic primary for the presidential election and the movement that followed the death of George Floyd have strengthened the left wing of the democratic party.

This current reform has also been crystallized in response to the radical politics of Donald Trump, says David Barker, a professor of political science at the American university.

“It is a victory for the new left in the United States,” he said, “where is the movement that is socialist doesn’t even exist within the democratic party, there are still few. Today, it is a real strength”.

And support this movement now comes from all components of american society, as evidenced by the victory of Mondaire Jones in a district that has only 10 % of residents black.

The evolution that saw the democratic party in contrast with the immobility of the republican party, where the representation remains primarily white and male, in a country where the Whites should find themselves in the minority by 2045.

If Mondaire Jones and part and parcel, Bowman accept the appellation socialist, this is not the case of Ritchie Torres, who does not want to go in quarrels of chapel within the democratic party.

This councillor’s hispanic and black is not a reformer, in particular with the ambition to defend the rights of the community LGBTQ.

Elected to a district in the Bronx, a clear majority hispanic, Ritchie Torres is out of the primary ahead of Ruben Diaz Sr., political figure in new york opposed to marriage for all and who had stated publicly that the “homosexual community” controlled the city council.

Today, the elected LGBTQ represent only 0.17 percent of the us political class, while 4.5 % of Americans claim to be.

The voice of Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones “will make a huge difference to the Congress,” enthuses Elliot Imse, responsible for the communication of the LGBTQ Victory Institute. “There is still a long way to go.”

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