|Name||Patricia Torres Ray|
|Address||3800 St 40th Ave S |
Minneapolis, Minnesota , United States
|| March 25, 1964
|Contributor||The Oncoming Storm|
Jun 22, 2016 03:04am
Hispanic - Married - Catholic - Straight -
|Info||Patricia Torres Ray has over twenty years of experience in public service and has been a lifelong advocate for women, children, and communities of color. |
Patricia was born in Pasto, Colombia in a family of eight siblings with whom she maintains close ties. She met her husband Jack when he was a University of Minnesota student in Colombia on a work-study internship. They married in 1987 and she immigrated to Minnesota with him. Once in Minnesota, she learned English, became a U.S. citizen, and earned two degrees from the University of Minnesota - a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and a Masters in Public Affairs at the Humphrey Institute.
Prior to joining the Senate, Patricia worked for the state for nearly twenty years in the field of child welfare. She has worked with many nonprofit organizations that provide social services to children and families as a board member, interpreter, fundraiser, trainer, and parent advocate. Patricia is experienced in building partnerships between agencies, non-profit organizations, tribal reservations, and other organizations that serve children and families.
She is also very involved in her children’s education and volunteers at their schools in many different areas she tutored kindergartners, developed a bilingual book club for fifth graders, and was active in the PTA at Emerson Spanish Immersion School.
In 2007, Patricia became the first Latina to be elected to the Minnesota Senate when she was elected to represent her south Minneapolis (SD 62) district in the Minnesota Senate. She received the DFL endorsement among a field of eight candidates, and then defeated two other Democrats in a primary. In her first year in the Senate, she introduced a far-reaching proposal to address the achievement gap in education, which was supported by a broad group of superintendents and leadership in the education community. Although Governor Pawlenty vetoed the bill, she continues to work with the education community to get it passed.
Patricia serves on the Senate’s Health, Housing, and Family Security Committee as Vice Chair. She is also a member of the E-12 Education Budget and Policy Division and the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Budget Division. Her skill and ability to work in a bipartisan manner earned her the honor of being among the first freshmen to chair a budget subcommittee. As chair of the Parks and Trails Committee, she will help lay the foundation for how legacy dollars will be invested in parks and trails. Patricia also serves as a majority whip.
In 2008, Patricia was appointed Chair of Latinos for Obama and built an unprecedented effort galvanizing the Latino community, bringing Bill Richardson to Minnesota and raising over $100,000 dollars at a fundraiser for Barack Obama. In 2010, Patricia was appointed to the Democratic National Committee and was elected Chair for the Midwest Region by the Latino Caucus at the last DNC meeting in D.C.
Outside of politics, Patricia serves as adjunct faculty at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs and teaches a course in Leadership for the Common Good.
Patricia and her husband Jack live in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis and have two boys in Minneapolis Public Schools Tomás and Carlos, ages 15 and 13.