Amy Torres
Director of Policy & Advocacy, Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)
Amy Torres, is a proud immigrants' rights advocate and resident of Jersey City. Torres works across grassroots and grasstops movements in New Jersey and New York to center social change work within communities most marginalized by existing systems of power. Torres is the Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). CPC is the nation's largest social services provider for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). In their role, Torres drives city, state, and federal policy agendas on behalf of the organization's 60,000 low-income, immigrant, and AAPI members. In addition to immigration policy, Torres amplifies CPC voices in progressive policy fights that otherwise may only include immigrant communities as an afterthought. Their coalition building has been instrumental in securing key policy wins including congestion pricing, early voting, and a historic state and city investment in the 2020 Census. Torres has previously served as Board President of OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates’ New York City chapter. Under Torres’s leadership, the chapter piloted its first restorative justice art project at the height of COVID-19’s incidences of anti-Asian bias and discrimination. That initiative, which tackled topics including police brutality and intersectional anti-racism, served as a diversion program so that juveniles who had been charged with hate crimes would see charges dropped after successful completion of the program. Closer to home, Torres is a member of the Hudson County Progressive Alliance, where they fight for a more direct democracy by reforming the county political endorsement process and advocating for progressive local policies. They are also an organizer with Solidarity Jersey City, a people's unity, mutual aid, and resistance network. Torres’s fight for transformational social change is personal. Much of their power analysis is informed by family stories. Whether through their family's memory of political retaliation under the Marcos regime in the Philippines, accounts of racism and discrimination when their father first moved to the US, or proud battle stories passed on through their union grandfather -- Torres’s beliefs are rooted in building dual power within and outside existing institutions to bring democracy more directly to the people.