“I was born in Colombia. I come from a family of eight siblings and a large extended family that maintains close ties. I lived with my family in Pasto until I met my husband, Jack, a student from the University of Minnesota, who had traveled to Colombia in a study abroad internship. We were married in 1987 and moved to Minnesota where I learned English, worked various jobs, and completed my education”
Patricia Torres Ray is the first Latina woman elected to the Minnesota Senate. She is serving her fourth term, representing District 63, which includes South-east Minneapolis and portions of Richfield.
Patricia has two boys, Tomas 24 and Patrick 22. She received her undergraduate degree in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Patricia as over 30 years of experience in public policy and has served the state of Minnesota as an Ombudsperson for Families, DHS Program Administrator, University of Minnesota instructor, and as a State Senator.
She has served on numerous local and national boards, including the Children’s Defense Fund; Minneapolis’ Youth Coordinating Board; University of Minnesota’s Children, Youth and Family Consortium; Early Childhood Council; Minnesota Chicano Latino Affairs Council, English Language Learner’s Minneapolis Public Schools Task force; and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission.
Currently, Patricia Torres Ray serves in E-12 Finance, Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance, and she is the Lead Democrat for Local Government. She has served as Chair of Parks and Trails in the Environment Division, Chair of State and Local Government Policy Committee, Chair of the Education Policy Committee and Chair of the New Americans Task Force.
She is the current Chair of the National Hispanic Women Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) and the Midwest Director for WiLL/Wand-Women’s Actions for New Directions.
She was a Lieutenant Governor candidate for the John Marty for Governor Campaign, she was the Chair of Latinos for Obama for the State of Minnesota in 2008, and a Congressional candidate for the Fifth Congressional District.