Omar Torres

Omar Torres

Omar Torres lives in the Washington community in the greater downtown San Jose area. He works as executive director of the Santa Maria Urban Ministry.

Posts by Omar Torres

Taking Back Saint James Park

A new pilot project by the city of San Jose and Santa Clara County hopes to revitalize the historic Saint James Park in downtown San Jose.

It is time downtown San Jose residents took back Saint James Park. Unlike the glory days of almost a century ago, when presidents and unions held massive rallies in the square, neighbors and downtown workers now describe the park as an unfortunate eyesore.

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The Time Is Now to End Discrimination Against Our LGBTQ Community

The Time Is Now to End Discrimination Against Our LGBTQ Community

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, marriage equality advocates have mobilized on social media by sharing a red equality logo. In this column, local community organizer Omar Torres talks about the rights of our LGBTQ community and his own struggle to come out as a gay man to his family.

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CommUniverCity Helps Downtown Thrive

Members of San Jose State University’s CommUniverCity program are honored at City Hall last year.

For decades, institutions of higher learning have been at the forefront of social change. San Jose State University’s CommUniverCity San Jose program is an excellent partnership between residents, the campus community and government partners like the city of San Jose and Santa Clara County.

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Shirakawa Scandal Dishonors Community, Future Minority Candidates

George Shirakawa’s illegal actions have left District 2 without a representative as the county works to set up a special election on June 4.

As an active resident in Santa Clara County’s District 2, I, like so many others, am ashamed of George Shirakawa. The former supervisor blatantly violated the trust of the most vulnerable residents of our district. His deplorable actions have led this district, which suffers from high rates of poverty, gangs, drug issues, under-education and lack of healthcare, to have absolutely no representation until August.

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Let’s Focus on Community over Politics

Community organizers at Santa Maria Urban Ministry look to help families and children in the Guadalupe-Washington neighborhood.

Omar Torres, executive director of the local nonprofit Santa Maria Urban Ministry (SMUM), joins San Jose Inside as a new columnist. In addition to writing about his work as a community organizer, Torres, who is an elected member of the Democratic Central Committee, will break down how politics work behind the scenes in San Jose and Santa Clara County.

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