Brittany Ramos-Debarros is a proud Afro-Latina Staten Islander, a community organizer, and an Army combat veteran running to fight for NY-11 in Congress.
She moved to Staten Island with her husband when she returned from war and immediately fell in love with this beautiful, quirky, and diverse island. It is the only home that we have known in our adult lives. She is running for Congress because at every turn of her life, she’s seen broken promises from leaders and systems that fail my communities.
Growing up in a patriotic military family, her parents instilled in her a deep commitment to service and justice. She really believed in the values she was taught this country is supposed to be about: liberty and opportunity for all. However, being biracial, she could see that the America her white family lived in was different from what my Black and Puerto Rican family experienced.
Brittany believed in the great American “bootstraps” story — work hard enough, and you can achieve anything. But her parents worked very hard, and they still struggled. They almost lost our home several times and church friends brought them groceries to help the family get by. She knew then something was wrong with a system where people working multiple jobs can’t make ends meet. When the financial crisis hit, people Brittany knew lost everything but not a single Wall Street banker who gambled with their livelihoods faced justice.
Brittany got an Army scholarship when she was 18 that allowed her to attend the University of Miami. By the time she graduated and became an Army officer in 2011, she was already a platoon leader, responsible for 40 lives, and I had orders to deploy to war in Afghanistan.
As a part of the community Brittany has seen the way NY-11 is stigmatized, forgotten, and told to be grateful for the crumbs we’re handed by a revolving door of leaders, loyal only to the rich. Now she is running for Congress.