DENVER — Denver City Council looks more like the city than ever.
Census data reports 30% of Denver’s total population identifying as Latino. Of all the newly elected city council members, 38% of them are Latino.
“It’s not a surprise or mistake,” said Michal Rosenoer. She is the executive director of Emerge Colorado, a progressive organization that trains and supports women to run for office.
“It’ll be the first time we’ve ever had five Latinas serving for the Denver City Council,” she said.
Emerge is just one of several organizations in the state creating a pipeline of minorities into elected office.
Latino Leadership Institute trains minorities on all levels, and New American Leaders has trained 49 people in Colorado.
Four New American Leaders participants were elected to the city council in this election, and several more are preparing to run in 2019 and 2020.
“Clearly we are seeing the fruits of the labor of those leadership organizations,” said James Mejia, a Democratic political expert at 9NEWS.
The five Latinx elected officials are:
- Candi CdeBaca, District 9
- Jamie Torres, District 3
- Deborah Ortega, city council at large
- Amanda Sandoval, District 1
- Stacie Gilmore, District 11
“With five of 13 council members with a Latino background, the Latino voice is going to be heard,” said Mejia. “You’re going to hear about the issues important to the Latino community at the same kind of representation for the first time in history with the Latino population. It was a historic election.”
We’ve heard the phrase, “the future is Latino.” Rosenoer says that future is now.
“We’re living the future right now it’s exceptional to see so many young Latina women stepping up to the plate.”
Emerge is behind several big Democratic wins in Colorado recently. Jena Griswold won secretary of state, Brianna Titone is the first transgender legislator in Colorado, and now Candi CdeBaca is the first LGBTQ woman of color in Denver’s city council.
Altogether, 50 women across the state in the office right now coming out of Emerge.