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Personnel changes at Denver’s City Council
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By Joseph Rios

Last month Denver’s District 3 Councilman Paul Lopez announced he will run for Denver County Clerk and Recorder after spending 11 years serving on Denver City Council.

Denver’s current Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson said last year she won’t’ be seeking reelection. Lopez is the most senior member of the Denver City Council, and he is term limited.

“It has truly been an honor to represent the amazing people of Denver’s Westside, and I will continue to represent and fight for all of Denver’s residents with the same passion to ensure accessibility, transparency, and fairness in the office of the City Clerk and Recorder,” Lopez said. “Now more than ever, our participation is critical to the future of our city and of our very democracy. We refuse to be bullied or intimidated by those at the State and Federal levels who seek to take rights away, and we will defend our city block-by-block, ballot-by-ballot.”

Looking to take Lopez’s seat will be Veronica Barela, a former president and CEO of NEWSED, a nonprofit community development organization. Barela said her previous work sets her up to be able to have an impact on the community, if elected to city council. She would represent Westwood, Sun Valley, Villa Park, Mar Lee, Barnum West, Barnum, Lincoln Park and Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

“I’m running, because I have a lot of experience in rebuilding communities and taking a holistic approach (toward rebuilding communities) so that all areas of importance are covered in communities,” Barela said in a statement to La Voz. “That means housing, businesses, development, general community organizing, public safety issues and working with community organizations. I bring all of those experiences.”

One of the things that will challenge Barela if she does become a member of Denver City Council is dealing with the rapidly changing Westwood neighborhood. The area still has a heavy presence of Latinos, but gentrification has been an issue that it has faced for a while.

Christine Alonzo is also planning to make a run for a seat on Denver City Council District 11. She moved to Colorado after graduating from high school, and she served as the Executive Director for the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO).

The organization works toward empowering the Latino community through various ways including leadership development, advocacy and research with a mission in addressing disparities, according to the organization’s website. Those disparities involve education, social justice, health and job readiness.

Christine Alonzo offers, “I have lived in the far Northeast Corridor for 30 years. This is my community and for too long we have been overlooked and underrepresented. It is time that it’s about us! Not big business, not corporations, and not developers.”





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