Jul 17, 2023 - Politics

Denver City Council will have historically diverse makeup

Shontel Lewis and Darrell Watson celebrate shortly before being sworn-in as Denver City Council members on July 17 in Denver. Photo: Esteban L. Hernandez/Axios

Denver has welcomed one of its most ethnically diverse councils in city history.

Why it matters: The new and incumbent members show people from historically marginalized communities are gaining — and keeping — political power and representing those groups on the dais.

Driving the news: Six Latina lawmakers — three incumbents and three new members — were sworn into office on Monday, breaking the previous record of five set after the 2019 election.

Details: Flor Alvidrez, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Diana Romero Campbell join Stacie Gilmore, Amanda Sandoval and Jamie Torres on the 13-person council.

  • The women represent neighborhoods like Athmar Park, Barnum, Sunnyside and Westwood, which are all home to large Latino populations.

Of note: Shontel Lewis and Darrell Watson are the first two openly LGBTQ Black members in the council's history.

  • Watson defeated incumbent Candi CdeBaca to represent north-central Denver, while Lewis replaced term-limited Chris Herndon to represent the northeast region of the city.

The intrigue: The new council will have nine women — a supermajority Torres on Monday joked is enough to overturn a mayoral veto.


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