To kick off Latinx Heritage Month, CBS Colorado is highlighting the six Latina women on Denver City Council.
These women are making history as they help make up the most diverse city council in Denver's history.
On Friday, the Latinas First Foundation awarded them with the "Latinas Leading Denver award."
The Latina city leaders: Jamie Torres represents District 3, Amanda Sandoval represents District 1, Stacie Gilmore represents District 11, Diana Romero Campbell represents District 4, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez is a council member at-large, and Flor Alvidrez represents District 7.
"You have to have other people who see that leadership in you and believe in you to do that," Councilwoman Sandoval expressed.
The six Latinas are making history by representing their communities, despite facing adversity.
"We need to demand a level of respect that anyone else in our position would," Councilwoman Alvidrez told CBS Colorado.
CBS Colorado Anchor Michelle Griego led the conversation on Friday morning. The councilwomen touched on a variety of topics. Their dedication to public service leads them to address issues in their communities that include immigration, education, infrastructure, system issues and housing.
When it comes to the topic of immigration, Councilwoman Torres feels passionate about supporting those who seek refuge.
"With the 2017 presidential election, and how in the bullseye immigrant refugee communities were, the experience of fortifying Denver and walking the talk of being a welcoming city, that demonstrated for me how important it was for people like me who know my community, who care so deeply and who have that same length of community value and prioritize," Torres said. "More of us are needed in local government."
Infrastructure is important to Councilwoman Alvidrez.
"When I look at my district, I am thinking about our infrastructure, how the inequities are caused by the way our roads and sidewalks are and also our small businesses," Alvidrez said.
Staying united during the pandemic was important to Councilwoman Gilmore.
"Being on council with other Latinas got us through the pandemic, and ... we kept our democracy strong during a very turbulent time," Gilmore said.
These women have been empowered by their community to do important work. But it's a job some didn't expect
"Growing up in Denver, third generation , I always knew I wanted to serve my community in some way, but I never thought I would in this public way," Councilwoman Gutiérrez said.
Councilwoman Romero Campbell echoed that sentiment.
"It wasn't something that I thought I would do," Romero Campbell said.
They all had to overcome adversity by breaking barriers and becoming the first in their district, opening doors for others.
"I didn't see myself being a city councilwoman, not only because we haven't had a person of color in southeast Denver, we haven't had a Latino. It's never been done in southeast Denver," Romero Campbell explained.
They had to let go of self-doubt to be able to stand tall in their communities.
"I think, a lot of times, what I have found as women and women of color, they have imposter syndrome, and you don't always know how to step into the limelight," Councilwoman Sandoval said.
But, moving forward, the conversation is different.
These city leaders are determined to continue to fight oppression and racism in the world of politics in order to keep representing their communities.
"We also deserve to have respect because we are here on our own merits as well," Councilwoman Gonzales-Gutiérrez said.
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