Councilmember Jamie Torres, who represents west Denver, will be the new Denver City Council president.
On Monday, Torres’ colleagues unanimously elected the District 3 representative as president, succeeding Councilmember Stacie Gilmore, who was first elected in 2020. Councilmember Amanda Sandoval, who represents north Denver, was also unanimously elected to be the next president pro tem, replacing Torres.
“I never thought I would have a political career. I just like doing the work for my district,” Torres said. “It’s still that and now helping this group to make sure we’re delivering as a body. Watching President Gilmore do this in the pandemic and under really tough times, I think, was a real learning opportunity. So I’m excited about it.”
Torres’ district covers Westwood, Sun Valley, Barnum and Villa Park, where she grew up and currently lives.
Torres was elected in 2019 and has since advocated for ADU rezoning in her district to help promote generational wealth and stop displacement. She’s also advocated for mobile home park preservation, for similar reasons, and equity clinics during the height of the pandemic.
“My district recognizes hard work and authenticity, and that’s what I try to give them,” Torres said.
The council president determines committee members and leaders, and also presides over meetings, controlling the flow and time limits. The pro tem covers for the president when they aren’t available. Presidents typically serve for two years.
Municipal elections take place in April, and if Torres is reelected, she’ll be president with some new public officials, including a new mayor and new council members for at least the at-large positions, as well as districts 4, 7 and 8.
Torres said she’s looking forward to leading and unifying the council. She said there will be some committee leadership changes. She also wants to increase access to council and committee meetings through City Council’s new communications representative, Robert Austin.
“There’s going to be a lot that’s happening [with leadership changes] and hopefully finding some stability and navigation is going to be really helpful for those of us on Council,” Torres said. “I want to make sure that we are stretching as much as possible our communications to non-English speakers. I think it was a real win to be able to get our Monday night meetings translated every week but I also want to make sure that folks know that they can access that and that it’s available to them. I’m already starting some conversations with our new communications person…on how we can make sure that more folks are aware of how they can engage with city council as a body or individually as council members.”