Born and raised in Denver’s Westside, Denver City Councilman Paul D. Lopez began his community life going door-to-door at the age of 13. While putting himself though college at the University of Colorado, he fought to improve recruitment, retention and graduation of low-income students. As a community organizer, he went to work in Denver’s poorest neighborhoods organizing local residents to protect affordable housing and access to health care.
As a labor organizer, López took on employers who violated worker’s rights by bringing thousands of Denver-area janitors to the bargaining table; and in 2006 he convened leaders to organize the largest political march in Colorado’s recent history bringing over 100,000 people to the state capitol in support of humane national immigration reform.
Elected in 2007 to represent West Denver’s Council District 3, at 28-years old, Councilman López became the youngest Denver City Councilmember to take the oath of office and was re-elected for his second term in May 2011 unopposed.
Since then, Councilman López has served in various leadership roles as Chair of the Health, Safety, Education & Services Committee, Chair of the Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver, and Chair of the 2010 City Council Redistricting process. He has also served as Co-Chair of the 2010 Census Denver Complete Count Committee and board secretary of the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District.
Lopez is regarded as Denver’s home-grown champion for working families and is well-known for his fiery public speaking and heart filled work in Denver’s Westside where his bull-horn wielding leadership style has inspired new civic participation and ushered in long overdue community revitalization.
Nationally, Councilman Lopez’s bold vision and work has been recognized as a model for improving the public health and lives of poorer communities across the nation has presented in front of congressional settings.
Councilman López also serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, where he continues to amplify the voice of Latinos on a national stage and has served as a National surrogate to President Barack Obama during both 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
He has been recognized with the César Chavez Leadership Award, the Spirit of Tlatelolco Public Service Award, the Rosa Parks Diversity Community Award from the University of Colorado at Denver; the NEWSED Civil Rights Award, the Colorado Recycling Association’s Outstanding Elected Official; the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce’s Political Award; and as Public Official of the Year by the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, Councilman López was named by 5280 Denver Magazine as one of “Colorado's most politically influential Latinos”.
Aside from his addiction to hot sauce and old school salsa and mariachi tunes, Paul enjoys raising his 5-year-old daughter, Nayeli, who has already mastered her daddy’s rebelliousness.