Yolanda Avila

Colorado Springs City Council

Emerge Colorado, 2016

Yolanda Avila has been elected to the Colorado Springs City Council in April 2017. She is a proud Colorado Springs native and not only grew up in Colorado Springs, but has raised her two children in the city as well. Yolanda’s family still lives in the home her family purchased in 1967. Yolanda attended every level of education in Colorado Springs, from kindergarten to college. She graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, where she was the director for a Ballet Folklórico dance troupe, and interviewed migrant farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley.

Emerge America sets up a student to win—their training is all encompassing and it also provides you with a network of other women who can lift and support you—each class I took was essential to my win.

Yolanda Avila has been elected to the Colorado Springs City Council in April 2017. She is a proud Colorado Springs native and not only grew up in Colorado Springs, but has raised her two children in the city as well. Yolanda’s family still lives in the home her family purchased in 1967. Yolanda attended every level of education in Colorado Springs, from kindergarten to college. She graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economics, where she was the director for a Ballet Folklórico dance troupe, and interviewed migrant farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley.

Yolanda has worked at the Latin American Research and Service Agency, the MiCasa Women’s Resource Center and Colorado Women’s Employment and Education. In 1990, she landed her dream job as an investigator to the Orange County Public Defender’s office in California, and retired in 2011.

In 1998, Yolanda was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that has a prognosis of blindness. She slowly lost her sight, and stopped driving in 2000. Through her experience, Yolanda has realized that she is much more than her five senses and that she could have a positive impact on her family and larger community.  

After retiring, Yolanda moved back to Colorado Springs to be near her mother, and couldn’t believe how much the city had changed. She was especially struck by the lack of public transportation options, and became involved with transit organizing, attending city council meetings with her service dog, Puma, by her side. Her work advocating for better public transportation led her to run for city council.

On April 4, 2017, Yolanda beat an opponent who had outraised and outspent her with more than twice as many donations, to get a seat on the generally conservative Colorado Springs city council.