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Luz Colón.
Luz Colón announces her candidacy for Philly City Council at-Large in Giraldo Real Estate Group. Photo: Carlos Nogueras/AL DÍA News

Luz Colón announces at-Large City Council bid at a Colombian-owned real estate office

Colón, the former leader of GACLA under Tom Wolf’s administration, returns to Philly for a shot at City Council.

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Luz Colón, a former Harrisburg staffer who served as Commissioner of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs, returned to Philly on Thursday, Jan. 26, to officially announce her bid for an at-Large seat on City Council. 

Accompanied by Ángel Ortiz — the first Latino City Councilmember in Philadelphia history — Colón announced her campaign at Giraldo Real Estate Group, a Colombian-owned business, in their Fishtown offices. 

“I said, ‘what better place to make one announcement in a place where [there are] businesses (...) to be connected with the people and say, ‘Wow, okay, this is great, we're connected,’” Colón said. 

She was introduced by William Greenlee, the former at-Large Councilmember, whose tenure in local government spanned 14 years — for whom Colón worked — and said, “Philadelphia is in a better place” with Colón on the ballot.

After Greenlee concluded his remarks, Carlos Giraldo, Broker of Record for Giraldo Real Estate Group of the Giraldo Real Estate Group, introduced Colón and cited her extensive record across state and local government, from serving as an aide to Ortiz, to working as a committee person in the 20th ward, and most recently, in Governor Tom Wolf’s administration. 

Experience, and then some

Colón, who enters the race in an increasingly crowded candidate field, will need to hit the ground running and vie for key endorsements that will carry her on the ballot, in addition to touting her resume and campaign proposals. 

She’ll face off against two incumbent candidates who are likely to be reelected, in addition to emerging nominees that have already secured high-profile endorsements. 

“I know that I could be able to do this with the experience,” Colón said. 

But Colón was limited in what she shared and instead trusted Giraldo to deliver that message on her behalf. 

She’s a member of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, an organization with eight chapters scattered across the U.S., Giraldo said, and he also talked about her role within the National Puerto Rican Agenda. 

Both organizations have a shared mission to promote Puerto Rican participation in U.S. politics, though on different fronts, and operate separately from each other. 

Colón is also a committee person in the 20th Ward, where, for the last 15 years, she worked to “get people out to vote.” 

“We all [understand] how important it is to vote. That's how we made our voices be heard,” Giraldo said.

Giraldo also noted Colón’s work as Commissioner and said that “through that relationship with the community, she found a path to create a bigger impact in our community. How? Well, connecting with government, being in the political arena, and having an opportunity to represent each one of us.” 

The race

But despite the optics of her announcement, Colón told AL DÍA of a broader plan ahead of the campaign. 

“I believe that it's important to tackle every community in the city of Philadelphia. And the reason for that is because every community in the city of Philadelphia matters,” Colón said. 

“It's not just one area or not every specific group. Obviously, there are groups that particularly support candidates, which is wonderful is great. I think it’s something that the city of Philadelphia should do more of,” she continued.

Still, she’ll need to gather 1000 signatures as part of her petition, and aiming for an established base could serve as an effective strategy for her campaign. Speaking about her candidacy, Ortiz — who told AL DÍA he endorsed Colón — told the audience that 5,000 should be the goal. 

“You need [5000 signatures so that no one challenges you. She cannot do that by herself. There has to be a community effort,” Ortiz told the crowd. 

Should Colón fulfill the baseline requirements for a successful petition, she’ll be the only Puerto Rican woman on the ballot for an at-large bid, separatel from Councilmember Quetcy Lozada, who is running for reelection in the 7th District. 

Asked whether she had received any outreach from Lozada’s campaign, Colón said, “not as of yet.” 

“Conversations don't need to take place [at] this time. It’s so busy. Everybody's kind of, you know, doing their own thing,” Colón added and spoke of their shared values. “At the end of the day, I know that there is respect and endearment that we have for each other and those that have been serving for quite some time.” 

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