Nov. 28—Though most University of Colorado Boulder juniors spend their Tuesday nights in the library or at T/Aco happy hour, Enihs Medrano will spend every other Tuesday for the next two years in City Council meetings for the city of Lafayette.
Medrano is the youngest councilmember ever to serve Lafayette, which is an impressive feat on its own. In addition, Medrano is also a first-generation Mexican-American, and therefore represents a demographic that isn't always seen in areas of local government.
Enihs was born in Lafayette to Mexican parents. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. before she was born, and decided to remain in Lafayette after moving because they liked the school system. Enihs went to Centaurus High School, where her younger brother is currently attending, and graduated in 2019.
During high school, Enihs was chosen to join the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee, a group selected by the City Council to help inform local government on youth‐related issues. Enihs credits the club with giving her a sense of power and a platform to use her voice at such a young age.
"I think there is a need for younger leadership in local government. We need to acknowledge the percentage of young people that live in every community," said Medrano during an interview. Otherwise, "Who is the voice for them?"
At age 20, Enihs will unseat the Lafayette current youngest member JD Mangat from the title.
It was Mangat who strongly encouraged Medrano to run for City Council in the first place. The two originally met when Medrano was a part of the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee in eighth grade. Mangat was in college, as a mentor volunteer with the same group.
"Over a year ago, I got together with some community leaders and we were trying to think of some younger people of color who would be interested in running for city government. Enihs was one of the first names at the top of our list."
It took a while for Medrano to warm up to the idea of running. "I was like, 'There's no way I am doing that.' However, as I thought about it, I really felt like it was a good opportunity to represent my community, and I felt like having JD show me the way would be huge."
Medrano is most excited to work on affordable housing during her term. "As a resident of the mobile home parks, I want to make sure we are doing everything to preserving these homes." She's also looking forward to tackling environmental sustainability and working with a multiethnic group of councilmembers.
In the time that she won't be serving the city of Lafayette, Medrano is studying sociology full time at CU. When asked what she wants to do once she graduates and completes her term as councilmember, Medrano said, "I dream about staying in Lafayette and eventually I would love to become a police officer in Lafayette."
Medrano will be sworn in Dec. 9, and will serve alongside current councilmembers Mangat, Brian Wong, Tim Barnes, Nicole Samson and Tonya Briggs, marking the most diverse City Council Lafayette has known to date.
When asked if she was happy with her decision to run, Medrano said, "I'm thankful I did. Ultimately, all I care about is inspiring young people and young people of color to do the same thing."