FOX21 News Colorado

El Paso County’s first queer representative to be sworn in next week

(COLORADO SPRINGS) – Colorado Springs’ newly elected state house representative Stephanie Vigil is set to be sworn in Jan 9.

Representative Vigil is definitely a change of pace for Colorado Springs. This election, she flipped the long-time Republican seat and is El Paso County’s first openly queer elected official.

“This is ultimately the hometown of my heart,” said Vigil.

Starting Jan. 9, Stephanie Vigil will be representing the “hometown of her heart” at the state level, for House District 16. Due to this year’s redistricting, District 16’s borders have moved more toward central Colorado Springs, including neighborhoods; Knob Hill, the Old North End, Patty Jewett, and Cragmor.

“I just would like everyone who’s in the district, who might not be happy about the outcome, to know that I’m here for you. And that I didn’t run to represent half the district. I ran to represent the whole district,” said Vigil.

District 16 has perpetually been a Republican post, but after gaining recognition in her run for the seat in 2020, and the boundaries of the district changing to include the city’s more diverse area, Vigil won with almost 50% of the vote.

“I certainly didn’t water down anything about myself in the campaign process. I think everybody knew that I was for renters’ rights, that I’m for public education, that I’m for getting our teachers paid, and that I support climate change action. And if some of that butts up against some conservative priorities, I am all ears to sit and talk with constituents,” said Vigil.

Vigil is a community organizer and describes herself as a “gig-working millennial.” She believes her election is the mark of a growing city.

“As the city grows, people expect a little bit more engaged leadership. They expect the government to act on their behalf, and after a while, this idea of the government staying super hands-off and not intervening when it’s needed doesn’t appeal to people anymore,” said Vigil.

The issue of housing is one of Vigil’s top priorities, as she has a renters’ rights bill in the works. She will be joining the state’s transportation housing and local government committee and hopes to use this platform to advocate for this district.