David Alonzo was recently appointed by Mayor López as the Director of Sexual Diversity in Bogota following a long advocacy career fighting for equality. Back in 2014, he attended our training in Colombia, where he increased his knowledge about political participation and campaigns. Victory Institute spoke with David Alonzo about his new role and his view for the future.
Q. What are your personal goals as the new Director of Sexual Diversity?
A. As the Director of the Sexual Diversity department, it is my responsibility to coordinate the implementation of public policies in Bogota. We are living unprecedented times; so many things are happening right now. This is the first time that a woman has been elected Mayor of Bogota, and this is the first time that we have a lesbian woman as Mayor. This is the perfect time to make significant changes. We will work so the LGBTQ people of the city can feel free from the inside out. We plan to do this by focusing on important issues like mental health, domestic violence, the use of public spaces and socio-economic development. It’s been 12 years since the LGBTI public policies were first enacted, and we will build on top of them.
Q. How does it feel to work for an openly LGBTQ mayor? What things have changed in the city and within the Mayor’s Office as Claudia López is an openly LGBTQ person?
A. As a citizen, Claudia’s election is a sign of the inclusion of LGBTQ people. We care about defending public spaces but also defending peace and anti-corruption. The citizens became mayors the day that Claudia Lopez was elected. In the past, this city was ruled by the elite, but now we have a hard-working and down-to-earth mayor. Her election has brought the agenda of the 21st century to Bogota, and her work has had an impact on the entire country, especially for women in politics. At this time, any human rights defender can look to support from the Mayor’s Office. Rather than extending priority to the LGBTI population, we have a program to defend citizen dignity and human rights.
Q. How will your career as an activist help you in your new position?
A. I have worked at the national level in other organizations in the private sector, and I have always been an activist in these positions. I was also a member of the Citizen’s Council for the LGBTI public policy in Bogotá, so members of the Council see me as an activist. They know I have been on both sides.
Q. How was the Candidate and Campaign Training organized by Victory Institute in 2014 useful to you?
A. Several of the people I met in that training are now on the team. I also met other people who ran for office. The Candidate and Campaign Training helped me polish my activism, making me more pragmatic and directing me to the public sphere.
We thank Mr. Alonzo for taking the time to speak with the Victory Institute. We are excited to see what the future holds for him and for LGBTQ people in Bogota, as we are confident that he will do excellent work in the Department of Sexual Diversity.
Victory Institute’s international work provides outstanding LGBTQ leaders the training and support necessary for successful campaigns. Through Victory Institute’s trainings, activists like David Alonzo can increase representation and fight for LGBTQ rights across the globe.