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Colorado Springs city councilwoman recognized as a trailblazer

October 27, 2017 Updated: October 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm
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Yolanda Avila and her seeing eye dog, "Puma" Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

Yolanda Avila is being recognized as a trailblazer who overcame a disability in winning a Colorado Springs City Council seat last April.

Avila, who is legally blind, will receive the National Political Trailblazer Award in California next month in recognition of her activism, Allison Abney, spokeswoman for Emerge America, said in a release. Avila is a 2016 graduate of Emerge College, which provides training and networking opportunities to help Democratic women run for office.

Heavily outspent and running against an incumbent, Avila was credited with an upset victory in the council race. She campaigned strongly for infrastructure improvements and additions to the city's transportation programs.

"We hope that her groundbreaking work and uplifting story will inspire more women to run for office," said Andrea Dew Steele, president of Emerge America.

Responding to her award, Avila said, "Believe in your worth - even when underestimated - because that is where the space for success is created."

Avila will accept her award on Nov. 17 in Silicon Valley during the organization's annual Ambition to Action Luncheon.

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