MEET Mónica


Mónica is a civil rights lawyer, an advocate, and a government executive who has devoted her career to public service in the District and is now a candidate for Washington DC City Council At-large 2020.

She has lived in DC for thirty years and believes in a vision for our city that supports economic progress and at the same time honors our values as a city: Respect, Inclusion, Equity, and Accountability to all our residents.

As Director of the Office of Human Rights, the District’s civil rights enforcement agency, Mónica led a team that investigated thousands of civil rights investigations. She also built partnerships with housing advocates, local businesses, law enforcement, and hundreds of District programs in order to get services to residents.

Monica was born in Bogota, Colombia, and raised in New York City's Lower East Side by a single mother in rent-controlled housing. Though she had big dreams of going to law school, there were many battles Monica fought against poverty and prejudice. In 1990, the first step of her dreams came true when she moved to DC to attend Georgetown University law school and has remained in the city ever since. Monica is a proud Latina and mother of an 11-year-old son who attends a DC Public Charter School. 

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Sonia Gutierrez

Education Leader

Monica Palacio no solamente es una mujer académicamente preparada pero también es una profesional de primera categoría con un compromiso con la comunidad inigualable. Y yo como Latina estaría muy orgullosa de que una mujer Latina con su capacidad, integridad y experiencia nos representara en el Consejo de la ciudad.


Maria Gómez

Healthcare Leader

It is time to turn the  words inclusivity, diversity, and representation  into our reality by electing the First Latina to our city council. As a four decade servant to this community, I know Palacios experience, authenticity, and passion are essential to our city’s progress.


Lawrence Bell

Race & Identity Activist

Mónica knows how to build solidarity across DC. We worked together for 20 years uniting Black and Brown DC folks.


She is a fighter and doesn't give up. Mónica will get the job done and her track record speaks for itself.

As a native Washingtonian she has my vote!


Lori Kaplan

Youth & Community Leader

I am very proud to support Monica Palacio. Today,  more than ever it's time to have a Latina on the DC City Council. Yet, her history of service proves she will be a candidate for all! 


Her prior non profit and government experience offers an understanding that is critical in her leadership role on the council.


Pedro Biaggi

News & Media Leader

Monica Palacio me representa a mi. Con su educación, con sus principios, y su experiencia yo confío en ella totalmente.


Yo necesito una persona que hoy me representa en la comunidad, y esa persona para mi, en mi corazón, es Monica Palacio.


Diane Groomes

Public Safety Leader

Having worked in DC Government for almost thirty years and in the public safety realm, I can say Monica possesses the transformational leadership style to inspire and support the residents of Washington DC. She leads by a strong moral compass, compassion, and respect for all. 


Larry Villegas

Community Leader

Monica as a woman, lawyer, DC resident, and human rights advocate is the best candidate to be on the DC City Council to represent us and to ensure that our voices are heard and that we have access to life saving services.


Her trajectory at the DC Office of Human Rights makes me feel safe and secure that she's the person for the job. You should vote for her too!


Priscilla Mendizabal

Language Access Advocate

Monica has first hand experience in local government as she led the Office of Human Rights for 6 years. Monica is a grass root leader that has already worked in DC to advocate for youth, social justice, racial equity and LGBTQ rights.


She is a thoughtful and compassionate person who listens too, engages with, and advocates for all people. Monica is a leader that is not afraid to ask the tough questions. She will put in hard work to ensure all of DC’s residents are represented.


Hector Torres

Business Leader

I support Monica Palacio because I believe she is uniquely qualified due to her experience in tackling human rights issues and legislation. Our Council/City needs to truly live to its proposed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) standards.

Our LatinX 71,000 plus Residents need to have a place in our governance and have been historically and still currently NOT represented. If Equity is our goal as a City...Monica Palacio is  Our candidate for ALL DC.


Adrian Valdivia

Community Leader 

With Monica you're not only getting someone that knows how to fight within the system, but also a hardcore progressive and activist. I am extremely proud of her and super excited to endorse her, support her, and vote for her. Monica is not only a community organizer and lawyer, she has been a mentor to me. I am proud of her for running for the DC Council because Monica represents the interests of the Latino community and will advocate for us here in DC. I'd be so happy to see her as my Councilmember. As Director of the DC Office of Human Rights she did amazing work- Monica knows the ins and outs of the DC government.


Susan Caleb

Healthcare Leader

Monica is a leader who is dedicated to helping people, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or status.


She will ensure that your voice is heard and will make sure that residents know that they deserve a seat at the table. 


Sonia Umanzor

Community Leader

Apoyo a Mónica Palacio porque ella fue migrante y necesitamos a una representante con experiencia, con valentía y conciencia sobre las necesidades de nuestras comunidades.


Necesitamos a alguien que va a ser nuestra voz en el gobierno de DC, que verdaderamente luchará por mejorar las condiciones de vida de nuestras comunidades que siempre han sido marginadas y excluidas de las grandes desiciones de mejorar sus vidas y las de su familia.


Teresa Doniger

Healthcare Leader

I am pleased to support Monica Palacio for DC Council At-Large. 


Monica has worked as a public servant in Washington, DC for many years and has demonstrated that her knowledge and skills, passion and compassion for those she serves is immense.


There is no better time to elect a dedicated Latina who will work to improve life in DC for all.


Ariana Quiñones

Community Leader

I have known Mónica Palacio for over 25 years and I am absolutely confident in her ability to effectively, compassionately and equitably serve the residents of DC. She has experience in the nonprofit and private sectors in DC as well as serving in a cabinet level position in District Government. Mónica is hard-working, thoughtful and committed. She is a listener, a coalition-builder, an advocate. Mónica is prepared for this job. She understands how the government works, how the city budget is developed, and she will hit the ground running as a Councilmember. She is the At-large Councilmember we need to represent us all!


Dahlia Aguilar

Education Leader

I am excited to support Mónica Palacio.  As an educator with over 25 years in public schools, I know Mónica has the experience, compassion and grit to lead our city. Over the last 25 years my path has crossed with Monica’s many times, first as mentors of youth in Columbia Heights, then as teachers of diversity and healing, and then again as we fought for continued language rights for the immigrant community in Washington DC. Wherever Monica is, she can be found tirelessly doing the good work, fighting the good fight and elevating the voices of minoritized and marginalized people in our city.  A vote for Mónica is a vote for us all. 


Ruby Corado

LGBTQ+ Community Leader

I admire Monica’s commitment and dedication to the communities. I work with people who are in very dangerous situations and in survival mode, and every time I called Monica she always responded. I want people to know that she is accessible. Monica has been there for the most vulnerable people. I want someone on the DC Council who is honest and will do what they say. Monica Palacio is that person.


Reiss Allen


Monica has a voice and vision we need in the DC Council. She brings valuable experience and I know she will advocate for families across the city.  As a DCPS teacher, I look forward to having someone on the council who will passionately support students, families, and educators. Monica Palacio is that person.


Sunny Soto

Community Leader

Apoyo a Mónica Palacio porque necesitamos a alguien en el concejal quien luche por los derechos de los inmigrantes en Washington.


Earl Fowlkes

LGBTQ+ Community Leader & Campaign Chair

I am very pleased to endorse Monica Palacio for DC City Council At-Large. Monica is a long time ally to the LGBTQ+ community and has been strong voice for marginalized DC residents throughout her public service career. It’s time we elect a Latina to DC City Council!


Alejandro-Ulises Miranda

Community Leader

Conozco a Monica Palacio de la Comunidad, sé que al llegar al Consejo de D.C. hará mucho por las personas más necesitadas y mucho más por la Clase Obrera de D.C. Mónica tiene mi voto! 


Malkia K. Lydia

Community Leader

I first met Monica in the mid-90s, when we worked together at Public Allies, shaking up the city's established ideas about what leaders should look like, making a path for young people from DC neighborhoods to run the very programs and agencies that shape our communities. I am a DC native, African American, and raised in activist traditions. Frankly, I remember being surprised and highly impressed back then, with Monica's dedication to training our youth about their rights when encountering law enforcement, and by her intricate, unflinching understanding of race, class and power in DC. Monica became a trusted friend. Over the decades I have applauded her continuous contributions to this city, including her groundbreaking work at the DC Office of Human Rights. Her leadership is honest, informed, and intent on bringing about the best for us all.


Margarita Dilone

Business Leader

As a native Washingtonian who passionately believes in social justice issues (affordable housing, healthcare as a human right, access to capital for minority entrepreneurs, etc.) there is no better candidate for our city than Monica Palacio.  Monica is someone who truly embodies the meaning of public service and is willing to give everyone a voice.  Monica listens and cares about our city and will put her human rights background to good use at a critical time for our beloved city and country.  


Earline Budd

LGBTQ+ Community Leader

I have personally served as a Commissioner for the DC Office of Human Rights under Monica’s oversights and her leadership was phenomenal. 


Monica is a women of integrity and respect. As a DC Councilmember, I know she’ll do much for the LGBTQ+ community.


Jose Gutierrez

LGBTQ+ Community Leader

I support Monica Palacio because she has experience working with our diverse population in Washington, DC and she is the right candidate to serve our DC residents.

She is a programmatic leader and a strong advocate for human rights, LGBTQ+ issues, jobs, housing, health and immigration. Monica is the perfect match for this position.


Cheryl Aguilar

Healthcare Leader

Monica Palacio has been a steadfast leader and advocate in and for our community, who combines compassionate and fierce leadership. Before her candidacy, we saw her at our community meetings, at our organizations looking to understand our issues and see where she can lend a hand. She has been a consistent and results oriented presence in our community. She is always willing to listen and learn about our needs. I have no doubt she will continue to advocate for us and be the voice of our community as a city council member.


Allessandra Bradley-Burns

Business Leader

I have had the honor of knowing Monica both professionally and personally for the past 27 years. I first met her when I hired her to run the training division for a national non-profit. At that time I was impressed with her astute emotional intelligence, her commitment to the well-being of others and her innovative problem-solving. She is a patient listener with a bright mind and an open heart and this allows her to develop human-centered solutions that improve organizational outcomes, strengthen leadership capacity and empower staff to have the highest impact. Almost everything that I know about honoring the humanity and dignity of each person, I learned from Monica. I am a better leader, mother and wife because of her.


Nancy Miranda

Business Leader

Monica ensures each person she interacts with feels important and understood. In college she studied human rights and has been consistent ever since. She has my vote and prayers to be elected as the first Latina and immigrant on the DC city council.


Leah Lujan Tracy

Healthcare Leader

Monica Palacios has my vote. I was raised in DC by parents who were community organizers and business owners. I went to DC public schools and now provide primary care in a local community clinic. It isn’t often that I meet someone as humble and as driven as Monica - driven to help ALL people. She will work for police reform, access to housing, health care as a human right, and equity in education. She is the leader we need.  Vote for Monica!


Lita Trejo

Community Leader

I support Monica Palacio because in this present time we need a Latina with courage to stand up and fight for our community. Monica has been in the community for over 20 years fighting for human rights. She will be the best Councilmember that will fight for ALL of us and not just “some”. I am proud to support Monica!


Carlos Ruben Ramirez

Educator & Musician

Yo apoyo la candidatura de Monica porque la considero una persona altamente capacitada, responsable y conocedora de las necesidades de la poblacion Latina en Washington D.C. y como maestro estoy seguro que va a contribuir con el fortalecimiento y desarrollo del sistema educativo de la ciudad.


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