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TWU graduate runs for Denton City Council

Lilyan Prado Carrillo, a Texas Woman’s University graduate, currently runs for the open seat in Denton City Council, Place 6.

A first generation student, Prado-Carrillo advocates for mirroring the population in government. Her current involvement exemplifies a multitude of civic engagement, including membership with Denton Police Department Training Advisory Board and Opening Doors International Board. 

Living in Denton all her life, she displayed the ambition towards running for a seat on the council throughout her civil advocacy. 

“There are lots of things that I don’t see that are fair, [Latinx] were not treated correspondingly with others because of instances such as language,” Carrillo said. “At an early age, I developed a desire to serve people who are underrepresented, or those less privileged.” 

Aware of the disparity across Texas politics, Carrillo immersed herself in LULAC (The League of United Latin American Citizens), in which she gained firsthand undertaking of civic engagement. As President of the Denton chapter, her main initiative is assisting Latinx students gain higher education.

“We try under my leadership and people working with me to ensure sufficient funds for scholarships. We have the availability to be alongside them and their families for every obstacle, and to be an advocate for them.”

Currently, 40.2% of the Texas population is Latino yet in state and local governments, the lack of reflection in ethnic minorities does not mirror voter turnout. Despite the rich population of the Latinx community, suffering from educational and financial tribulation commonly occurs. The income of an average Latinx Texan rests lower than the median income, as well as being more likely to face poverty, not seek medical aid, and not graduate high school. 

Carrillo has personal motivations for promoting representation in local government, as she hopes to eliminate the hindrances she encountered during her youth. She believes that minorities should be an active participant in local, state, and federal decisions through civic engagement. “We [LULAC] are trying to help connect young Latinos, such as college recent grads or enrolled college students to train in leadership for future positions of office,” Carrillo elaborated. “Many have the desire to serve and amplify the voices of the community. In estimation, Denton has a 25% population of Latinx peoples. Yet, in the city council, perhaps throughout the history of Denton, there has been a lack of representation in the decision making level.”

“I want to make sure that families know that they’re not alone. Because that’s really how I grew up,” Carrillo stated. “There is a feeling of lack of rights because of language, socioeconomic status, ethnicity. I want to dispel these myths. We all have protection under the Constitution.” 

According to the Center for American Women and Politics, the 9.3% of the Latinx population in the U.S. is least accounted for in federal politics. Currently, there are 18 Latina women in the House of Representatives, as well as one in the U.S. Senate. Bridging the gap, Carrillo pursues advocacy for representation, defying odds in Denton. 

“It doesn’t have to be me, or someone with a big title,” Carrillo expressed. “If they have a desire to serve they should. Policy construction should be inclusive to all, such as United Way Denton or planning zoning. Coming together for the advancement of our community can be represented at local levels.”

Early voting for Denton City Council and other elections open in April. Eligibility to vote occurs forty days before the election on May 4.

Annalise Soto-serrano can be reached at

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