Ada Colau, Barcelona’s first female mayor
I was born in Barcelona in 1974. I am the granddaughter of immigrants who came to Barcelona from Güel (Huesca) and Almazán (Soria) in search of opportunities. I spent my childhood and part of my teenage years in the neighbourhood of El Guinardó, where I lived with my mother and sisters. However, I have lived in many different Barcelona neighbourhoods during the course of my life, including El Congrés, El Gòtic, La Ribera, and La Barceloneta, among others. I now live on the border between Camp d'en Grassot and Sagrada Família with my partner, Adrià, and my two children, Luca and Gael.
I read Philosophy at the University of Barcelona. Having committed a large part of my life to social activism, the defence of human rights, and the right to housing, I now continue to defend these values from my position as Mayor. I was a member of the DESC Observatory, a platform made up of people and organisations committed to the study and defence of economic, social and cultural rights. In 2009, I was among those who led the founding of the Mortgage Victims’ Platform (PAH), and was its main spokesperson until 2014.
In 2014, together with some people from the academic world, and others involved in the residents’ movement and movements for the defence of public health and education, I promoted the Guanyem Barcelona project with the aim of standing for local election. As the election coalition Barcelona en Comú’s main candidate, I won the 2015 election. I became the first female mayor in the history of the city.
During my first term of office, we prioritised the fight against inequality, the promotion of a more sustainable city model, the defence of the right to decent housing, and the objective of making Barcelona a more participation-based city. Other priority areas were regulating the impact of tourism, promoting a diverse, inclusive, green economy, improving public services, and consolidating Barcelona as a leading city in the fields of innovation, knowledge and research. Feminism, respect for diversity, and solidarity have also played a major role in our local government policies.
On 15 June 2019 I was re-elected as mayor of Barcelona.