Luis Lopez won’t run for Ogden City Council in 2023
Ogden City Councilperson Luis Lopez (At-Large) is stepping away from the body after two terms.
Citing dueling obligations and the capability of others to take on his seat, Lopez confirmed to the Standard-Examiner Friday that he will not seek reelection this year.
“I have a lot of responsibilities beside the City Council that involve my work at Weber State and my family and the advocacy work I do as a Hispanic leader,” he said. “I help run a local nonprofit organization that I co-founded about 8 years ago called LUPEC (Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement). I think it’s also important to remember that there are other really good people in the community that want to step up and serve and want to contribute. … I hope good people throw their names in the in the ring to run and bring other perspectives.”
In nearly eight years on the board, Lopez said one particular accomplishment highlights his willingness to step up on issues that were previously ignored or even ridiculed.
“When I won my first election, there was an issue in the community about urban chickens,” he said. “Sometimes people make fun of that, believing it’s a trivial issue, but the reality is that it was an issue that was always kicked down the road by elected officials because it was one of those issues that nobody wanted to deal with. I rolled up my sleeves and I got together with people because they asked me when I was running what was my position and I told them that I didn’t know because I didn’t know enough about the issue.
After a “good year or year and a half” of working with researchers, health professionals and interested citizens, the issue came up for a vote by the City Council.
“That’s memorable to me because it’s my first experience helping and getting involved in community issues. It wasn’t necessarily about chickens — it was about stepping up and confronting difficult issues and not being afraid to do that,” Lopez said.
He also cited helping allocate funding to the revitalization of the Marshall N. White Community Center, helping bring Ballet Folclórico Guadalajara to Weber State for a performance and being able to navigate the difficult landscape of city politics while staying true to himself as accomplishments over his two-term tenure.
Lopez said he’s always seen himself as more of a statesman than a politician.
“The power lies in the people and I am a servant of the people,” he said. “I always acknowledge that in the meetings. … The most gratifying part of what I’ve done has been helping people.”
Though he’s leaving politics behind for the moment, Lopez is not closing the door on possibly seeking elected office in the future.
“I love serving my community,” he said. “I believe strongly that the only way to maintain our freedoms is to step up and be a part of the community in positions of power and positions that matter and positions that shape the community. Even though I need to focus on these important matters that are in front of me, I would love to consider, down the road, other possibilities to come back in some sort of public office.”
In the meantime, Lopez said he’s proud of the service he’s given to Ogden.
“I worked very hard to bring independence to our council, to help improve our processes so that we can be more effective as council members,” he said. “It was very important to me to stay close to the people that elected me and speak up on their behalf and to maintain my independence as a separate but equal power, to stay strong by my values and principles and to advocate for the community.”