About Amáda Márquez Simula

Making Progress in Our City

Here are just a few of the ways Columbia Heights has improved since I took office.

Smarter spending

The city has relieved the finance department by hiring a full time IT director. Immediate improvements include laptops, digital backups, and paperless systems. This smart decision is bringing our technology into the 21st century and preparing our systems to move into the new city hall.

Easier access to services

Utility billing has implemented automatic online payments. Notifications about snow emergencies, hydrant flushing, and other important information are now available by phone, text, or email via the city’s new CodeRED system. The city has hired a full time Community Engagement Specialist.

Modernized public safety

The city has received a grant to add a social worker to the police department. This new addition has been a resounding success in 2022, and we are working to add a second social worker in 2023. I have assembled a Rapid Response Team to make sure citizens will always have a way to safely assemble and protest if needed.

Healthier spaces

The city has now eliminated the sale of flavored tobacco products from stores where children can make purchases. Renters now have access to information and meetings that were previously limited to landlords. During the height of the pandemic, I worked to extend the mask mandate.

Thriving local businesses

I frequently visit and support local businesses and promote them on social media. Because of this, business owners have felt comfortable asking me to help them navigate difficult city matters, such as parking.

The American Dream

A uniformed person becomes a US citizen, holding an American flag and a naturalization certificate

Columbia Heights is one of the most diverse cities in Minnesota. Since taking office, I have helped two people become US citizens. This includes reuniting a family that was separated internationally. As Mayor, I have no power to make these changes. I simply saw opportunities to connect people with the resources they needed.

Strategic Thinking

The government was built to benefit some people more than others. We need more representative government and city staff, specifically more Black and brown people in these roles. Creating a balanced and just system is difficult and will take generations. I regularly meet with various cultural leaders, community groups, other elected officials of color for support and long-term strategies. If you want to represent your community in Columbia Heights, please contact me so I can help.

Columbia Heights mayor declares July 1 Somali American Day in the city

Endorsements

Visibly Committed

Happy to support Amáda for another term! I have lived in Columbia Heights for 30 years and in that time, I have never experienced a Mayor as visibly committed to the wellbeing of the community, its people, and its businesses as her. She has been such a positive change for Columbia Heights!
Lois Burnett
Columbia Heights Resident

A Proven Leader

Amáda Márquez Simula is a proven leader with vision and courage; two attributes we will need as we shore up our local economy, build a community that is welcoming to all, and face tough challenges of the future. I look forward to moving our communities in the right direction with a leader like Amáda Márquez Simula!
Mary Kunesh-Podein
Minnesota State Senator, District 39

Turning ideas into action

Amáda is one of the most perfect candidates we have for mayor. She’s smart. She’s competent. She cares, all for the right reasons. These are the things that are starting points. However, she also has this leadership ability and she’s proven it both in the job that she does in the city, the job she does in the school district, and personally with the job she does with HeightsNEXT. I’ve watched this woman take ideas and turn them into action and results. I’ve never seen that happen so many times before my very eyes. Everywhere she goes, she draws people in. She brings a passion to what she does. Whenever she sees something that needs to happen, she finds a way to get it done. This is exactly what we need in a mayor.
Carolyn Laine
Former Minnesota State Senator, District 41

Powerful Track Record

Amáda is an active and engaged leader in Columbia Heights who has a powerful track record of getting things done for the good of the community! She does so with passion, heart, and unmatched energy while inspiring those around her to join in. My 5-yr old remembers her dressed as Wonder Woman, and was excited when Amáda told her that she could be a leader someday, too. It’s not enough that Amáda cares deeply for all walks of life… she also takes action, and shows up with integrity. I’m proud of the way she inspires me and my children to have courage and compassion, and equally proud to support Amáda Marquez Simula for mayor.
Jessi LeClear Vachta
Columbia Heights Resident

LGBTQ-Endorsed

Stonewall DFL is proud to endorse Amáda Márquez Simula
for Mayor of Columbia Heights!
“Progress means removing barriers. My advocacy includes removing gender-specific language from all city documentation and delivering the first official proclamation of our annual PRIDE celebration. I am thrilled to continue working for equality for my city, my children, and the entire LGBTQ community.”
Stonewall DFL

A Bold Advocate

Women Winning is proud to endorse Amáda Márquez Simula for Mayor of Columbia Heights. Amáda is a dedicated organizer and leader who has spent years working on the issues that matter most to her community. She is a bold advocate for racial justice and has been on the front line in the fight for sustainability, women’s rights, and LGBTQ equality. As Mayor, Amáda will work tirelessly to ensure that her community thrives and is resilient, and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Meggie Wittorf
Executive Director of Women Winning

Cares about Everybody

We have to bring in new leadership, and I feel like Amáda is that person; someone who cares about everybody, not certain people. She’s not going to be singling-out any community. She’s going to be representing everybody.
Abdirizak Adan
Columbia Heights Resident

Labor-endorsed

Our local communities are the epicenter for the critical power building work that needs to happen in this moment. We are proud to support Amáda Márquez Simula as a labor-endorsed candidate.
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation
AFL-CIO

Your community organizer

Amáda is widely recognized as an active leader in Columbia Heights. You may have attended one of the Community Education events she arranged for our school. Perhaps you met her volunteering at one of the many community service projects she organized. Maybe you saw her on the news speaking out against prejudice. Or maybe she came right to your door in a public works uniform delivering a kitchen compost kit. However you know Amada, you can be sure she has never stopped working for the people of Columbia Heights.

Community Involvement BEFORE Taking Office

Amada organizes the community of Columbia Heights, MN
  • Columbia Heights Public Schools Community Education Advisory Board Member
  • Columbia Heights Business Council
  • Columbia Heights Lions Club Member
  • Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary Club Member
  • Columbia Heights Sister Cities Member
  • HeightsNEXT Board Member and past President
  • Columbia Heights Neighborhood Watch Block Captain
  • Alexandra House Development Committee Member
  • DFL Central Committee in Senate District 39
  • League of Women Voters member
  • Girl Scout Council Trainer and Troop Leader for 13+ years
  • St. Philip’s Church meal delivery to homebound people
  • SACA grocery delivery to homebound people
  • The Every Meal Program weekend backpack meals for school children
  • Good News in Columbia Heights YouTube series
  • Past City of Columbia Heights Public Works Employee
  • Past Manager of the Columbia Heights Public Schools Adult Enrichment & Senior Program
  • Past Columbia Heights Public School District Finance Committee Member
  • 2017 Columbia Heights Humanitarian of the Year
  • Minnesota Superheroes United – Wonder Woman!

Additional Community Involvement SINCE Taking Office

  • Columbia Heights Traffic Commission
  • Columbia Heights Economic Development Authority
  • Columbia Heights Multicultural Advisory Committee
  • Regional Council of Mayors
  • Regional Council of Mayors Allies of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • League of Minnesota Cities
  • Minnesota Metropolitan Council
  • Minnesota BIPOC Elected Leaders
  • Minneapolis Network Next
  • Minnesota Climate Caucus
  • Mayors Meetups with Representative Ilhan Omar
  • West Metro Progressive Officials
  • LatinoLEAD

Less than minimum wage

Did you know? If the Mayor’s role was 40 hours a week, it would pay only $6.63 per hour. However, the actual hours are much longer, and the responsibilities are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Mayor has no assistant on staff.

Amada and her brothers

Amáda Márquez Simula was born in Madison, Wisconsin to a working-class family with big ideas about the future. Her mother’s German and French roots are typical of the Wisconsin countryside. Her father was a childhood immigrant from Mexico. Together, they saved up enough to buy a struggling restaurant and pass it on to their children. Amáda and her two brothers breathed new life into the establishment, transforming it into one of the most successful venues in the area.

Even among Latinos, Amáda is an uncommon name from a bygone era. In Spanish, it means “beloved”, though colloquially the word is often used like “sweetheart” or “darling”. 

ah-MAH-thə

Soft ‘d’ makes a ‘th’ sound similar to the word ‘mother’
Amada and her parents
Amada with her parents

From an early age, Amáda was a natural artist and entertainer. Much of her youth was spent listening to her father performing in hometown bands. Her deep love of music spans centuries and genres. She was never afraid to create a costume, sing into a microphone, pose for a camera, or dance in a spotlight. But much like her family, Amáda was not content with small ideas, and soon found herself acting in plays, cheerleading for crowds, performing with bands, organizing dance troupes, and building audiences for concerts and art shows about town.

When it came time to have a family of her own, Amáda was living in Edina, Minnesota. As a Latina, she was sometimes mistaken for the nanny. But this never stopped her from gathering crowds, marching in parades, organizing church fundraisers, or becoming the District Organizer and Leadership Trainer for the Girl Scouts. Amáda was proud to campaign for Paul Wellstone and remains focused on issues about our local, state, and national government.

Amada

Amáda came to Columbia Heights when she married her husband. Together, they are musicians, neighborhood block captains, Lions, Rotarians, and community organizers. Amáda has worked for the Columbia Heights Public Works department, helping grow the city’s compost program. She made a dramatic impact in her role as the Columbia Heights Community Education Program Manager, serves on its Advisory Board, and also holds a seat on the school district’s Finance Committee. Amáda was also the President of HeightsNEXT, a sustainable community movement, where she continues to organize and lead dozens of annual events for Columbia Heights, including street cleanups, environmental projects, cultural gatherings, community celebrations, and much more. She was named the 2017 Columbia Heights Humanitarian of the Year for her service to the city. 

Columbia Heights, MN - Amáda Márquez Simula Named 2017 Humanitarian of the Year

Welcoming, rallying, inspiring, and activating teams of people from all walks of life is Amáda’s greatest talent. She is frequently recognized for bridging generations and ideas, turning informed possibilities into creative solutions, and renewing a community that has often felt stagnant, abandoned, and divided.

Today, Amáda Márquez Simula is the Mayor of Columbia Heights where she continues to represent our diverse communities and breathe new life into the city.

Learn More