In 1995, the Colorado Department of Transporting (CDOT) hired Debra Gallegos as director for Center for Equal Opportunity from where she will soon retire.
Gallegos helmed the Civil Rights program that has been nationally recognized for its effort in eliminating discrimination. “I think it is one of the toughest jobs that one person can have,” she said of her work. “We don’t really do this because we are going to get accolades … most of the time you are not going to make someone happy.” Still, Gallegos considers herself fortunate to have met many business owners and hopes she’s “help open the door for a few of them to become successful in their business.”
The daughter of farm workers from New Mexico, Gallegos graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She has a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Marcos.
Gallegos has been an active community member, bringing awareness to other’s plights. She began her career as a program specialist at Denver Inner City Parish. Here resume also includes her work as DBE Liaison Officer with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and director of Colorado Office of DBE Certification for Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
Also, Gallegos is a natural born performer who sings, acts and plays the guitar and has actively performed with Su Teatro since the 1970s. “I truly believe that art can be a way to help people to recognize how important they are to the world,” she said. She is also a co-host with Danny Valenzuela and Mona Lisa on KUVO’s Cancion Mexicana on Sundays.
As for her post retirement plans: “I’m going to go up to the mountains and feel mother earth a little bit closer to myself. I am going to sing more, dance a little bit more, but I am going to remain involved in the Colorado community and the progressive community through volunteering, through a number of places.”