Brief Spotlight: Angel Henriquez ’22

Angel Henriquez
Mike Lovett
Angel Henriquez

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Studies: Major in politics.

Career plans: Washington, D.C., city council member.

Motto: “I want to be the first. I’m not going to be the last.”

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Angel Henriquez ’22 is already planning his inaugural political run.

The politics major wants to be the first Latinx elected to Washington, D.C.’s city council in 2024, two years after he graduates from Brandeis.

“People say I’m too young or too ambitious, but I know I’m going to be elected someday to represent my community,” he says.

Drawing on his experience as a community leader, organizer and policy advocate, Henriquez confidently ticks off his ideas for helping the District of Columbia, whose flag he often carries around campus. Gun violence; affordable housing; and employment opportunities, including jobs for immigrants and ex-convicts, are issues he wants to tackle as a future council member.

He also proposes amplifying young people’s political engagement by instituting a civics class in the D.C. school curriculum and lowering the federal voting age to 16. “Young people don’t have a voice in our democracy,” he says. “I’m going to enact legislation on behalf of young people and bring my demographic to the table.”

Henriquez’s political passions were ignited by the 2016 presidential election. Two years later, he helped organize the Youth-Led Mayoral Forum, in which mayoral candidates debated issues affecting young people in D.C. He also interned in the office of city council member Charles Allen, learning the ins and outs of local politics.

City councilors enact change “almost right away,” Henriquez says. “In Congress, it’s months, years or never. In the council, it’s a lot faster. They talk about an issue, discuss a solution, vote on it, and then there it goes.”

Henriquez believes he has a winning political strategy. “Brandeis has really taught me to embrace different perspectives,” he says. “We have to find common ground and embrace different points of view, even if we don’t agree.

“At the end of the day, we can all have a soda and talk about common stuff.”