Ada Colau

This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Colau and the second or maternal family name is Ballano.
Ada Colau

Ada Colau Ballano picture

Colau in 2015
119th Mayor of Barcelona
Assumed office
13 June 2015
Preceded by Xavier Trias
Personal details
Born (1974-03-03) March 3, 1974
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Political party Barcelona en Comú
Spouse(s) Adrià Alemany Salafranca
Children 1
Residence Barcelona
Occupation activist, writer
Twitter: @AdaColau; Facebook: ada.ballano

Ada Colau Ballano (Catalan: [ˈaðə kuˈɫaw]; Spanish: [ˈaða koˈlau]; Barcelona, 3 March 1974), is a Spanish radical left-wing representative,, and the current Mayor of Barcelona since 13 June 2015, the first woman to hold the office.[1] Colau was one of the founding members and spokespeople of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH) (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages), which was set up in Barcelona in 2009 in response to the rise in evictions caused by unpaid mortgage loansc and the collapse of the Spanish property market in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Ada Colau has not ever worked in the private sector, nor has an u dergraduate degree.

Early life

Ada Colau was born in Barcelona and grew up in the Guinardó neighbourhood. She went to school at the Santa Anna and Febrer Academies, and went on to study philosophy at the University of Barcelona but lacks the pertinent degree due to leaving her studies before completion, precisely by one subject, which she claims was due to economic instability of her family.[2]

Platform for People Affected by Mortgages

Colau in 2006

Ada Colau was one of the founding members of the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH) in 2009, and acted as the organization's spokeswoman until 2014. Colau rose to national prominence after calling a representative of the Spanish Banking Association “a criminal” while representing the PAH at a parliamentary hearing on the housing crisis in February 2013.[3] Colau supports the use of 'escraches', public protests outside the homes of government officials.[4] That same month, a Popular Legislative Initiative proposed by the PAH and supported by over 1,400,000 signatories was debated on the floor of the Spanish Congress. This was followed by a speech to the European Parliament Committee on Petitions in Brussels. In March, Madrid Government delegate Cristina Cifuentes of the People's Party accused Colau of supporting the Basque radical nationalist party Bildu.[5] Colau is coauthor of the book Mortgaged Lives, based on her experiences of grassroots campaigning and direct action with the PAH.[6]

Barcelona en Comú

On May 7, 2014 Ada Colau announced her resignation as spokesperson of the PAH.[7] Since June 2014[8] she has been the main spokesperson for Barcelona en Comú (formerly known as Guanyem Barcelona),[9] a citizen platform standing in the May 2015 Barcelona municipal elections. She won a simple majority in the elections and on 13 June 2015 she became mayor with the favourable vote of an absolute majority of councillors.[10]






  1. Amy Goodman, "From Occupying Banks to City Hall: Meet Barcelona’s New Mayor Ada Colau", Democracy Now, June 5, 2015.
  2. "Biography: Ada Colau". Ada Colau. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  3. Daley, Susanne (20 December 2013). "Leading the Charge Against Spain's Mortgage Crisis". Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  4. López Iturriaga, Mikel (2 August 2013). "In Spain you can be a mobster but still merit full institutional approval". El País. Retrieved 11 October 2014..
  5. "Cifuentes riza el rizo y vincula a la Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca con ETA". Público. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. Colau, Ada. "Mortgaged Lives". Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  7. Blanchar, Clara (7 May 2014), Ada Colau deja de ser portavoz de la PAH, El País, retrieved 26 June 2014
  8. França, João (June 26, 2014). "Guanyem Barcelona buscará conquistar el Ayuntamiento desde los movimientos sociales". Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  9. "Let's Win Back Barcelona". Guanyem Barcelona. Retrieved 11 October 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  10. Burridge, Tom (25 May 2015). "Spain enters a new political era". BBC News. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  11. [/ Toni Navarro director of the Festival gves the award of Human Rights to Ada Colau ‘Human Rights’], , 26/5/2013
  12. Entrevista a Rafael Mayoral, El desahucio es un problema colectivo, El País, 6 July 2011
  13. Defensores de Derechos Sociales, Ada Colau y Rafael Mayoral en representación de la PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca), Periodismo Humano, 3 May 2013
  14. Ada Colau y la PAH galardonadas por los Premios Defensores de Derechos otorgados por 'Periodismo Humano', Europa Press, 3/5/2013
  15. "Spain's anti-evictions lobby wins EU prize A man belonging to the PAH anti-evictions lobby protests against home evictions regime in Barcelona. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP Spain's anti-evictions lobby wins EU prize". The Local Spain. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  16. Pilar Bardem entrega a Ada Colau el premio de los actores ‘Mujeres en Unión’,, 5/6/2013
  17. Ada Colau, cuatro años de pelea por el derecho a una vivienda digna, 20/4/2013, La Marea
  18. Y Colau también estará en Sant Jordi, 19/4/2013, cat

External links

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