Meet Antoinette

“I’m dedicated to passing effective laws and policies that will reflect our New Mexican values and that promote the health and well being of people and our planet.”
-Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez

Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez is a native New Mexican who has dedicated her life to advancing justice, equity, and stewardship for her community and state through activism, education, law, and community engagement. A responsive longtime community leader, Antoinette is focused on the critical social, economic, environmental, and civil rights issues affecting every New Mexican, which has made her the best and most qualified person to serve her Senate district and soon the 1st Congressional District of New Mexico. 

Currently, Antoinette is a state Senator for N.M. Senate District 16. Before serving her community as state Senator, she was a law professor at UNM School of Law for 25 years, which included eight years as Associate Dean. Antoinette later became the Executive Director of Enlace Comunitario, a non-profit working with victims of domestic violence in the Latino-immigrant community of Central New Mexico.

Throughout her career in public service, Antoinette has been successful in building bridges because she’s responsive to all people who bring their issues and needs to discuss with her.

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New Mexico State Senate 

As state Senator, Antoinette has and continues to stand up to powerful interest groups on behalf of the public good. In January 2019, when Antoinette became a state Senator, one of her first actions was to identify a lack of state regulation on hydraulic fracking. Antoinette then introduced a bill to pause the issuance of new permits while state regulators study and identify the real and perceived impacts of hydrophilic fracking on New Mexicans health and our environment. Although the bill did not advance to the Governor’s desk, it was influential in inspiring many similar bills in other state legislatures around the country. This is just one of the many hard issues that Antoinette continues to shed light on in her time in the NM State Senate.

Background

Growing up in the small farming village of Los Chavez, Antoinette’s roots run deep in New Mexico. Her whole life she was drawn to helping others grow. After graduating from UNM in Albuquerque, Antoinette then went to UCLA School of Law. In 1983, she clerked on the DC Circuit, where Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a federal judge at the time. In 1986 she became a law professor at UNM School of Law where she was the first Latina to earn a tenure. Antoinette later became the Director and Associate Dean of UNM's legal clinic, where law students practiced law, pro-bono, helping people in our community with their legal needs.

Aside from organizing and presenting at many important legal education conferences during her tenure, Antoinette published numerous books, articles, and poems. Antoinette earned several awards for excellence, service, and leadership.

After a 27-year career of teaching, legal service and scholarship, Antoinette left UNM Law School in 2014 to head up Enlace Communitario, an anti-domestic violence advocacy and service non-profit organization. In 2017, she was recruited to run for Congress in New Mexico's 1st Congressional District.

Antoinette's ability to truly listen and engage with her community drew thousands of people to talk to her where she learned what their needs are then developed strong policy positions that helped form a healthy and substantive conversation in the race. After that primary race in 2018, an opportunity opened for Antoinette to serve as a State Senator after Senator Cisco McSorely resigned to join the Lujan Grisham administration. Antoinette was selected by the Bernalillo County Commission then appointed to the position by the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Recently, Antoinette ran to keep her seat as state Senator. She won with 78 percent of the vote in the 2020 general election. 

Family

Antoinette and her husband, Victor, raised their family in the southeast heights of Albuquerque, where they have lived since 1985. They have three adult children who live and work in Albuquerque: Victor Francisco, Founder and Executive Director of Learners Chess Academy, and his wife, Rebecca Ezechukwu, a child psychologist at UNM; Graciela Raquel, a massage therapist and trainer; and Evalina Adel, a photographer, filmmaker and upcycle clothes designer. In 1981 Antoinette lost her beloved father, Frank Sedillo. She is devoted to her mother, Perla Otero Martinez, who continues to reside in the Los Chavez family home. Antoinette has two brothers and two sisters and many relatives throughout New Mexico.

 

About Antoinette’s Campaign:

Antoinette has taken the No Corporate PAC Money pledge, the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, the No NRA Money pledge, and the Pro-Truth pledge

Antoinette believes elections should be about the candidates and the issues and throughout her political career she has treated her races as opportunities to dialogue and discuss the issues and proposed policy solutions. She respects any person who has the bravery to run for office and she does not believe in negative campaigning. 

Antoinette is building a people-powered, organizer focused, grassroots campaign that will involve a wide diversity of people and perspectives.