Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez became State Senator for NM Senate District 16 in January 2019.
Antoinette is a long time community leader focused on the critical social, economic, environmental, and civil rights issues affecting the lives of all New Mexicans. After serving as Law Professor at UNM for more than twenty-five years—including eight years as Associate Dean—she became the executive director of a non-profit serving victims of domestic violence in the Latino immigrant community of Central New Mexico. Her years of community involvement and legal expertise exceptionally qualify her to serve her district while at the state capital.
A native New Mexican with deep roots in the area, Antoinette grew up in the small New Mexico farming village of Los Chavez. She went to UNM and then UCLA School of Law. In 1986, she found her passion for teaching when she became a law professor at UNM School of Law. She soon became the first Latina to earn tenure at the School of Law. She later went on to become the Director and Associate Dean of UNM's legal clinic, where law students practiced law in a pro-bono clinic, helping people in our community with their legal needs. Throughout her career as a law professor, she published books, articles, and poems; she organized and presented at many important legal education conferences; and, she earned several awards for excellence, service, and leadership.
After a 27 year career of teaching, legal service and scholarship, Antoinette left the 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. Throughout that campaign she developed strong policy positions as she listened to and learned from thousands of people along the campaign trail.
Although she did not win her first race, In 2019, an opportunity opened when Senator Cisco McSorely resigned to join the Lujan Grisham adminstration. She applied for the vacancy and was selected by the Bernalillo County Commission and appointed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. She won her race to keep the senate seat in the general election, November 3, 2020, with 78% of the vote, becoming the first woman, and the first Hispanic to represent District 16.
Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez is dedicated to passing effective laws and policies that benefit all New Mexicans and reflect the will of her district in SE Albuquerque. She is responsive to New Mexicans who want to discuss issues and needs with her. She diligently participates in interim legislative hearings, serving on the Water and Natural Resources Committee, Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee, Legislative Health and Human Services Commitee, the Investment, Pensions and Oversight Committee and Legislative Council. On standing committees, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Water and Natural Resources Commitee, and as a member of the Health and PUblic Affairs Committee.
On a personal level, she and her husband, Victor raised their family in the southeast heights of Albuquerque where they have lived since 1985. They have grown children, Victor Francisco, who is the founder and executive director of Learners Chess Academy, and his wife, Rebecca Ezechukwu, who is a child pyschologist at UNM; Graciela Raquel, who is a massage therapist and trainer: and Evalina Adel who is a photographer and film maker and upcycle clothes designer. They have one grandchild. While she lost her father, Frank Sedillo, in 1981, she is devoted to her mother, Perla Otero Martinez, who continues to reside in the family home. She has two brothers and two sisters and many relatives throughout the state.