PRESS RELEASE - July 16, 2004
Office of The Governor
Capitol Bldg., 4th Floor
Santa Fe, NM 87503

Pahl Shipley
(505) 476-2202

Dona Concha made history as a NM Legislator,
Is a lifelong community advocate

SANTA FE- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today dedicated a state building in Santa Fe in honor of Concha Ortiz y Pino de Kleven, a former New Mexico Legislator, educator, and community activist. The building at 130 South Capitol, formerly owned by the National Education Association, was recently purchased by the state and will be known as the Concha Ortiz y Pino Building. Dona Concha, now 94, attended the morning ceremony.

“Doña Concha is a true New Mexican Treasure,” said Governor Richardson. “Her pioneering work as a legislator, advocate for her fellow women, educator, and community activist has improved the lives of countless New Mexicans, and has forever changed New Mexico for the better.”

Concha Ortiz y Pino was born and raised in Galisteo. She attended Loretto Academy in Santa Fe, and after high school returned to Galisteo, where she founded the state’s first vocational school. She taught the traditional arts and crafts of New Mexico, including woodworking and weaving. Doña Concha was elected to the New Mexico State Legislature in 1936 at the age of 26. She was the first woman in the United States to be elected Majority Whip in a state legislature, and is believed to be the first Hispanic woman elected to a state legislature. She was re-elected twice to the New Mexico Legislature.

“As a legislator, educator, community activist, and philanthropist, throughout her life Concha Ortiz y Pino has worked to provide opportunities for her fellow citizens, she has fought for equality for women, and has opened many doors that previously had been closed to her gender,” added Governor Richardson.

In the early 18-hundreds, Doña Concha’s great-grandfather, Pedro Bautista Pino, a rancher, was elected Mayor of Tomè, and ultimately was elected to represent the Province of New Mexico to the Spanish Parliament. Public service is definitely in the Ortiz blood.

Doña Concha has never really “retired” from public service. She has always remained active, and dedicated to helping her fellow New Mexicans. She served on many boards and foundations including the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra, the Board of Regents of the University of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Arts Commission, and the Albuquerque Hispanic Culture Foundation.