House Majority Whip Antonio “Moe” Maestas
Rep. Maestas is the Majority Whip serving his 4th term representing the heart of Albuquerque’s growing west side. Moe is an 11th generation New Mexican whose family is from Las Vegas, San Miguel County.
As a young man, Rep. Maestas moved to Seattle, Washington, to work as community organizer at El Centro de la Raza, one of the most prominent community based civil-rights organizations in the northwest. Moe then worked nights as a union machinist in a box factory to put himself through the University of Washington (BA ‘95). Rep. Maestas returned home to attend the University of New Mexico, School of Law (JD ’98). While at UNM Law, Moe used the organizing skills he learned at El Centro and co-founded the National Latina/o Law Student Conference in 1997.
Rep. Maestas served as an Assistant District Attorney for five years prosecuting DWI and domestic violence cases. Today, he manages a solo law practice, The MoeJustice Law Office, which focuses on first-time criminal defendants and personal injury law.
As a freshman legislator, Rep Maestas was responsible for financial literacy classes in every NM high school and for the passage of New Mexico’s Medical Marijuana legislation. Rep. Maestas is at the forefront of criminal justice reform in New Mexico, pushing for alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders and ratcheting back the failed war on drugs.
This past session Rep. Maestas championed the “Breaking Bad” bill which welcomed back the film industry to New Mexico and was the prime sponsor and great compromiser of a major tax reform package culminating five years of political struggle from both ends of the political spectrum.
Born and Raised in Albuquerque:
Moe can trace his family roots back eleven generations in New Mexico. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Moe is the son of Frank Maestas, former Albuquerque Journal sports journalist. Moe’s mom, Emma Maestas, hails from the Romero family of San Miguel county.
Moe began his interest in politics and public service early in life and was Valley High School’s senior class president in 1986. After high school, Moe moved to Seattle where he gained tremendous leadership skills while working and volunteering at El Centro de la Raza, a community based civil-rights organization.
While living in Seattle, Moe put himself through college by working nights as a union factory worker at Stoneway Carton Company. Upon graduating from the University of Washington in 1995 where he studied political science and economics, Moe returned home and moved to the wst side to attend the University of New Mexico, School of Law. While at UNM Law, he served as President of the Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA) and co-founded the first ever National Latina/o Law Student Conference (NLLSC) in 1997.