Senator Martín Quezada has committed his life to serving the community. Learn more about Arizona’s most progressive leader and the work he has done to be The People’s Senator.
AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER
AS A STATE REPRESENTATIVE
AS A STATE SENATOR
Martín was born to his immigrant parents, Martín Jr. and Pilar Quezada. As the oldest of 4, he assumed natural leadership roles since his childhood. Martín is a native of West Phoenix and spent his early childhood in the Maryvale area at the heart of LD29.
In Maryvale, Martín attended St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School. After moving to Peoria, Martín attended the Peoria Unified School District and graduated from Peoria Centennial High School in 1995 where he played Varsity football, soccer and the alto saxophone.
In 1998, Martín attended Glendale Community College where he earned his Associate of Arts degree. During his time at GCC he was active in the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) organization.
Martín then went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice with a minor in Ethnic Studies.
In 2008, he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. While in law school, Martín served in the Graduate & Professional Students Association representing the law school in ASU’s graduate student government and was elected President of the Chicano/Latino Law Students Association. He graduated from law school with the Congressman Ed Pastor Outstanding Graduate Student award at the 2008 Hispanic Convocation.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Martín spent five years working as a Research Analyst/Policy Advisor to the Democratic Caucus in the Arizona State Senate (2001) and the Arizona State House of Representatives (2002-2005) before putting his professional career on hold to further his education in law school.
After law school, Martín served a judicial clerkship for the Honorable Judge Patricia Orozco on the Arizona Court of Appeals in 2008-2009.
Martín has since worked as a solo practitioner as the owner of The Law Office of Martín J. Quezada, PLLC. As an attorney, he’s represented a variety of clients in domestic relations, criminal defense, civil litigation and election law challenges. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association of AZ and is a graduate of the State Bar of AZ Bar Leadership Institute for up and coming lawyers in AZ.
Martín has been an active member of his community not only as a pro bono lawyer, but as a volunteer, activist and community leader. He has served as a member of the following organizations:
- Las Colinas Moradas Homeowners Association Board of Directors;
- Maryvale Village Planning Committee;
- West Phoenix Revitalization Community Advisory Board;
- ASU Los Diablos Latino Alumni Association Board of Directors;
- Hispanic Advisory Board to the City of Phoenix Police Department;
- Maricopa County Community Development Advisory Committee
Martín first ran for office in 2006. He ran for the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board. Although he came up short in that race, his race helped reform the school district and their board into the progressive leaders they are today.
In 2010, Martín ran for a seat in the AZ State House of Representatives in Legislative District 13. He received the endorsements of prominent community leaders, organizations and even the AZ Republic, but despite making a name for himself as an up and coming leader, he lost the race in the primary to 2 long-time incumbents.
However, Martín’s bid for the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board in the 2010 General Election was successful and he was appointed to that seat after his opposition dropped out of the race.
Less than 2 years later, Martín was appointed to the Arizona State House of Representatives in Legislative District 13 in March, 2012 to fill a vacancy. He was later elected to House of Representatives in Legislative District 29 in November, 2012.
In 2014, Martín made the jump to the AZ State Senate winning one of the most contentious primary elections in the state. In the 2014 General Election, Martín won the Senate seat and was re-elected to the Pendergast School Board by overwhelming margins.
In 2016, he was re-elected to the Senate facing the same primary opponent yet this time winning one of the most lopsided primary victories in the state.
Martín’s leadership on the Pendergast School Board has turned the West Valley school district into one of the most dynamic districts in the state of AZ. He lead the nationwide search and hiring of the current superintendent, Dr. Lily DeBlieux, whose leadership has reformed Pendergast into a high performing district with a focus on quality education, diversity and responsible management of limited taxpayer dollars.
Under Martín’s award winning leadership on the board, Pendergast has developed a series of educational academies, including the only Dual Language program in the West Valley and the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) academy.
The Pendergast District provides high level education while also providing quality wrap-around services to the entire community through our partnerships with First Things First and the Maricopa Integrated Health Services in the Family Health Center.
Martín hit the ground running as a State Representative when he was appointed in 2012. He immediately lead the Democratic Caucus on major issues like fighting against Governor Brewer’s personnel reform that harmed state employees, fighting for Medicaid expansion and fighting against voter suppression measures that have become common in AZ.
Martín immediately developed a reputation of being a strong, progressive and powerful voice in the Caucus and was given high profile positions as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Government Committee and Rules Committee and was elected as Chairman of the AZ Legislative Latino Caucus.
Martín was not only a fighter but developed the respect necessary to be effective. In his first full year as a State Representative, he passed HB2611, a bill that would reform the way school districts hired their superintendents. That bill was passed and signed by Governor Brewer on May 7, 2013.
When Martín made the jump to the State Senate, he continued to grow as a leader in Democratic politics. Immediately after being elected, as a freshman senator, he was elected by his colleagues into leadership to serve as Democratic Whip. He was given high profile assignments on the Senate Judiciary, Government and Rules Committees.
Outside of AZ, Martín earned high profile positions on the national scale as well. He was elected as Treasurer to the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs; he was appointed as the Chair of the Criminal Justice Task Force and later Chair of the Education Task Force on the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators; and he was selected to represent the NHCSL and the State of AZ in the Quad Caucus, a gathering of leaders from the nation’s Hispanic, Native, Asian and Black Caucuses.
Martín was re-elected as Whip after the 2016 election and earned a seat on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Martín is now considered one of the strongest progressive voices in the entire legislature yet maintains his effectiveness as well. In 2017, he was able to pass SB1422 to protect victims of sex trafficking. That bill was signed by Governor Ducey on March 28, 2017. Martín also lead AZ’s “Ban The Box” movement which culminated in Governor Ducey adopting that policy in an Executive Order on November 6, 2017. Martín also maintained his advocacy for the immigrant population by championing a bill to protect immigrants from fraud. HB2155 was signed into law by Governor Ducey on March 20, 2018.
Martín’s future as an AZ political leader is just starting. As the demographics of the state of AZ continue to change, Martín stands in a position to play a major leadership role to move AZ in a positive direction. With your support, he will continue to be the strongest and most effective voice for:
- A criminal justice system that keeps us safe yet doesn’t criminalize mental illness, addiction or poverty;
- Accessible, modern and safe elections and respecting our state’s initiative and referendum processes;
- A responsible investment in public education with teacher pay that honors the profession, and investments in community colleges and our universities;
- A vibrant economy that focuses support on small, women and minority-owned businesses;
- Comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together and strengthens our nation’s history of welcoming immigrants