Senator Linda Lopez (retired) of Tucson, Arizona, has been a longtime advocate for children, families, education, and women’s rights issues. Linda served in the Arizona State Legislature for 13 years – 8 years in the House of Representatives and 5 years in the Senate. She served in various Democratic Caucus leadership positions in both the House and Senate. She retired in January 2014 from the Senate to pursue her passion for children’s issues as the director of Children and Family Services Division for Easter Seals Blake Foundation. There, she oversees 15 sites and more than 400 staff across southern Arizona providing a comprehensive array of services for children and families, including infant/toddler mental health programs for children and families in the child welfare system, early intervention for children with developmental delays, home visiting programs, early learning centers, and more. She is responsible for all aspects of managing and leading the Division.
Lopez founded and is co-chair of the Statewide Task Force on Preventing Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and other Drugs. She co-founded the Tucson Infant/Toddler Mental Health Coalition. During her tenure as a state legislator, she was known for her ardent advocacy on behalf of children, families, and women as well as education, health care, and minority rights issues. She sponsored Smoke Free Arizona legislation which became the basis for the successful initiative of the same name. Lopez played a major role in the passage of the initiative.
Lopez serves on several boards, including the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning, Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy, University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Advisory Committee, Arizona Virtual Academy, and Jobs for Arizona Graduates. She is a member of the leadership for Strong Start Tucson to expand access to quality early childhood learning for Tucson’s young children. She served 18 years as a member of the Sunnyside School Board and held leadership positions in the Arizona School Boards Association, the National School Boards Association, the Council of Urban Boards of Education, and the National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members. Lopez was foster mother over a period of 10 years to 44 children who had been abused and/or neglected. As a foster parent, she advocated at the local, state, and national level on behalf of foster children and foster parents.
Lopez is the recipient of numerous awards, including: NOW Woman of Courage, YWCA Woman on the Move, A.T. Still University Crystal Award, Harriet Tubman Vanguard Award, the Defender of Choice Award, Distinguished Service to Exceptional Children Award, and many more.
Senator Lopez and her husband, Rudy Jones, have a blended family of six adult children and eleven grandsons. Linda has one son, Aaron, and two daughters Toni and Bobbi. She is the proud “nana” of six grandsons. Rudy has three sons, Roland, Bryan, and Jason. He is the proud grandpa of five grandsons.