Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren, a Latina activist who fought for women’s voting rights during the 20th century and was the first Latina ever to run for U.S. Congress, will be featured on the U.S. quarter later this summer. Her quarter will be released on August 15.
The quarter reads “Voto Para La Mujer,” which is Spanish for one of the suffragist’s slogans, “Votes for Women.” Other women honored with a 2022 quarter through the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program include writer and activist Maya Angelou and astronaut, Dr. Sally Ride.
Born on October 23, 1881, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, Otero-Warren came from a wealthy and politically influential family. She grew up in a home with 12 siblings and half-siblings. Her mother remarried after her father was killed when Otero-Warren was only two years old.
Otero-Warren was 16 years old when her family moved to Santa Fe and became part of the city’s social elite. She was described as “a graceful, intelligent young woman with an indomitable disposition” and “high spirited and independent.”
After a short marriage to U.S. Cavalry officer Rawson D. Warren, she became active in New Mexico politics and the women’s suffrage movement. She realized the importance of keeping all women informed in the movement and had suffrage literature published in both English and Spanish. In 1917, she became head of the New Mexico chapter of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, which grew into the National Woman’s Party.
Later, Otero-Warren became the first woman superintendent of Santa Fe public schools, where she argued for the inclusion of the Spanish language in schools, which was counter to the federal English-only mandate. In 1921, she earned the Republican Party nomination for a seat on the U.S. House of Representatives but lost in the general election.
Nina Otero-Warren died on January 3, 1965, in the Santa Fe home where she spent her childhood.