54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019


Michael Padilla









     WHEREAS, some men leave legacies of wealth and power when their time on earth is over; and

     WHEREAS, Henry Kiki Saavedra left something more valuable: the esteem and respect of those who knew him and were privileged to call him a colleague and friend; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Henry Kiki Saavedra, a Democrat who represented an Albuquerque south valley district in the house of representatives for nearly forty years, died on January 27, 2019; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki was born on March 6, 1936 in Albuquerque; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki graduated from Albuquerque high school and from St. Joseph's college in Albuquerque and served in the air national guard; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki worked for the city of Albuquerque as the deputy director of the parks and recreation department and eventually retired in 1995; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki began his legislative career in 1977, as the representative for house district 10, which at that time included the southern portion of Bernalillo county and a small part of Valencia county; and

     WHEREAS, his interests were in improving job opportunities and providing adequate social services, including services for the elderly and disabled, to the constituents in his district; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki championed the special olympics, and early in his legislative career sponsored legislation that made New Mexico the first state to provide funds for the special olympics; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki championed improving the criminal justice system throughout his legislative career by ensuring that the courts, prosecutors and public defenders had adequate resources; and

     WHEREAS, perhaps most importantly, Kiki was instrumental in building consensus across the aisle in the crafting of many, many general appropriation acts; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki came into the legislature during the time of the legendary "Mama Lucy Gang", and he learned how to be a legislator under the expert tutelage of former House Speaker Walter K. Martinez; and

     WHEREAS, during his long legislative career, Kiki served on some iteration of most of the standing committees and many of the interim committees that were created or sustained over his legislative lifetime, most notably serving on the legislative finance committee from 1983 to 2014 and on the house appropriations and finance committee from 1989 to 2014; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki served with distinction in the south valley caucus and earned the esteemed title of "Chairman Emeritus" or perhaps more properly, "Presidente Emérito"; and

     WHEREAS, known for his wonderful sense of humor, in 1988, the Honorable Henry Kiki Saavedra was honored by a memorial that "declared him to be HOUSE JESTER for now and forever"; and

     WHEREAS, upon learning of his passing, tributes from colleagues describe Kiki as a gentleman through and through and praised his lifelong dedication to public service; and

     WHEREAS, legislators memorialized Kiki for his representation of an era of bipartisanship and teamwork; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki was known as a man of principles, integrity and old-school charm, with the gift of bringing everyone together; and

     WHEREAS, in his twenty-eight years of public service with the city of Albuquerque and thirty-eight years in the state legislature, Kiki was grounded in his commitment to ensuring that his children and grandchildren saw a better tomorrow; and

     WHEREAS, Kiki's death is mourned as the loss of a statesman and titan of the New Mexico legislature; and

      WHEREAS, Kiki is survived by his widow, Charissa Saavedra, five children, four stepdaughters, seventeen grandchildren, a great-grandson and his sister, Helen;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that it acknowledge and honor Representative Henry Kiki Saavedra for his dedication to New Mexico through his long years of service in the house of representatives; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to the Saavedra family.

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