Mr. Ortega is presently with the Ortega Law Firm, a firm that concentrates on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases. He is a member of the Arizona State Bar, American Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, Maricopa County Bar Association and Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. As a part of his pro bono practice, Mr. Ortega has had the opportunity to participate and litigate a host of cases involving civil and voting rights, and employment law.
Mr. Ortega serves on the Board of Directors of the Cesar Chavez Foundation and Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association. He previously served as chairman of the Board of Directors of UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) and the Board of Directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Chicanos Por La Causa.
Notably, Mr. Ortega served as chairman of the Arizona Industrial Commission for 11 years and in that capacity led efforts to adopt regulations that eliminated the infamous short-handled hoe, which forced farm workers to work bending over, resulting in serious and disabling health problems. The commission issued a rule prohibiting use of hoes with handles less than four feet long. He also led the effort to adopt field sanitation regulations that requires growers to provide clean drinking water, individual cups and toilets for farm workers in the fields.
Mr. Ortega’s community involvement began during high school and continues to this day with a focus on educational reform, political empowerment and protection of human rights. He credits many individuals for his leadership development, but most of all the late Cesar Chavez who inspired his work to improve the working conditions of farm workers. His work with farm workers was also inspired by his father who was a farm worker.
Mr. Ortega has received more than 30 awards, including the Jaycee’s One of Three Young Outstanding Men, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Professional of the Year, Chicanos Por La Causa Community Service Award, “Living the Dream” Community Service Award – Eighth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Breakfast, Valley Leadership Visionary Award, Valle del Sol Exemplary Leadership Award, State of Arizona Democratic Party Hall of Fame, Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association -lifetime Achievement Award, Anti-Defamation League Leader of Distinction and Phoenix Business Magazine One of Fifty Most Powerful Leaders. Mr. Ortega holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University.