Santa Ana, CA — Santa Ana City Councilmember and current Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez announced her campaign for Mayor of Santa Ana today. Martinez is currently serving in her third term on the City Council.
In announcing her campaign, Martinez released the following statement:
“I am running for Mayor to reset the path that Santa Ana is on, so that our future enhances the quality of life for all who live here. I believe that we need to be honest about the problems our city faces and work in good faith with our community to solve them instead of kicking them down the road. I also believe that we need to advance new policies aimed at strengthening the city’s financial health and making our government more inclusive and transparent. It’s time for a Mayor whose priority is the people who live here now. It’s time Santa Ana had a Mayor for all of us.”
Michele Martinez was raised in Santa Ana since the age of 11 and was the first person in her family to graduate from high school and earn a college degree; she attended Spurgeon Intermediate, Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana College and California State University Fullerton, where she earned a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. Growing up, Michele witnessed close family members and friends fall victim to drug abuse, gang violence, and hopelessness. But Michele worked hard, never gave up on herself and realized at an early age that education was her only chance to get ahead.
Michele was elected to the Santa Ana City Council to represent Ward #2 in 2006. She was subsequently re-elected in 2010 and 2014. On the Council, Michele has made it her mission to ensure all residents have a seat at the table. She has worked to shift the culture at City Hall by supporting a bottom-up approach, and she has supported policy reforms aimed at making city government more equitable, transparent, and responsive. Michele spearheaded the first update to Santa Ana’s General Plan in more than 30 years, and she was instrumental in stabilizing the budget by creating the city’s first fiscal reserve policy. She has helped lead the fight to expand open space in the city by 22 acres, increase our new and affordable housing stock, repair nearly 300 miles of residential streets, and secure $40 million for active transportation programs.
Michele currently serves as Chair of the city’s Development, Infrastructure, Budget and Technology Committee. She is also an at-large member for the League of California Cities – Orange County Division, and she serves on the Board of the League of California Cities’ Latino Caucus. She currently serves as Santa Ana’s representative on the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG) and as a member of the Metropolitan Water District Board.
Upon her election in 2006, Michele became the youngest woman in Santa Ana’s history to serve on the City Council. She is the first leader in city history to have served as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). She is also the first Santa Ana official to serve as President of SCAG, which is the largest metropolitan planning organization in the country.