Martinez, Michele

Former Santa Ana City Council Member





Field Value
ID 5
Title An oral history with Michele Martinez
Date 2015-07-08
OH ID OH 5587
Citation Michele Martinez interviewed by Abby Waldrop, July 8, 2015, Santa Ana, California, Oral History #5587, transcript, Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State Univertsity, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:01 UTC
Location Santa Ana, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Childhood Experiences
Family → Grandparents
Family → Family Histories and Traditions
Family → Siblings
Colleges → Santa Ana College
Family → Role Models
Education → Early Childhood Education
Family → Divorce → Single Parent Home
City Council → Santa Ana City Council
Education → Higher Education
Elections → Local Elections
Elections → Election Campaign Strategies
Community Organizations → Boys and Girls Club
Elections → Canvassing
Activism → Sex & Human Trafficking → Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force
Leadership → Female versus Male Leadership
Sexism → Sexism in Politics
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Colleges → California State University, Fresno
Colleges → California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)
Recreation and Leisure → Basketball
Community Organizations → Southern California Association of Government (SCAG)
Latino/a → Organizations → Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)
Community Organizations → Alliance for a Healthy Orange County
Health, Medicine, and Awareness → Public Health
Politics → corruption
Discrimination, Racism, & Segregation → in politics
Politics → term limits
Latino/a → Community / Communities → education → first to go to college
Activism → Trans Latina Transgender Activism


An oral history of Michele Martinez, current Santa Ana city councilwoman. The interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information about Michele’s career on the city council. Specifically this interview covers Martinez’ youth as the daughter of an addict mother; moving to Santa Ana at age eleven and how the city became her real family; mentions her run for mayor of Santa Ana in 2008 (challenging Miguel Pulido), and the political mudslinging that came with it; early aspirations to become a police officer; meeting Mark Press, owner of Gold Coast Baking Company, who changed her life; her first campaign, against incumbent Fortino Rivera, and winning a seat on the council in 2006, the youngest person to do so; important issues from her campaign and how she was treated; negative publicity and lack of support; her Latino allies from local cities; plans to return to Los Angeles after her term is up in 2018; how she was received during her first months on the council; her leadership style, and differences on how men and women lead; her affiliation with NALEO [National Association of Latino Elected Officials], SCAG [Southern California Association of Governments], HOPE [Hispanas Organized for Political Equality], and Alliance for a Healthy Orange County; second mayoral run in 2010; how the city of Santa Ana recovered from near bankruptcy; being treated differently than male politicians; why more women do not serve in elected office; her thoughts of feminism; how her political experience has shaped her as a person; her advice to young girls involved in politics; how she sees herself in the future; and finally how she is a proud CSUF Titan alum, and hopes to do more positive work in her remaining term.


Field Value
File Name 5587_P01.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 693751
Description> Santa Ana City Council portrait of Michele Martinez, 2014.
Field Value
File Name 5587_P10.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1129697
Description> Photograph of Michele Martinez when she ran for mayor of Santa Ana, 2008.
Field Value
File Name 5587_P11.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1026378
Description> Michele Martinez when she ran for Mayor of Santa Ana, 2008.