Occupation: Director of the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County (AHOC)
Education: Santa Ana High School
Santa Ana College, AA
Cal State Fullerton, BA
First Elected: November 2006
Term Expires: November 2014
Michele Martinez’s passion for public service stems from her strong commitment to serving her community. As one of the youngest to serve on the City Council, Michele brings new and positive energy to the City of Santa Ana. Michele was elected to the City Council in November of 2006 and was re-elected for a second term in 2010.
Michele was raised in Santa Ana and has lived in the city for over 20 years. She is a product of the Santa Ana Unified School District and also attended Santa Ana College. Michele has focused many of her efforts on helping low-income youth continue onto higher education. She spends her free time building community partnerships to help mentor and sponsor educational programs for students and currently is a Board Member for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). She is a graduate of the nationally recognized Pew Civic Leadership Program, where she developed her leadership skills including city planning, community advocacy, and policy development.
In addition to Michele’s public service, she has been named one of the 20 Women to Watch in Orange County in 2007 and was recognized as the Emerging Latina of the Year in 2007 by the National Latina Business Women Association. In 2008, Michele was the recipient of the Hispanic Influential award by the United Way of Orange County for her outstanding achievements and contributions to the community. As one of Cal State Fullerton’s successful Latino alumni, she was selected as part of “Querer es Poder” (Too Want is to be Able to) for her efforts in motivating young people to aspire for a college education. She was also given the Women Making a Difference Award from Senator Lou Correa in 2010 and in 2012. Recently has been awarded Santa Ana LULAC Hispanic Women of the year Award.
Michele’s priorities on the council include economic development, public health, safety, and education. Michele understands the importance of having a thriving economic base to support job creation and a healthy and safe community. Furthermore, she is a strong supporter of local businesses and the critical role they play in education, our neighborhood preservation, and the economic development of the City. Michele serves on the following City Council committees: Public Safety; Finance, Economic Development & Technology; Development & Transportation; Strategic Planning Sub-committee; and the Legislative City Council Committee.
Michele also represents the City of Santa Ana on several regional boards; she currently serves on the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation's largest metropolitan planning organization representing six counties, 189 cities and more than 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California. She is an at-large member for the California League of Cities Orange County Division. She is also the City’s representative on Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG), a joint powers authority established to monitor, analyze and provide Orange County's technical and policy recommendations on all SCAG plans and programs. Michele also represents the City on the Transportation Corridor Agencies Committee (TCA). TCA are two joint powers authorities formed by the California legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct, and operate Orange County's toll roads. TCA consists of two local government agencies: the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency which oversees the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road and the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency which runs both the Foothill Toll Road and the Eastern Toll Road. Lastly, she is actively involved with The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO); a leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed Latino public officials in the United States.
Michele is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton where she earned a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently pursuing a Master Degree in Public Health at Cal State Fullerton. Michele is currently the Director of Alliance for a Healthy Orange County and enjoys spending her free time cycling and living a healthy life style.