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 Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana and 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.
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, Michele is a strong supporter of local business and the critical role they play in education, our neighborhood preservation, and the economic development of the city.Michele serves on two city council committees; she chairs the Parks, Recreation, Education, and Youth Council Committee and is a member of the Neighborhood Improvement/Code Enforcement Committee. Michele also represents the City of Santa Ana on several regional and state 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. Michele also serves as a SCAG Ex-Officio member to the board of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink). 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 represents the City on the State Workforce Investment Board (WIB) assisting the Governor in all the functions outlined in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The WIB is committed to developing a unified, strategic planning process to coordinate various education, training, and employment programs into an integrated workforce development system that supports economic development. Lastly, she is actively involved with NALEO’s California Health Leadership Program designed to enhance the effectiveness of Latino elected officials and their ability to advance successful health policy and effect changes in our community.
Michele is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton where she earned a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice. In the fall of 2011 Michele will be attending Cal State Fullerton to pursue a Masters Degree in Public Health. She is currently the Director of the Orange County Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative (NuPAC) Obesity Prevention Plan. Michele enjoys spending her free time cycling and living a healthy life style.