Council Member Mike Martinez has devoted his entire career to public service and working families.
Council Member Mike Martinez has devoted his entire career to public service and working families. Before taking office in 2006, Council Member Martinez served as an Austin firefighter for 13 years and in 2003, was elected the President of the Austin Firefighters Association where he led a successful campaign to secure collective bargaining rights for Austin firefighters. He also served as the Chair of the Austin Firefighters Association Political Action Committee from 2001-2004, where he represented the interests of public safety professionals in elections and campaigns. Council Member Martinez was sworn in as a City Council Member on June 20, 2006.
By taking a proactive approach, Council Member Martinez has consistently worked to advance issues for the working people of our community. He has strived to ensure that Austin maintains its strong arts and music culture, enhance public safety, and improve quality of life and availability of affordable housing city-wide. Council Member Martinez has sponsored resolutions creating a City Department of Arts and Culture, making the Trail of Lights Festival carbon neutral, improved staffing levels and women’s facilities at Fire Stations throughout the City, and adopted an ordinance to lead Austin into being a sweat shop-free community by supporting goods that emphasize humane and legal labor practices. Council Member Martinez sponsored a comprehensive rewrite of the local campaign finance ordinance that improves transparency, restricts contributions from PACs, and provides clear ways to enforce campaign finance laws.
As Chairman of the Capital Metro Board of Directors, Mike led the agency towards complying with all 19 recommendations by the State of Texas Sunset Commission within 3 years instead of the estimated 6 provided by the Commission. The transit agency has received a “Gold” level from the Texas State Comptroller’s office for financial transparency, the highest recognition a local government entity can receive.
As a Council Member, he helped establish a Community Garden and Urban Farm program at the City of Austin and sponsored a resolution that created the Sustainable Food Policy Board. Council Member Martinez also worked closely with the Animal Advisory Commission, staff at the Austin Animal Center, local nonprofit partners, and volunteers to make Austin the first major City in the United States to successfully achieve no-kill status.
Council Member Martinez has made preserving the historic character of Austin a priority, and has worked diligently to find creative solutions to tackle the problem of rapidly rising property taxes in East Austin. In December 2006, Council Member Martinez sponsored a resolution that saved historic Oak Springs in East Austin from development. In January 2007, Council Member Martinez sponsored an ordinance to create a Homestead Preservation District, which combats the effects of skyrocketing home values by using a portion of increased property taxes to fund innovative affordable housing efforts in East Austin. He stood strong against the proposed landfill in the Webberville neighborhood and sponsored a resolution to initiate the Hispanic Quality of Life Initiative.
Council Member Martinez serves as the Board Chairman for Capital Metro, as well as the Chair of the Public Health and Human Services and the Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business Enterprise and Small Business Council Subcommittees. He is also a member of the Judicial Committee.
A graduate of Leadership Austin, Council Member Martinez attended Austin Community College and the University of Texas at Austin. Mike is a strong believer in community involvement and has served on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, and as a diversity trainer with the National Coalition Building Institute. He has received recognition and awards from organizations such as the Alliance for Public Transportation, Workers Defense Project, Texas Classroom Teachers Association, the Network of Asian American Organizations, Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, and the US Hispanic Contractors Association. Since 2006, Council Member Martinez has been awarded 5 times in the Austin Chronicle’s “Best of Austin” issue for his service on Council.
Council Member Martinez is a long-time resident of East Austin, where he lives with his 15 year old son, Alejandro, his wife, Lara Wendler, and their 1 year old son Diego.