Mayor Pro Tem Michele Martinez was elected to the Santa Ana City Council in 2006 to represent ward 2, she became the youngest woman in the city history to serve in this role. Michele has been able to continue to break barriers, in 2016 she became the first councilmember to serve as President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and in May 2017 she made history again by becoming the first councilmember to serve as President of the Southern California Association of Governments, the largest metropolitan planning organization in the country. Lastly, in December of 2016, Michele was elected Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Santa Ana by the City Council, making her the youngest woman to serve as Mayor Pro Tem in the city’s history.
Michele has made it her mission and passion to make sure all residents have a seat at the table and not on the menu. Hence, under Michele’s leadership and hard work on the City Council since taking office, she made it her priority to shift the culture of city hall by supporting a bottoms up approach, a more equitable, transparent, responsive and fiscally responsible government. In 2012, Michele championed and supported the city first sunshine ordinance that would ensure openness in Santa Ana government, was instrumental in stabilizing the city budget by creating the first fiscal reserve policy. The general fund reserves have grown from 3 million to 41.8 million in the past four years. Michele is most proud of spearheading a number of innovative policies and plans that improve the public realm, economic development and putting people first by championing the city's first comprehensive update of the General Plan in over 30 years, Downtown Complete Streets Plan, Vision Zero plan and the city’s first, five-year Strategic Plan, IT Strategic Plan and Economic Development Strategic Plan.
Lastly, Michele kept her promise and helped the city increase its open space by 22 acres, increased its affordable housing stock, and helped the city secure over 40 million dollars for active transportation to ensure pedestrian and bike safety, and improved and repaired nearly 300 miles of residential streets.
Michele is currently serving as the Chair of the Development, Infrastructure, Budget and Technology Committee which is aligned with her priorities on the City Council, which include policies and programs that strengthen the city's financial health while simultaneously improving the quality of life. Regionally, Michele serves as immediate Past President of SCAG and NALEO, Metropolitan Water District, Orange County Council Of Governments (OCCOG),Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Committee, Local Government Commission Board. She is an at-large member for the League of California Cities - Orange County Division and on the Board for the League of California Cities, Latino Caucus.