Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez is not facing an opponent tomorrow, on Election Day 2010, but it will be a difficult day for her nevertheless, as her mother, Maryann Oliva Martinez, passed away this morning. Click here to send your condolences to Councilwoman Martinez.
Councilwoman Martinez posted this remembrance today on her Facebook account, “I love you mom and thank you for always loving me. I know it was difficult at times because I could not be so loving like my brothers, but you never gave up on me. I loved you with all my heart and soul. I was so proud of you for being a good mom and always having a heart of gold. Thank you for giving me life and making me the person I am today! Love you always mommy. Thank you for always being my number one fan!”
Michele Martinez and her mom, Maryann Oliva Martinez, on stage as Michele Martinez became the O.C. Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year
Maryann Oliva Martinez was born on February 19, 1963. She never had it easy. An article published in the L.A. Times, after Councilwoman Martinez won her Council seat in 2006, revealed a glimpse about Maryann Oliva Martinez’ life struggles and her inner strength…and love for her daughter:
Martinez is one of six children born to a drug addict in Santa Ana. While her mother served four years in prison and four years in county jails for various drug offenses, Martinez was raised by a great-grandmother who also cared for her five siblings and seven cousins. She said she never knew her father.
Martinez’ mother, Maryann Oliva Martinez, 43, said her daughter’s goal was to “not be like anyone in our family.
“No one has gone as far as she has in our family,” she said. “Everyone else dropped out of high school in the eighth and ninth grade. She always wanted to better herself.”
When Martinez graduated from high school, she said her mother told her: “The best thing I can do is make you go on your own.”
“She gave me two weeks to leave the house,” Martinez said.
She moved into a $750-a-month apartment and worked part-time jobs, her first as a basketball coach for the city’s parks division. Later she was a receptionist at Gold Coast Bakery and, by 21, was promoted to human resources manager. After the company was sold, Martinez became a human resources manager with ConquistAmerica, a lending company.
Councilwoman Martinez made her mom proud. Tomorrow she will be reelected to the Santa Ana City Council. Her mom won’t be there to celebrate, but she will surely be looking down from her celestial perch, with a warm smile for her beloved daughter.
R.I.P. Maryann Oliva Martinez, 1963-2010.
Maryann Oliva Martinez and Michele Martinez’ twin brother, Michael, and his son JR, who was Martinez’ first grandchild.