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Born in 1951, Mr. Martinez was a former state representative and a city councilman for the city of San Antonio, Texas. He was also chair of the Democratic Party in Bexar County. Mr. Martinez began his career in public life as an assistant to state representative Joe Hernandez in 1973.
The interview begins with a discussion of the Martinez family history and genealogy. Martinez gives details about his work as a state legislative aide to Representative Joe Herna´ndez, and tells why, after nine years working for him, he decided to run for state representative. Martinez talks about the challenges he faced as an elected state representative, and he tells why he decided to run for the San Antonio City Council. Martinez talks about important issues he pursued as councilman such as getting a city policy established on equal opportunity for minority small business contractors in San Antonio. He describes the administrations of mayors Henry Cisneros, Nelson Wolff, and Lila Cockrell, and he gives his opinion on the effectiveness of each of these mayors as leaders and mentors. Martinez elaborates upon how he raised money to finance his various election campaigns. He talks about why he wanted to run for county commissioner and he describes the events that led to his failed election attempt. He gives reasons that he decided to seek the position of Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman. Martinez concludes the interview with a discussion of issues he sees as important to Mexican American interests.
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