D3 Berkeley City Council candidate Orlando Martinez
Orlando Martinez. Photo: Courtesy Martinez campaign

Name: Orlando Martinez, 37, regional manager for a formwork and construction company

What office/district are you are running for? District 3

What is the main reason you are running? I am running with the interest of becoming the voice for our community. As your council member, I will focus on the opportunities for our youth, creating these opportunities for them must be a priority for us all. Their futures are in a balance right now and we must act to ensure their futures are as prosperous as they choose them to be.

Why are you qualified? I have previous experience as a former Community Actions Board member. Doing that gave me insight into how much positive change can be done when a group of motivated individuals come together. As a council member, I want to do the same for our community. Be the positive change for a better Berkeley.

What sets you apart from other candidates? I always try to listen before I act. I am here to be the voice of my district and the community and I will always do my best to represent them to the best of my ability. Tough decisions will have to be made and I may not always be in favor but I respect our democracy, and will continuously fight to make things as fair as possible. Our youth deserve a chance, we as taxpayers deserve a chance, but more importantly, those who are underprivileged and have to endure a life of systematic disadvantages deserve a chance. What separates me is my passion to represent our people so we have a chance at a fair shake.

What brought you to Berkeley and when did you come? My wife and I were privileged to have become homeowners in this accepting community of Berkeley, Ca. just over 3 years ago. Which is what brought us here from previously living in San Francisco.

What are the three biggest challenges for Berkeley in the next five years? I believe the three biggest challenges we face in our community are affordable housing, homelessness, and ensuring our tax dollars are spent responsibly.

What are your ideas to begin to solve them? It is our responsibility to tackle and address housing and homelessness and I believe we can implement programs to address both issues. Working with developers like Panoramic Interests is just one example of how the city of Berkeley has begun to find ways to address our problems. We must continue these efforts to really address affordable housing, our projected population rates in the years to come are only going to continue to increase and we must find ways to decrease construction costs. It costs about $800k to build a single unit residence, modular construction can significantly decrease (estimated 30%) construction costs which will allow for a more affordable way of living.

It’s these type of ideas which allow us to progress and be a leader in our community and nation. Enough talk, we need action, and now is the time. We must leverage our community reach and invite developers to prosper in Berkeley.

While tackling the issue of homelessness and affordable housing, we will also be able to limit our resident’s tax exposure. Our tax dollars to be used and redirected into other areas of need, like developmental youth programs, the elderly, and climate change.

I am not saying my ideas are perfect but I have the courage to think outside of the box to bring real solutions to our community. Please join me in my efforts, I’m here to listen.

What is your most inspired/unique idea for Berkeley? I don’t think I have any particular unique idea for Berkeley. I know we have issues that must be addressed and I want to focus on our everyday challenges. As community members, we endure and face challenges in our daily lives. I want to be our voice which allows our community to figure out efficient ways to address our problems. Always working in collaboration and listening and taking the opposition into consideration to build a better Berkeley.

How will you be accessible to constituents? Aside from the traditional methods of communication, want to be visible for our community. I enjoy taking walks throughout district 3 and I want to continue that. On any given evening/night my constituents will be able to see me walking through there neighborhood and we can have a conversation. My sole responsibility is to represent them and what better way to engage then having some time face to face. (of course keeping in mind our social distancing practices)

Why should voters choose you over the incumbent? I believe I bring progressive ideas and out of the box thinking which can help us progress as a community and city. I’m here to listen and bring forward ideas that can help build a better Berkeley.

Are you using public financing? No

How much money do you expect to spend on your campaign? I don’t have the exact figure but I assume anywhere between $5,000-$10,000.

Share a personal interest or passion people might be surprised to learn about. I am a big sports fan and definitely enjoy taking time to travel with my family.

Learn more about Orlando Martinez online: Website Read more about Orlando Martinez on Berkeleyside. See complete 2020 election coverage on Berkeleyside.

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