Get to Know: Juan Martinez

Andre Lucas, Co-Copy Editor

A resident who has lived in the City of Downey for over a decade, Juan Martinez, has participated in local city government as an activist, pushing for the city council to do right by the people. However, due to the lack of connection between elected officials and residents as well as harmful decisions being made, Martinez felt a call to duty to run for the city council, seeking to represent district 5.


One of the primary issues that Matinez has seen is poor leadership in the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. While he believes that struggling small businesses should be aided by the city, Martinez wants to prioritize the health of residents, which is by following health guidelines.


“Right now, We have a lot of businesses that are not following CDC or health guidelines,” Martinez stated. “The health experts have been clear [that] we should be at home isolating but because we don’t have a strict ordinance and because our current council members favor businesses, they’re not doing what’s necessary to hold everyone accountable and keeping a safe environment.”


Another issue Martinez seeks to address is the issue of defunding the police. Even though Martinez has worked in law enforcement as an armed guard, he also believes that there are issues with systemic racism that need to be addressed.


“I recognize as someone who has worked in public safety that the work that they do is essential,” Martinez stated. “But I am not naive about the problems that every police department faces. Racism, bigotry are all part of the issues that we all have to deal with as minorities in our communities.”


Martinez also makes a distinction between himself and the candidates running as well as the incumbent city council members. Since Martinez, who identifies as a progressive, and believes that the city council mostly consists of moderate Democrats and Republicans, politicians are judged by where their money comes from, which is where he differentiates from other candidates.


“I personally am the only candidate who isn’t taking money from big real estate [and] the chamber of commerce,” Martinez explained, “In fact, I’m not really taking money from anyone at all and that’s because I want to run a grassroots campaign that is only beholden to the people.”


The city council elections are on Nov. 3.