Gov. Susana Martinez: An American Success Story

Wanted to quickly share a great article on New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez by the Santa Fe Mexican Newspaper. It offers a glimpse of Martinez’s early life, growing up with her entrepreneurial parents and her rise from prosecutor to becoming the First Latina Governor.

Martinez has always embraced her heritage, defining herself as an “American of Mexican descent.”  Here is a quick snippet from the piece:

Faces of Immigration: Martinez, granddaughter of immigrants, rules with her head, not her heart

…. In this nation of immigrants and migrants, the Martinez family followed a well-traveled path, starting with that moment of truth when Martinez’s grandparents chose to leave what was familiar in Mexico for uncertain opportunity in the United States. A 1930 U.S. Census Bureau record lists Martinez’s paternal grandparents, Adolfo and Francisca Martinez, and shows their citizenship status as “AL” for “alien,” the census-form indication for “all foreign-born persons neither naturalized nor having first papers.”

Both sets of grandparents were Mexican immigrants. Her father’s parents disappeared from his life early on, so he was raised by aunts. At the age of 5, he became a shoe shiner and slowly moved up to becoming a renowned El Paso boxing coach, a police officer and then a security business owner.

And Susana Martinez’s mother helped run the family business, never neglecting the household while taking care of three children, including Martinez’s older sister, who has a mental disability….

First’ Latina

Susana Martinez is seven months into her term as governor, a rising star nationally in the Republican Party who is identified, as politicians tend to be, by a one-dimensional label: the nation’s first Latina governor…

…A year after her rapid rise in statewide Republican politics and only weeks away from a thorny special session of the Legislature, Martinez enjoys a high approval rating statewide. But she also has local and national political experts watching her carefully through the formative months of her administration.

She is leader to 2 million residents and manager of a recession-wracked state budget, and sandwiched in between is her insistence that she not avoid the hot-button issues. That is why banning driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants is near the top of Martinez’s political agenda for a state that is 48 percent Hispanic.

Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, called Martinez’s governorship “a real breakthrough.” Vargas drew parallels between Martinez’s achievement and that of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor…

Read the entire article here.



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