Newburgh City Council Candidate Ward 1
Giselle Martinez is a life-long City of Newburgh resident, first generation American, and daughter of Mexican immigrants. Martinez is an activist who volunteers with several local non-profit organizations advocating for women and immigrant rights, racial equity in education, and environmental justice. She also has experience working in federal and state government.
Martinez is running for City Council in Ward One.
Giselle was born and raised in the city of Newburgh to a working class, immigrant family. Her parents immigrated from Mexico, like many, seeking better opportunities for their families. Her father worked in construction, welding, on farms, and as a dishwasher in restaurants while her mother worked cleaning houses, hotels and as a factory worker. Giselle grew up watching her parents alternate late shifts to make ends meet and was exposed to the hardships of economic injustices inspiring her to fight for immigrant rights and battle income inequality.
Since she was in high school, Giselle was an active member in her community. She would volunteer with several local organizations, participating in clothes and food distributions, community clean ups, and peer mentoring programs. She was also a member of the Boys & Girls Club of Newburgh where she was nominated and won their Youth of Year award in 2016. During her time in college she focused on bridging the gap between low income, first generation students and higher education. She did this primarily through educational panels on financial aid which included options for undocumented youth and mentoring programs. She also fought for racial equity and inclusion through her role as President of the Latino Student Union. After college, she continued to volunteer for non-profit organizations such as Melanin Unchained and Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, becoming a fierce advocate for racial, educational and environmental equity.
Giselle gained experience during college through various internships in both federal and state government offices. She briefly worked at the State Capitol in Albany for State Senator Jessica Ramos gaining insight on the legislative process. After the session ended, she returned home to work for Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson in his Newburgh district office, primarily focused on constituent relations. Giselle also became involved with multiple clubs and committees that exposed her to campaigning, including the Newburgh City Democratic Committee as Secretary, Orange County Democratic Committee, and the Young Democrats of Orange County as Vice Chair.