Elk Grove City Council candidate Felipe Martin

By Lance Armstrong

Citizen Staff Writer

Felipe Martin, a business owner, will run for the Elk Grove City Council District 2 seat next November.

District 2 covers Sheldon and parts of eastern Elk Grove, and is partially bordered by Calvine, Grant Line and Elk Grove-Florin roads.

The District 2 seat is currently held by Pat Hume, who in June announced his plan to run for the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors’ District 5 seat next year. He has served on the City Council since 2006, and he is the council’s longest serving member.

Also running for the District 2 council seat in 2022 will be Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Sergio Robles, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Mahavir “Kalli” Kallirai, and Cosumnes Community Services District Director Rod Brewer.

Martin is a newcomer to the political field, as he is seeking public office for the first time.

He told the Citizen that a conversation he had with his son led him to decide to run for the council.

Martin asked his son if he would be returning to Elk Grove after graduating from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

“He says, ‘Well, what opportunities are here for me?’” he said. “You know, that kind of hit me. It was like, holy shmoly. You’re right. We need to figure out how to build Elk Grove and make it a place where kids want to come back and create roots in our community and build a career there.”

As for Martin’s own education, he graduated from Valley High School in 1986 and studied at Cosumnes River College and the University of San Francisco.

Martin identified his top issues of concern in Elk Grove as rebuilding the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the local economy, and homelessness.

“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, I believe we need to use every tool at our disposal to support our small businesses and protect our community and residents,” he said. “We need to advance smart policies that create an environment where our residents and workers are safe and our businesses can remain open.”

He added that there needs to be leaders who can assure that residents get their fair share of state and federal funds for relieving impacts resulting from the pandemic.

“As a city councilman, I would be a strong advocate for making informed decisions that create an environment where our residents are safe and our businesses can thrive,” he said.

Martin also shared his thoughts on supporting the local economy.

“Elk Grove is continuing to grow and it’s going to continue, and I believe we must be strategic and intentional about managing the growth, preserving the character of our neighborhoods and creating new opportunities that secure our city’s economic future,” he said.

Also important to Martin is attaining good paying jobs that will keep residents in Elk Grove.

“Elk Grove has the potential to become a hub to 21st century jobs,” he said.

Martin stressed his desire to use his experience in business to assist the local business community. He is the president and CEO of Martin Brothers Construction, owns a winery and event center, a trucking company and a rental company, and serves on the board of the California Prison Industry Authority.

“As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I understand the challenges and obstacles our small businesses face every day,” he said. “I want (to use) my experiences in Elk Grove to support our local businesses, attract new industry with great paying jobs, and maintain the great quality of life that defines our city.”

Martin told the Citizen that as a city council member, he would make homelessness “a top priority.”

He mentioned that he does not want Elk Grove to become like other cities that have “failed to get ahead of the curve” on that issue.

“I want to make sure that we are protected and that we have great policies that work in our favor,” he said.

With Elk Grove’s ongoing issue of traffic congestion, Martin hopes to assist in alleviating that issue.

“(Traffic congestion) is affecting everyone’s life, so I want to figure out a way to reduce that traffic, reduce that stress and increase the quality of life for everyone who lives in Elk Grove or anyone visiting Elk Grove for that matter,” he said.

With his campaign still new, Martin is currently working toward obtaining endorsements and scheduling public campaign events.

“I’m working to secure endorsements from a broad coalition of community leaders, business and labor groups, community organizations,” he said. “And in reality, I look forward to the support and endorsement of all voters of Elk Grove.

“There aren’t any (campaign events) planned at the moment. We will be planning some and they will (later be publicly announced).”

Martin described himself as the best candidate for the District 2 seat.

“I believe I have the unique experience as a business leader, as an entrepreneur, as a community member and as a family man to help lead Elk Grove into the future,” he said.