OGDEN – The primaries are still three and a half months away, but the election season is starting to heat up in Ogden.
On Monday, Priscilla Martinez announced her candidacy for the District 3 seat of Ogden City Council, currently held by long-time council member Doug Stephens.
Martinez, who previously chaired the Ogden City Diversity Commission, said she wanted Ogden to be a place where “everyone can live and thrive” and where residents from all walks of life are heard and informed. . Martinez, a Latina and native Spanish speaker, noted that Ogden’s population is around 30% Latino and the population should be better represented on Ogden’s board. Currently, Council member Luis Lopez is the only Latino of the seven members of the Legislative Council.
“I run because every resident of Ogden has a voice that matters,” Martinez said. “As a member of the large Latinx community in Ogden, I recently attended a public planning meeting that only a few members of my community attended, although the decisions made would have a direct impact on them.”
Martinez earned a Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. She describes herself as a “dedicated community activist” who is passionate about serving others. She worked in case management at the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and most recently did diversity and community outreach for Ogden Weber Technical College. In addition to the Diversity Commission, Martinez has also served on the Advisory Board of the Marshall White Center in Ogden, the Hispanic Utah Chamber of Commerce, and established a non-partisan “Voto Latino” section in Ogden to assist the Latin American community to register to vote.
She said her main activities as a board member would be to make sure community programs – like parks, libraries, schools or recycling – work for all Ogden residents. Martinez also said she will work to ensure that Ogden maintains liveable and affordable communities amid growth and is environmentally sustainable.
On Tuesday, Stephens said he had not made a decision on whether or not to stand for re-election.
A longtime Ogden resident and a graduate of Ben Lomond High School and Weber State University, Stephens was first elected to represent the Ogden 3 Municipal District in November 2005. He said he would take over likely a decision on his re-election status by the end of May.
Four council seats are up for grabs in Ogden’s municipal election in 2021. In addition to District 3, the city’s District 1 seat and two at-large seats will be decided this year. All positions are for a four-year term.
The application period begins on June 1 and ends on June 7. For residents of Ogden who wish to run for one of the four seats, a nomination paper must be completed in person at the Office of the City of Ogden Registrar, 2549 Washington Blvd. A primary election is scheduled for August 10, with the general election scheduled for November 2.