Seven years ago, Kami Martin made a new beginning in life by moving to Galt with her two sons. Her earliest childhood memories are of Hawaii where she lived until the age of five. It made a big impression on her life, beginning with her name.
“My parents love Hawaii and lived there both before and after my brother and I were born,” Martin said. “I was born in San Francisco and my brother was born in Hilo. As is tradition, we were both given Hawaiian names by one of our aunties. My name is Kamalani and his is Kaliko. My name means Chief’s child and his, the bud of a flower.”
Martin’s family had strong ties to the area and moved back to the mainland to be close to her grandmother. Stockton became the family’s new home where Martin and her brother both graduated from Lincoln High School.
She earned an undergraduate degree in government and then went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration. She works as a claim adjuster for an insurance company and aspires to become an attorney. But she counts her most significant accomplishment as “raising two amazing humans.”
“I have raised two wonderful young men,” Martin said. “We had some tough times. Kids aren’t easy. The decision to move to Galt wasn’t an easy one. It was one day me saying, ‘nope, we’re out. Lodi is not right for us.’ Galt is the best choice I have ever made. For me, for my boys, for my family.”
Both of Martin’s sons graduated from Liberty Ranch High School. Devin, 21, is currently attending Cosumnes River College while working at California Custom Trailers. He and his girlfriend just purchased their first home and are fostering a German shepherd. Derek, 17, is registered to attend Universal Technical Institute in the fall in hopes of becoming a mechanic. Martin has a third “child”, Remi, an 8-year-old German shepherd that, according to Martin, is well trained, knows commands and listens most of the time.
She planted both feet in Galt and follows city politics closely while serving on the Measure R Committee. Encouraging Galt citizens to be involved and attend council meetings seems to be her calling.
For the past few years, Martin has been steadily increasing her community involvement. It started with the installation of a stop sign at the corner of Carillion and Vintage Oak, and grew from there.
“People may have noticed that I don’t take lightly to being ignored or brushed aside,” Martin said. “I have been very active on social media, posting agendas to almost every meeting and attempting to summarize important agenda items so that citizens can understand and quickly reference them.”
Martin felt it was very important to try to improve attendance to City Council meetings, as well as Planning and Parks and Rec meetings.
“Joe Citizen has not been informed, nor have they been involved in the process, and I have found that citizens have been getting angry after decisions have been made … when it is too late to make a difference,” Martin said. “So I have been making an effort to get them mobilized before those final decisions.”
Her father’s strong influence has had a profound effect on her life, according to Martin. He was a stay-at-home dad while his wife worked as a nurse. He was involved in all his children’s school activities, including being the president of the PTA, starting a GATE program and was on the ground floor of Pacific Charter School.
“My dad is my hero,” Martin said. “My dad has taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and this has never failed me. He has also instilled in me my ridiculous research skills. When my brother and I were younger, any time we had a question, what something was, what a word meant, my dad’s response was, ‘go look it up.’ And this was before the internet.”
Honesty, kindness, integrity and respect are Martin’s most valued character traits. As a self-proclaimed “straight shooter”, she’s ready to work hard.
“I have zero interest in compromising who I am for a position, any position, paid or otherwise,” Martin said. “I will ask questions. I will read every page of every document. I will do the math. If it doesn’t make sense, I will ask until it does.”