Honorable Arabella Martinez, Vice Chair Emerita


The Honorable Arabella Martinez has dedicated over 40 years to building economic self-sufficiency and empowerment among women and communities of color. Arabella served as the first Chief Executive Officer of The Unity Council in Oakland, where she led the historic $100 million revitalization initiative of the Fruitvale neighborhood—linking land use, transportation, and community development.

A historic figure, Arabella was the first Latina appointed to a sub-cabinet level position, serving as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Human Development Services in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter. Arabella has also served on more than two dozen boards, including those of the Oakland Business Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Advisory Committee, and the National Council of La Raza.

Arabella currently serves as Board Commission for the Port of Oakland, the Vice Chair Emerita of Latino Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and Board Member of Raza Development Fund.

She received both her undergraduate degree and her Master of Social Work from UC Berkeley.