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First black board member bringing 'new ideas' to Ford County

Local Government

By Carrie Bradon | Jul 8, 2017

Martinez
New Board of Trustee member appointed to Melvin, Illinois.

Fame appears to run in Mario Fernandez Martinez's family.

While the 27-year-old first gained fame as the son of YouTube sensation Alicia Grimes and as a record producer and model, he can now lay claim to being the first African-American to join a Ford County board in the county's 158-year history.

Martinez graduated from GCMS High School in Gibson City in 2008, and it didn't take him long to pursue his aspirations of political involvement.

"I am an outsider," Martinez told the East Central Reporter, emphasizing that he had no political experience before being named to the board. "Most people who have a lot of experience don't get stuff done. I felt that with the vision and mind that I have, I can bring a lot of new ideas to help improve the town where I live."

Martinez, who is actually part Cuban as well, credits much of his inspiration to his mother, whom he says taught him to never give up on his dreams, one of which is to run for a bigger office seat.

His 50,000 Instagram followers probably agree.

Prior to his appointment, Martinez produced his mother's The Album 43, which includes the hit songs "Money Money," "Say I Do" and "Official."

Martinez was defeated by a single vote in the April election but later appointment on a board vote of 4 to 1. He said he brings an energetic attitude to the position and looks forward to making decisions to improve his home.

"I will seek to get rid of the rock roads and bring an update to this town to make it look much better," Martinez said. "Also, I will make sure that the mission and philosophy of the town are maintained."

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