|Member of the Illinois Senate|
from the 20th district
|Assumed office |
January 8, 2003
|Preceded by||Peter Roskam (renumbered)|
|Born||February 25, 1956|
West Town, Chicago, Illinois
|Alma mater||Northeastern Illinois University|
Iris Y. Martinez (born February 25, 1956) is a Democratic member of the Illinois Senate, representing the 20th district since 2003. She is also an Assistant Majority Leader in the State Senate. She is currently the Democratic nominee in the 2020 election for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Senator Martinez is the first Latina woman to be elected to the Illinois State Senate. In her first year in Springfield, Martinez ensured that community agencies like the Children's Place, an agency that works with children and families affected by HIV and AIDS, and Concordia Avondale Community Center, which provides daycare, after-school programs and a center for seniors, received state funding to continue their programming. Martinez was particularly concerned with issues surrounding women's health. She passed legislation that obligates health insurance companies to provide women with contraceptive coverage. In recognition of this legislation, Martinez received the Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood. Martinez targeted Illinois drivers with out of state reckless homicide and DUI convictions with the passage of a new law. This law ensures that convictions received in other states are included in Illinois driving records and subject to state laws regarding further prosecution of these offences. To help protect consumers from becoming victims of identity theft, Martinez helped pass a law that requires all insurance cards be issued without a Social Security number.
In 2004, Martinez was awarded the Hillary Clinton Leadership Award presented to an elected official by the Illinois Democratic Women's organization. Martinez is the Chairperson of the Pensions Committee and Vice Chairperson of the Housing and Community Affairs Committee. She serves as a member of three additional committees: Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Insurance.
In 2006, Martinez endorsed judicial candidate Ramon Ocasio III over the Cook County Democratic Party endorsed candidate, Ed Lechowicz, the son of former State Senator Ted Lechowicz, saying she did so to increase the number of Latinos on the Cook County judiciary.
2008 re-election campaign
In 2008, Martinez faced a primary challenge from state representative Richard T. Bradley, who represented half of her district in the House. Bradley had originally announced his intention to seek re-election to his former seat in the Illinois House but decided instead to challenge Martinez when Deb Mell announced her candidacy for his House seat. Martinez was re-elected, defeating Bradley and another candidate.
2020 Cook County Circuit Clerk Election
On August 14, 2019, Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown announced that she would not seek relection in 2020. Martinez later announced that she would seek the Dmeocratic nomination for Circuit Clerk. Despite not being endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party, Martinez won the primary with 33.73% of the vote and 50,000 more votes than party endorsed candidate Michael Cabonargi.
- "The More Things Change". Chicago Reader. 2006-03-17. External link in
- Miller, Rich (November 26, 2018). "Pritzker transition unveils Powering Illinois' Future Committee". Capitol Fax. Retrieved November 26, 2018.