Anita Nanez Martinez | University of North Texas Special Collections

Name: Anita Nanez Martinez

Historical Note:

Anita Nanez Martinez was born in Dallas, Texas on December 8,1925. She is a fifth generation Texan Mexican-American, born to Jose and Anita Nanez. She lived in Dallas Mexican community, known as "Little Mexico". At a young age, Anita N. Martinez exhibited an interest in community affairs, at 14 years old, she went door to door collecting signatures in efforts to repave a street in her community.

After high school, Anita married Albert Martinez. She chose the role of  homemaker and mother but at the same time, she continue to volunteer for schools and community organizations which resulted her being approached to run for Dallas City Council. Anita Nanez Martinez accepted and became the first female Mexican-American member of the City Council of Dallas, Texas. Elected in 1969, Anita served the city council for four years. The West Dallas area had been a neglected area of the city, one change Anita wanted to change was a lack of a recreation center. In 1975, a recreation center was built in West side of Dallas. This center was the birthplace of the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico (ANMBF).

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