We became citizens in 1976, which was a very important year,” says Island of Trinidad-born Anne Martins, who has been active in Golden politics. “It was the Centennial of Colorado and the Bicentennial of the United States. Governor Lamm officiated at our swearing in ceremony.”
Before she came to the US, Martins lived in London where she worked, married husband, Gerry and had her son, Gareth. She was there for 10 years. “While living in London,” says Martin, “I worked right across the street from Westminster Abby and the Houses of Parliament. A friend and I, on our lunch break, decided to go over to watch some of the goings-on in the House of Commons. That really looked interesting to me, so I knew, when I came here (United States), I wanted to participate. And in order to participate, I would have to be a citizen.”
Martins’ family moved to New York after her husband, a student, was given an opportunity to study there. After three years, the family moved to Golden. They had to be residents for five years before they could apply to become citizens and were told they had to return to their country of origin to do so. “Gerry was born in Guyana, I was born in Trinidad and Gareth was born in London,” said Martins. With a little bit of maneuvering, the School of Mines had a professor in Calgary who arranged for them to go through The U.S. Embassy. That seemed to satisfy the United States. They were granted their green cards and waited five years to become citizens.
As soon as she became a citizen, Martins was able to vote. She participated in caucuses, became an Election Day Judge, made calls for school bonds, went door- to-door on behalf of many candidates, was Precinct Chair a few times, and was Coordinator for Gwyn Green’s first race for the Colorado House of Representatives.
State Rep. Green’s first election was very close and a re-count was needed. Recalls Martin, “We had to count the provisional ballots because it was so close. That’s where I saw that one vote really can make a difference.”