Hike Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: 8:30 AM
Meeting Place:  Bethany Baptist Church, 5850 Alhambra Ave
Leader: Kay Cox (questions?—email Kay at
Hike Description: Alhambra Highlands (not open to the public yet) 3 miles, 800 ft. elevation

You will need to sign a waiver (a legal precaution requested by the city until the land is open to the public and safety measures are in place). 
To do this:
1.  type:
2. click on: departments and select: Recreation Dept.
3.  Scroll down a few inches and select: “Register for Classes/ Special Events HERE”
4.  Alhambra Highlands Hike will appear in the subheading. Select: June 17 hike and register

IMPORTANT INFO:  Please note that Thousand Friends Monthly hikes are usually on the third Sunday of the month.  This hike is on the third SATURDAY.  Mayor Brianne will meet us to open the gate.  She will also have a few wavier forms available in case you can’t navigate the system.

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?: We often talk to people who have lived in Martinez for a few years, love to hike, but haven’t managed to make it out to many of our spectacular trails.  Since an important part of our TF Mission is to improve quality of life in Martinez, we thought either introducing or giving people an opportunity to experience our open space would go well with our mission.

NO DOGS ALLOWED!!!! (very sorry to all the four-legged creatures who bring us much joy)

John Muir Historical Site releases
Mt. Wanda Planning Document

The National Park Service (NPS) has released it Mt. Wanda Site Planning Document for public review and comment. The acquisition of additional acreage to the site has lead to an evaluation of how to add to the visitor experience. You can read and review the document by clicking here.

Thousand Friends of Martinez has reviewed the plan and feels that it is a well thought out, comprehensive plan. There is one deficit that

Thousand Friends of Martinez Comments on the
“Housing Plan Background Report Public Review Draft

March 2023

Our city is undertaking a difficult job to fulfill the State mandates for new housing sites and agreeing to rezone the sites to higher density.  This is the major direction our attempt to meet the State mandate is taking.  This rezoning will change the face of our town, both the Downtown and the neighborhoods. 

This Housing Report also recommends multitudinous additional actions that will have major effects on our City budget and on the physical character of our town.  Many of these actions are at the discretion of the City Council.   

Following are some comments that we ask you to consider in the actions you take on the Housing Element.

Continue reading

Citizen of the Year Announced

Jamie Fox, whose tireless work on behalf of the Alhambra Hill Open Space movement, has been selected as the Thousand Friends of Martinez Citizen of the Year. If it wasn’t for Jamie, this land would have been developed for housing. Instead, the citizens of Martinez have purchased the property to save it for open space in perpetuity.

Thousand Friends will have a public meeting on January 9th to present the award to Jamie.

The meeting will be held at the Veterans Hall in Martinez on 930 Ward St. at 7pm. The meeting will also be available as a Zoom meeting.

Final Election Results (unofficial) 12-1-22

Martinez has a new mayor! This has been one of Thousand Friends of Martinez primary goals. Brianne Zorn’s election opens up her District 3 council seat as a vacancy.

Final Results (Unofficial) 12/01/22
Martinez Mayor
Candidate Votes Percentage
Brianne Zorn 3859 24.40%
Sean Trambley 3668 23.19%
Lara Delaney 3536 22.36%
Mike Menesini 1994 12.61%
Mark Ross 1808 11.43%
Michael Ayers 951 6.01%
Martinez City Council District 1
Candidate Votes Percentage
Jay Howard 1905 57.76%
Nakenya Allen 1393 42.24%
Martinez City Council District 4
Candidate Votes Percentage
Debbie McKillop 2182 50.28%
Ben Therriault 2158 49.72%
Measure K – Martinez Unified School District
55% to pass Votes Percentage
Bonds Yes 6645 52.60%
Bonds No 5989 47.40%
Martinez Unified School District Board Member Area 3
Candidate Votes Percentage
Yazmin Llamas 1233 58.80%
Marcy Leboeuf 864 41.20%

Thousand Friends of Martinez endorsements

Martinez Mayor – Brianne Zorn We have been working with Brianne for several years and find that she shares the key goals of Thousand Friends of Martinez goals of transparent and open government, concern for the environment, land use planning and defending open space and parks.  She has demonstrated that she is a woman of action and gets things done. and her campaign Facebook page are great ways to get to know Brianne’s ideas.  Also check out our endorsement for more details.

All City Council Candidates filled out a detailed questionnaire and then were invited to speak at the Candidate Forum.  We were impressed with all of the candidates’ understanding of the issues and their deep appreciation for Martinez. We are lucky to have such a strong suite of candidates running for City Council.

District 4 – Ben Therriault Ben brings a fresh perspective of how to deal with the future of Martinez.  We feel that his experience in the public sector and understanding of how government works will be a positive addition to the Council. Click here for his campaign website.

District 1 – No endorsement.  We feel that both Nakenya Allen and Jay Howard have the knowledge, integrity and passion to be valuable additions to the City Council. For more information about these candidates view our candidate forum and check out and

Click on the links below to view the Candidate Night.

Brianne Zorn discusses her campaign goals and gives some insight about her views.

Martinez City Council Candidates discuss the issues of Martinez

Martinez candidates Brianne Zorn, Nakenya Allen, Debbie McKillop and Ben Therriault take questions from the audience.

Thousand Friends of Martinez has endorsed Brianne Zorn for Martinez Mayor. We urge you to find out more about Brianne and see what she represents.

Despite her short tenure she has shown the qualities of leadership that Martinez truly needs.  In many ways it seems that she has accomplished more in two years than many council members do in their entire careers.

Since joining the City Council Brianne has been a main driver in the push for an independent redistricting commission in Martinez.  The gerrymandered district lines that other council members chose as the district lines were not acceptable to the citizens of Martinez.  Brianne got deeply involved and successfully pushed for the right approach – a truly independent commission.  The new district lines are in place for the 2022 elections.

A long-term goal of many in Martinez was the purchase of the Alhambra Hills property near the John Muir Historical Site.  A previous City Council had approved development of the important land and it appeared all was lost.  After years of inaction and inconclusive negotiations, the time was ripe for closure.  In June 2022 a ballot measure was placed on the ballot for a bond measure for the City to purchase the land.  The measure passed with over 68% approval – a difficult feat in these inflationary times. Brianne played a significant role in making this happen and was one of the signatories on the For argument on the ballot.

Her fresh, open style of leadership is apparent to many in the City.  She regularly communicates with all of the electorate with updates on what is happening in Martinez.  This is sorely needed as local newspaper and media coverage has all but disappeared.  No other member of the Council has engaged in such comprehensive communication with the public.

The list goes on (including supporting major marina revitalization and meeting growth needs while enhancing our historic, small-town nature), but it is important to note that Brianne is just the type of mayor Martinez needs.  Her solid leadership and strong environmental commitment are the right skills to guide Martinez in the coming years.  She is accessible and expresses herself in a way that fosters open government and transparency. Her experience as a wetland scientist will be an important asset for many of the serious issues we face. 

We feel that Brianne is the right choice for Martinez.  Please give her your support.

Does the General Plan Update Affect You?

Read how the General Plan Update Affects You and more – click here

Alhambra Hills Update
 City Council voted unanimously to place a dedicated ballot measure on the June 7th election to raise the funds necessary to acquire the Alhambra Highlands as permanent open space.  For 22 cents per day we can protect the most important missing piece of Martinez open space parks, and the last of John Muir’s ranch. 
The Alhambra Hills group is seeking volunteers to help us hand out the attached flyer (Click here)

Please email if you would like to help us place flyers on doorsteps as we approach the June election, and or join our weekly meetings Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Send us a message on Facebook, or call/text 510 326 0442.
Let’s save the Alhambra Highlands Open Space for future generations.

Save the Jail!

Demolition preparations have started for the new County Campus Project in downtown Martinez. Scaffolding has gone up on the south side of the old twelve story County administrative building, and the area around it has been surrounded by containment barriers. The building is filled with friable toxic materials such as asbestos, and all the nearby buildings will remain in operation during the demolition and construction of a second administration building that will takes its place, so the demolition must be carried out by carefully dismantling it, rather than by using explosives for an implosive demolition, which would be much cheaper and faster.