By WAYNE JEBIAN
Special To CTNow
3:52 PM EST, February 12, 2014
Her nickname is "La Genuina" among her Spanish-speaking friends. "It's like a genius, but I don't know why they call me that," said Maribel Santana de Martinez modestly. Martinez was spotted outside Hartford's Old State House sporting a custom-message T-shirt from Zazzle.com. Over it, she wore a black short jacket from Sears. Her blue jeans come from Target and her warm-but chic black boots come from Kohl's.
Martinez, a 27 year-old mother of two, used to do public relations work on radio and television as a teenager back in the Dominican Republic. Today she lives in Meriden and hopes to return to her first career once she feels more confident in English.
CTNow: Since coming to the United States a decade ago, where are some of the places you have worked?
Martinez: I have worked in McDonald's restaurant, and then I worked in a factory in Meriden where they made knife blades. All of the employees were men. The only women were me and my mother-in-law.
CTNow: Do you vote in American elections now that you are a U.S. citizen?
Martinez: Yes, I voted for Hilda Santiago for state representative. Dannel Malloy for governor and Barack Obama for president.
CTNow: You do know there's more than one political party, right?
Martinez: Don't talk to me about that; I'm a Democrat.
CTNow: Do you feel strongly about women's issues?
Martinez: I feel strongly about equal pay for women.
CTNow: Who is Geraldo Garcia, the guy on your T-shirt?
Martinez: A friend of a friend.
Copyright © 2015, The Hartford Courant