Otsego County Rep. Adrienne Martini's new book, which will detail her decision to run for political office and the transition from private citizen to public official, will be released in March.
"Somebody's Got to Do It, Why Cursing at the News Won't Save the Nation, But Your Name on a Local Ballot Can," will be released Tuesday, March 3, by Henry Holt and Company.
Martini, a Democrat who represents District 12, the third and fourth wards of Oneonta, is a former columnist and former part-time employee of The Daily Star. She works in the alumni office of SUNY Oneonta, and said she had never thought of running for political office until the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. A year later, she defeated incumbent Craig Gelbsman by 29 votes. She was unopposed in her re-election campaign in 2019.
Martini told The Daily Star in a phone interview Tuesday, Feb. 11, she didn't think of writing about her experience running for office until other people started telling her they could never do what she had done. Her response — they can, and should — led her to writing the book, she said.
"It was definitely after I got elected, and it came out of a lot of people, mostly women, saying, 'I can't do this,'" she said, "and I feel like you can totally do this. Even if you don't win, it is important to run. Contest every election."
Martini said her first term in office came with a steep learning curve, but she now feels much more comfortable in her role. In January, she was named as the chair of the Human Services Committee, replacing Gary Koutnik, who retired from the board last year.
"The national elections get all the attention, the state elections get all the attention ... but when it comes to things that are going to affect your daily life, local elections are the ones that matter," she said.
Although it was a national election that caused her and many other Democratic women to run for office in the past three years, Martini said she has found the Otsego County Board of Representatives to be a mostly bipartisan group.
"Really, we all just want this to be a good place to live," she said. "That's what we are all going for."
Although the book won't be released until next month, the early reviews have been positive, she said.
"America’s problems are never going to get solved until people learn that the power to change government is in their hands," Amanda Litman, co-founder of the group, "Run for Something," and author of the book with the same name, said in a media release. "'Somebody’s Gotta Do It' is hilarious, necessary and shows that amazing things can happen when people put themselves on the line and run for office. Everyone should run for office and everyone should read this book."
A Publisher's Weekly review was also complimentary, according to the media release: "(With) self-deprecating humor, practical advice (such as packing snacks for long committee meetings), and insights into obscure but important issues . . . Martini elevates her story above the minutiae of county board proceedings. The result is a useful guide for those contemplating the plunge into electoral politics."
The book is Martini's third book, fourth if you include a self-published reprinting of her columns, "Shaken & Stirred: 5 Years of Parenting Imperfectly."
"Hillbilly Gothic, A Memoir of Madness and Motherhood," published in 2008, talks about her family's history with postpartum depression, and Martini's attempts to prepare for and deal with the depression that came after she gave birth. "Sweater Quest, My Year of Knitting Dangerously," was published in 2010.
Although the three books are about different subjects, they were all sold by the same agent, Elizabeth Kaplan of The Elizabeth Kaplan Agency, Martini said.
"The way she does it is she markets me," Martini said.
Martini will have a book signing at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at The Green Toad at 198 Main St. in Oneonta.
Go to martinimade.com for more information.