Martin Moore’s dedication to Federal Way and its longtime families, its diverse communities, and its least-privileged residents go back to the earliest chapters of his life.
Born in 1984 amid Cold War tensions in Sofia, Bulgaria, Martin was surrendered to a local orphanage shortly after his birth. He spent the first eight years of his life there, watching as other kids entered as orphans and left as part of a family.
His wish for a family of his own was granted in early 1992, when Dr. Allen Moore and Sylvia Moore, a couple from a city called Federal Way in the faraway United States, began the adoption process for a dark-haired 8-year-old who only spoke Bulgarian. Martin spent the intervening time learning as much English as he could and excitedly flipping through photos that Allen and Sylvia sent, including pictures of their home, of a bedroom decorated with car posters and cartoon orcas, and of a bicycle just waiting for him to learn to ride.
Martin’s last day in Sofia kicked off a whirlwind of new experiences for the young orphan. He traveled outside Sofia for the first time, took his first steps on American soil, and had his first taste of soda – a friendly stewardess on his first airplane ride gave him his first Coca-Cola. When the day ended, Martin was in his first real home as part of his first real family, a loving acceptance the led to even more firsts: In January 1993, Martin had his first day of public school; two months later, he turned 9 and had his first-ever birthday party; two months after that, in May 1993, Martin A. Moore officially became a citizen of the United States of America.
Moore’s father Allen, a school psychologist, and his mother Sylvia, an elementary school teacher, instilled in their son a deep respect for education and a sense of obligation to a community. Martin graduated from Decatur High School, a proud product of the K-12 Federal Way Public Schools system, and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from Saint Martin’s University in nearby Lacey, Washington. After earning his degree, Martin began volunteering through Federal Way Public Schools’ AmeriCorps partnership and earned an appointment to volunteer on Federal Way’s Parks and Recreation Commission, a commitment that’s lasted more than a decade.
In 2013, Moore was elected to the Federal Way City Council with over 55 percent of the candidate vote. He spent his first term focused on job creation, urban development, and human services, earning high praise for his hard work and commitment to transparency from constituents, civic organizations, the Municipal League, and many others. Forever grateful to the community that welcomed him home when he was only 8 years old, he announced his re-election campaign in January of this year.
Martin’s public service mentor was the late Roger Freeman, a former Federal Way City Council member and state Representative. Martin worked on Freeman’s campaigns and as his Legislative Aide in Olympia before Freeman died of cancer in 2014 at age 48. In Freeman’s honor, Martin helped establish the “Representative Roger Freeman Memorial Award” to celebrate students that display the values Freeman represented every day of his too-short life: justice, diversity, compassion, and integrity.
Martin works as the Development Director for St. Vincent de Paul School, a K-8 school in Federal Way, and as an Advocacy and Events Coordinator for the Arc of King County, a nonprofit that advocates at the state and city levels for people with intellectual and development disabilities.
Martin married his wife, Sarah, in August 2016, and the young couple dotes endlessly on their Cockapoo puppy Finnegan. When he’s not engaged at City Hall or volunteering in the community, Moore enjoys spending time with his nephews, Milo and Gabe, and his nieces, Rowan and Elise, at Federal Way locations like Town Square Park or The Commons Mall.
Moore is sustained by his faith – he grew up attending St. Theresa’s Catholic Church and assisting as an altar server. Today, he and Sarah attend St. Vincent de Paul Parish.