Oscar Ortiz moved to Indio when he was three-years-old from Mexicali, and he now makes history as the city’s youngest person elected to the city council.
Ortiz now sees Downtown Indio through a new lens, he was voted to represent District Four in Indio, he said an area where he would like to see more community events.
However, Ortiz said affordable housing for the community is one of the issues he wants to tackle first.
Ortiz said, “One of those issues was affordable housing that people were spending too much of their paycheck on their rent so that is causing them to struggle financially here.”
He said he knows affordable is a big concern for Indio residents as he grew up among them.
Ortiz graduated class of 2008 from Indio High School and continued his studies at Standford University through a full-ride scholarship.
He said, “I think what I learned there is really try to get an international perspective on things right, look at how other countries are solving the same problems we have here.”
He earned a chemistry degree from Standford and went on to work at a pharmaceutical company that led him to the medicinal side of cannabis. Ortiz currently works as a consultant for the cannabis industry.
“For me, it is how do we get clean medicine to patients who really need it,” Ortiz said. “And right now we can’t even deliver stuff to, nobody can deliver anything to a patient in Indio.”
Indio currently does not allow any cannabis businesses within city limits.
Ortiz said, “I think we’ll definitely bring some new conversations to the table and find out how to safely and responsibly try to bring parts of the industry.”
He said he won his seat because he went door to door and listened to the community and that is how he plans to carry his term.
Ortiz, “I mean, I am just trying to bring a good work ethic as well right, just work hard and put a lot of effort into it to make sure we get things done right.”
Councilmember Ortiz said he also wants to work on adding ethnic classes to Indio classrooms and reduce the number of students per teacher.