A new voice will likely be stepping into the Palm Springs City Council District 1 seat. Latina candidate Grace Garner is leading the polls and said the new districting rules were a key contributor to her success.
“It made it much easier to connect with as many residents as we could,” Garner said. “We were out in the neighborhoods door knocking, we were making phone calls, we could actually reach out personally to everyone.”
The districting system divided the city into five districts allowing voters in each one to select a council member from their area. It was implemented in response to a letter threatening litigation saying Palm Springs was in violation of the California Voting Rights Act and was blocking a chance for diversity.
If elected, Garner would be the youngest member and the only minority. Garner is a practicing lawyer in town.
“It’s really important for me to be able to engage with the Latino community and be able to represent my background in city hall,” she said.
According to a city consultant, 16 percent of Palm Springs’ registered voters are Latino. Garner said she would represent those living in the city without documentation and who cannot vote.
“I think it’s just going to bring a new voice,” she said.
Garner plans on holding frequent district 1 meeting to hear from the community.