Local officials divided over when to open the economy

Olivia Sandusky

Messages about opening the economy are ringing out across the state, and some local officials are joining in.

“I soon hope we can start opening more retail, just like we’re allowing Targets and the Walmart and the grocers to remain open. If we’re using social distancing practices we can apply those same practices to say a Macy’s department store,” said Mayor Nestande of Palm Desert.

Mayor Nestande recently wrote an open letter to Governor Newsom, in it she states economic health must have a place at the table.

You can read the entire letter here.

“It really isn’t lives versus money, it’s really lives versus lives,” said Mayor Nestande. “All lives matter, and studies and research show that a person who lives in poverty has a shorter life expectancy. If we keep this shelter in place for too long we’re creating more and more poverty for people, therefore shortening people’s lives.”

Mayor Evans of La Quinta has also discussed reopening the economy, adding her city is following county guidelines.

“One of the discussions of the study session is the unwinding, not only from the recreation stand point from the economic standpoint. I recognize there’s a huge unemployment component and we want to get people back to work, and people want to work, but as a council we are concerned about their health and wellness,” said Mayor Evans.

But Congressman Ruiz says each city should answer a series of questions before discussions continue.

“Do you have enough PPE for businesses to keep them safe? Do you have enough PPE for your residents to use? Do you have enough ventilators and hospital beds to protect your front line workers?” said Congressman Ruiz.

He’s urging Coachella Valley residents and protestors around the country to continue to listen to health requirements already in place.

“We need to create safegaurds so that once we can start responsibly opening up and getting people back to work. That we don’t have a resurgence which would put us back even further in our economic recovery,” said Congressman Ruiz.

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