Petition aims to remove Frank Bogert Statue in Palm Springs

Petition aims to remove Frank Bogert Statue in Palm Springs

Taylor Martinez

A petition is aiming to remove a Frank Bogert statue outside of the Palm Springs City Hall.

Frank Bogert was an American actor, author and politician. He was also a longtime former Mayor of Palm Springs after being elected to the Palm Springs City Council in 1958 and becoming mayor soon after. He served eight years and was elected to the position for two more two-tear terms in 1982.

The petition states:

Frank Bogert was one of the “founding fathers” of Palm Springs, a Hollywood actor who moved to the Desert oasis and became one of its bigger boosters, starting around 1930. In 1958, Bogert was elected to the Palm Springs City Council and served as mayor from 1958-1966. 

It was during this time that Palm Springs had one of its greatest failures to the non-White residents of the City, particularly in Section 14, a square mile of land next to downtown that was part of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation. Through a series of schemes that he operated with attorneys, some tribal members and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mr. Bogert and the City Council evicted many lower income and almost exclusively Black residents of Section 14. The homes they rented were torched with the assistance of the Palm Springs Fire and Police Departments, and many were “relocated” to Desert Highland Estates on the north end of town. 

There is much more to this history, but the bottom line is that Frank Bogert, who was instrumental in these atrocities against Palm Springs residents, has been memorialized by a prominent statue of him in front of Palm Springs City Hall that was installed in 1990. We, the residents, citizens and visitors of Palm Springs, California, believe it is time to remove the statue to a man that only represented White Palm Springs during his time as a booster and politician.

The petition on change.org has over 700 signatures.

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