As election season kicks into high gear we are taking a look at some of our local races here in the Coachella Valley. NBC Palm Springs highlights the candidates running for the district one city council seat in Palm Desert, the smaller of the city’s two voting districts.
Palm Desert’s current city council is comprised of four women and one man, none who are Latino, but that may change this coming election.
Looking to fill the District 1 City Council seat is Susan Marie Weber.
“What I’m doing is to continue working on what we’ve been working on for the last several years,” said Weber.
Her opponent, Karina Quintanilla, is one of two women who filed a lawsuit against the city to establish more voting districts, but they were not successful.
“When it came time for the settlement it was not an easy choice, we both know that five districts is the ultimate best for the city and for all of the residents to have representation,” said Quintanilla.
Quintanilla says part of her choice in settling was to help the city save money, but she still believes in have more voting districts and will push for that move if elected.
“In waiting for 5 we could potentially allow the city to lose so much money in litigation. district 1 may be carved out differently, I’m not sure if the boundaries will change when we do eventually get to five districts, fingers crossed if I’m elected, I think that we may move a little bit or we may just draw boundaries for the remaining four,” explained Quintanilla.
If elected, this would be Susan Marie Webers third term on the city council, she says she’s focused on working on “Envision Palm Desert, a group focused on building the city’s quality of life and formed by community members.
“My goal is to continue working on that, which is as you’ve seen, San Pablo is being developed for community activities where we can close of the street and have little parties there, and then we’re working on el paseo to define that more clearly as a place to shop,” explained Weber.
And when it comes to voting districts, weber says she looks at the community as a whole.
“It’s very difficult to figure out any type of districting because it is one community, it’s a very unusual city, and like I said to have community members so involved in our city, that’s how we define it. not by districts, we define ourselves as being in the city of palm desert,” said Weber.
Both candidates want to focus on education and make California State University Palm Desert a reality.
“In growing cal state we need to look at when the cal state system is ready. we know they recently said not right now and because of the pandemic, we know it will be a while. If we want to be the home of cal state palm desert we need to really reflect the multicultural values that a university brings and we will attract a lot of international students, so we have to be more inviting and that was one way that is important for me,” said Quintanilla.“Our cal state palm desert was built by the community and paid for by the community, so we’re trying to impress upon them the importance of letting us have our own cal state palm desert,” added Weber.