We are just a few days out from the election, but many local voters have already cast their ballots early to elect their city leaders. In the city of Coachella there are two candidates in the race for Incumbent Mayor Steven Hernadez, who is vying for his second term.
“We’ve been knocking on doors, phone banking as well. And the response from our residents has been very good,” said Steven Hernandez.
Hernandez’s challenger is 24-year-old Lesly Figueroa. She’s a social justice advocate who says she wants more emphasis on the issues happening in the unincorporated communities.
“We’ve gotten questions from folks already saying, ‘well what do the unincorporated areas have to do with Coachella.’The way we are responding is that they are connected communities, whether it be family members, whether it be for work and whether it be for community amenities that people have to cross jurisdictional lines,” said Figueroa.
For Hernandez, he says his experience as mayor and former accomplishments for the city are key points in this race.
Hernadez said,“We have a few projects that are already just starting. One of them being on 6th and Cesar Chavez, we know that the 106 new apartments with commercial as well as a transit hub are gonna get started.
While Figueroa says she has an outsider’s perspective and is more in tune with the community.
“When I tell folks about bringing our local democracy back, it means allowing new people and different people to participate in their local government,” said Figueroa.
However, for both candidates, a huge focus is helping the city recover from COVID-19.
“Coachella has the most essential workers,so for them to be sheltering at home it’s been difficult,” said Mayor Hernadez.
His opposition however, believes there is much more work to be done in the city when it comes to protecting the community against the virus.
“We’re figuring all the outreach strategies just now. Where if we would have put our brains together and figured them out sooner, we could have been in a much better place,” said Figueroa.