Female Community Leaders Join Together To Condemn Attack Ads Funded By Democratic Women of the Desert

Nico Payne

A local advocacy group is speaking out against Democratic Women of the Desert regarding the recent election and the ads against two local women candidates.

NBC Palm Springs spoke to the president of the Democratic women’s club and has reaction from other female political leaders across the valley.

An attack ad on the radio ran in Coachella ahead of the November 3rd election. Denise Delgado denies the claims in the ad and she went on to win a seat on city council despite the ad.

The ad was paid for by The Democratic Women of The Desert and also targets Lesly Figueroa, she lost the Coachella mayor’s race to Steven Hernandez.

“Rather than really believing in the values of the democratic party, the values of people who run for these positions, it’s disappointing right, and it can also dissuade people in the future from wanting to run,” said Figueroa.

The advocacy group ‘MALAS’ says the ad is, “…indicative of the democratic women of the desert’s increasingly less women-focused nature.”

Malas also points to the fact The Democratic Women of the Desert endorsed men over qualified women running in the same races, like Emmanuel Martinez and Neftali Galarza over Denise Delgado.

The president of the Democratic Women of the Desert says they simply endorse the candidates that are best for the city, regardless of gender.

“I don’t see men that have and share my values, and that share my interests and my goals as my enemies, they’re my allies. we don’t support women just because women. they have to offer something to our community,” explained Amalia Deaztlan, President of Democratic Women of the Desert.

Dozens of women leaders signed onto this letter, Including two elected officials that made historic moves in the 20-20 election. Christy Holstege became the first female mayor of palm springs, And Karina Quintanilla became the first Latina on Palm Desert City Council. 

“No one is asking any group to endorse women just because they’re women and no one expects that, everyone understands we want highly qualified candidates regardless of their gender. what we’ve seen and what the letter is about, and the reason I signed on to is a pattern and practice of not endorsing highly qualified women,” explained Holstege.

“I’m in shock that we are having a conversation about how democratic women of the desert went out of their way to attack two women, first-time candidates, this is the whole intent and mission of the organization, and to do so to support three gentlemen,” said Quintanilla.

Finally, Malas points to the fact the democratic women of the desert spent more than $6,500 dollars supporting male candidates and compared to just over $2,700 supporting female candidates in this election cycle. 

“We look in terms of how it’s going to affect the communities, especially the community in Coachella, desert hot springs, some of the other communities,” said Deaztlan.

But for Holstege, she says it was disappointing to see the democratic women of the desert resorting to attack ads.

“Women like me and others were facing really nasty misogynistic attacks just because we were women running for office,” explained Holstege.

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