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Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

Politics

25 Sep 2015
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Name: Asia Horton Age: 34 Occupation: Tax-preparer Interview: In person 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? Right now, I like to compare it to the emergency room: We stopped the hemorrhaging, and we’ve stabilized the condition of the city. That’s a good thing, but now we need to move it from the trauma unit to the actual ward so we can really get down to the problem. I think we can sustain ourselves, and I don’t think we’ll go into bankruptcy as it is now. We need to get some revenue-generating plans in there, and we need to produce more than we’re spending each month. That’s the problem: We don’t…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Yvonne Parks Age: 79 Occupation: Former mayor of Desert Hot Springs/retired Interview: In person 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? I think the council has done a pretty good job of just cutting everything. I would have done things a little differently had I been re-elected. What I would do—and what they didn’t do—is aggressively pursue economic development. We had five employers sitting there waiting to come into the city, and no one contacted them during these last two years. We had a hedge-fund person who was going to build a 3 million-square-foot distribution center at Interstate 10 and Indian, and a hotel that was going to go in…
25 Sep 2015
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Name: Anayeli Zavala Age: 26 Occupation: Education/internship coordinator Interview: In person 1. Describe the city’s current budget situation. How do you plan to balance the budget and take care of the city? I think it means being fiscally conservative, just as the council has been thus far, to make sure we’re staying within our means and not exceeding what our budget is. Obviously, we don’t want to end up in the situation we were in a few years ago again. I think it’s great that we’re not in a deficit any more, but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet. I think we need an understanding of what we can pay for and what services we can provide as a city. 2. Aside…
04 Aug 2015
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Editor’s Note: Seven Days, the alternative publication in Burlington, Vt., has been on the Bernie Sanders beat for decades: He got his political start as the mayor of the city. Seven Days, which has been chronicling Sanders’ career since 1972, recently offered to write this story about Sanders’ political rise for the Coachella Valley Independent and other alternative publications around the country. Get more coverage, including clips from Sanders’ 1987 folk album (seriously), at BernieBeat.com. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is surging. In July, nearly 10,000 supporters gathered in Madison, Wis., to hear the 73-year-old socialist senator denounce the Koch brothers and corporate greed. Another 7,500 came to hear him in Portland, Maine. He fired up a crowd of 11,000 in Phoenix, Ariz. More and more…
05 Jun 2015
With a bill to mandate the independent investigation of officer-involved killings in California stalled in committee, other legislative efforts have revealed lawmakers’ picky appetites for holding law-enforcement communities accountable. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s bill to outsource the investigation of fatal police encounters, AB 86, is being “held under submission.” The term means there’s a stated desire to discuss the bill, but no forward momentum to move it out of committee. The same fate recently visited Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s Assembly Bill 619, which would require law-enforcement agencies to report their use-of-force encounters to the California attorney general’s office on an annual basis. There currently is no official database documenting fatal police encounters, much less one for confrontations that stop short of death. Weber’s bill would greatly expand…
08 May 2015
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The metal tab pulls back with a familiar click-click-hissssss as bubbles rush to the top of the can. The alluring scent wafts through the air, a familiar smell that hints at what’s to come. If you’re drinking a 20-ounce Mountain Dew, you’re consuming the equivalent of 18 teaspoons of sugar. A same-sized Pepsi equals 16 teaspoons, and a Coke comes out to 15. A 16-ounce Rockstar Energy Drink slams more than 15 teaspoons. Here’s the problem with what you’re drinking, some scientists say: Humans are not biologically designed to deal with that much liquid sugar at once. Since there’s no digestion involved, it enters the bloodstream and is absorbed more quickly than food. As it does, the sugar overwhelms the pancreas, the organ tasked with…
24 Dec 2014
In 2003 and 2004, an ambitious group of young Latino community organizers and activists, all raised in the eastern Coachella Valley, returned home after earning college degrees. They were known as over-achievers in their hometowns, and they searched each other out, they say, because they were determined to make a difference. They wanted to improve the lives of their friends and loved ones in the barrios and farm fields of the eastern valley, in part by gaining power via the political process. A decade later, it’s clear: These organizers and activists, all Democrats, are making a mark and attaining many of their lofty goals. V. Manuel Perez recently was elected to the Coachella City Council after three terms in the State Assembly. Eduardo Garcia swapped…
06 Oct 2014
After the November election, California Assembly District 56 will have a new representative, because incumbent Democrat V. Manuel Perez has reached his term limit. That new representative will be either current Coachella Mayor Eduardo Garcia, a Democrat, or Republican Charles Bennett Jr. The heavily Democratic-leaning district covers much of the north and east portions of the Coachella Valley, including parts of Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Indio, Coachella, Thousand Palms, Bermuda Dunes, Thermal and Mecca. Bennett is a self-proclaimed political neophyte. “This is the first anything I’ve run for,” said Bennett. That’s not the case with Garcia. “It’s been an ongoing process that goes back to 2004, when I ran for (Coachella City) Council. Manny (Perez) ran for the school district. We shared a vision…