PALM SPRINGS – Carl A. Baker, director of Legal & Legislative Affairs for Desert AIDS Project, has filed a Candidate Intention Statement with the City Clerk’s office in a bid for the District 2 seat.
Baker, 57, is one of five candidates to date that have filed a Candidate Intention Statement for the November election. It will be a historic election given that it is the first time Palm Springs voters select candidates from the newly drawn districts.
Voters in Districts 1, 2, and 3 will be eligible to vote in the November election. The newly drawn district map is available by clicking here.
To introduce candidates to the public, Uken Report has submitted each of the five a series of identical questions with a deadline. Baker was the first to respond. Following are the questions and Baker’s unedited responses.
Uken Report (UR): Why specifically are you running?
Baker: As a state and federal advocate, I want to represent the people of Palm Springs with effective policies and improve the climate for new business by improving technological infrastructure and partnering with school districts to allow students to become involved with local government.
UR: City Council races are typically nonpartisan, but local races of late have been highly partisan. This is your chance to set the record straight and speak for yourself. Are you liberal, conservative, or other and what does that means to you and your constituents?
UR: What is the most pressing issue in your specific district?
Baker: Affordable housing and living wage jobs
UR: With what issue, ordinance, and/or project do you want your name to be most associated?
Baker: My primary issue is 1) reducing regulation impeding growth of small businesses, additionally improving technological infrastructure (e.g. beyond 5G) to better enable satellite work (i.e. ‘work from home’).
UR: Do you have any local government experience, serving on boards, commissions, etc.
Baker: Member of Palm Springs Sustainability Commission; President of ACLU Desert Chapter; and Board Member of Equality California
UR: What sets you apart from your challenger(s)?
Baker: Years of legislative experience
Residents in District 1 that have each filed a Candidate Intention Statement are Grace E. Garner and Les Young.
Residents in District 2 who have signed official statements are Peter J. Maietta and Baker.
To date, incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Geoff Kors is the only one in District 3 who has filed a Candidate Intention Statement. Incumbent Mayor Rob Moon and Councilmember J. R. Roberts, both of whom live in District 3, have said they will not seek re-election.
The five residents who have indicated they will seek a seat on the City Council are likely the tip of the iceberg as the nominating period hasn’t officially opened and the election isn’t until November.
The Candidate Intention Statement, better known as California Form 501, must be filed before residents can solicit or receive any contributions or before they make expenditures from personal funds on behalf of their candidacy.
The City Council voted 3-2 vote on Dec. 10 to approve a final five-district voting map in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act. Within a five-district Electoral process, the position of mayor will rotate among Council members and be appointed annually. The finalized district map is available to view by clicking here.
The move to districts is designed to empower more minority residents to seek public office. As an example, Latinos make up approximately 25 percent of Palm Springs’ total population and about 16 percent of all voters, according to City Manager David H. Ready.
There are currently no minorities on the City Council — and no minority residents sought election in the most recent city race. All candidates were Caucasian. The current panel of elected city officials is comprised of two women and three men; all are Caucasian.