PALM SPRINGS — Dian Torres, who describes herself as Mexican American/Latina, is one of two people challenging Mayor Pro Tem Christy Holstege in the Nov. 3 election to represent District 4 on the City Council. The second challenger is former City Councilmember Mike McCulloch.
District 4 is located primarily east of Sunrise Way and south of Ramon Road. Some of the neighborhoods included in the district are Los Compadres, Melody Ranch and Sonora Sunrise.
The district, according to the city, has an estimated 9,100 residents. Its voting-age population of roughly 7,400 residents is 80% Caucasian 12% Latinx according to city figures.
The November 2020 election marks the first time that voters in Districts 4 and 5 will vote in a district election following the city’s transition away from at-large elections. Districts 1, 2, and 3 transitioned in 2019 when voters elected Councilmembers Grace Garner and Dennis Woods and Mayor Geoff Kors in respectively.
Garner is the first Latina in the city’s history to be elected to the City Council.
Torres, 61, is a health care worker.
As with all candidates, Uken Report posed her a series of questions.
Uken Report (UR): Why specifically are you running?
Dian Torres: I care about our community, its public safety, health, and financial stability. I want to help bring the voice of the people to the City Council so that the pressing and aspirational challenges we face can be addressed in a manner that serves the needs of all the residents. I am not a politician, I am a resident/citizen of Palm Springs, CA, and I felt I needed to get involved with the community in which I live, because we are facing challenging times. Collectively we can make changes to some of the immediate challenges we face, including ways to grow and adapt to the things most likely to attract tourists and build our economy. Like many other tourism-based cities, such things as underfunded projects, abandoned store fronts, and the effect these conditions have on the community at large, need to be addressed, along with open spaces, parks, recreation and the many public/private relationships that make our community unique and special.
- Protect the Health and safety of our local citizens, visitors while navigating thru this pandemic
- Affordable housing/Utilizing vacated abandon hotels
- Revitalizing/Boost our economy by supporting and getting our small down town business open/ blocking our 111 and Creating walk thru foot traffic
- Preserving and maintain the conservation of recreational open space including Mesquite Golf Course
- I support our police and fire department. We cannot create divisiveness we need to expand relationships/ and partnerships… in these challenging times, these officers protect our community and put their lives on the line when they put their uniforms on.(I do not support defunding the police department.)
- I believe we need to consider partnering with trained licensed individuals to assist our police force with mental health situations. (out of the box thinking)
UR: How long have you lived in Palm Springs?
Dian Torres: Four years (I have lived in the desert since 2005) My wife and I landed in Palm Springs 4 years ago in Palm Springs.
UR: How long in District 4?
Dian Torres: Four years
UR: What qualifications to do you have to serve on City Council?
Dian Torres: I have a diverse background including a small business owner and educator (senior administrator, associate dean for community college level) building community and business partnerships. Previously I served as an Ombudsman for Riverside County advocating for senior care. I have served on boards: the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, where we developed and implemented state regulations and policy; the Santa Barbara Central Coast Congregate Care Board, charged with developing housing for people living and dying with AIDS; and Fashion Group International of the desert, where as a board member and president we provided scholarships to aspiring students. I’m currently a health care worker, with first-hand knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Dian Torres: Dian Torres