CATHEDRAL CITY – As campaigns move into full gear in Cathedral City, candidates are using a full-court press to deliver their message in the Dream Homes area of the community.
The gateway to the Dream Homes area begins at Franklin’s Market on San Luis Rey Drive. It includes a significant Latino population and makes up much of District 4, one of the most hotly contested races in the November election.
Four candidates are vying for the District 4 seat in this election, which marks the first time Cathedral City has voted in Districts. The move was designed to encourage more Latino participation. The candidates in what has been described as a “real horse race” are: Sergio Espericueta, Ernesto Gutierrez, Rick Saldivar and John Rivera.
Espericueta has made his presence known in a big-time way with huge campaign signs.
On Saturday, John Rivera is poised to raise his profile.
Rivera, endorsed by Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis and Councilmembers John Aguilar and Shelley Kaplan, will hold a neighborhood walk on Saturday, Sept. 29 in the Dream Homes neighborhood.
“I’ll be there along with some of my family and possibly 20 more volunteers who are members of the Luz Del Mundo Church and to also happen to be residence of the Dream Homes neighborhood,” Rivera told Uken Report. “This is a largely Hispanic community and one which is seen as underserved by the city. I hope to change that and I plan to push very hard to help dreamers.”
Rivera, who is past chair of the Planning Commission and a member of the Architectural Review Committee, said the Sanctuary City declaration in Cathedral City touches on a much bigger issue that’s not being treated with the urgency it demands.
Across the country, people of all walks of life talk about the question of Dreamers and the reinstatement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, an immigration policy that allows some individuals who were brought to the United States illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S.
DACA absolutely must be addressed, Rivera said, but added that the unspoken issue he said is equally urgent is the status of the undocumented parents of Dreamers.
“How is it we’ve allowed people we know as our friends and neighbors living in our community as outstanding citizens, taxpayers, employees, and sometimes employers, to allow five, 10, 20 years to pass without establishing themselves as U.S. citizens?” Rivera asked.
“We as Latinos all know these people and we’ve all heard their reasons for not securing their citizenship and yet here we are as yet another year passes fearing the risk of deportation and family separation,” Rivera said. “This has to change and we have to do it together before it’s too late as this current political climate could not possibly make it any more urgent.”
This has to be the time step out of the shadows and help secure citizenship for our good citizens of Cathedral City, he said.
“Together we will finish this journey that was started so long ago as a dream of a better life,” Rivera said. “The American Dream.”
Pettis has publicly said it is critical the Cathedral City City Council retain its “progressive majority.”
Pressed to elaborate, Pettis told Uken Report, “Cathedral City has done some marvelous things the last four years. But we have to protect that progress and elect the right people to continue moving us forward. We cannot go back.”