INDIO — Elaine Holmes, first elected to the Indio City Council in 2010, confirmed to Uken Report that she will seek re-election in the Nov. 8 election in District 3.

Holmes, Waymond Fermon in District 2, and Oscar Ortiz in District 4, all up for re-election in November. The term of Lupe Ramos Amith expires in November 2023, not this year as earlier reported.

Holmes, who has owned and operated PJ’s Desert Trophies & Gifts in downtown Indio since 2004, ran unopposed in 2018. This will be her first election since the city moved to districts in 2018. Holmes has served the city as mayor, mayor pro tem and city council member.

Indio became the second city in the valley to go into elections by district when it approved district maps in September 2017, following Cathedral City. Both cities made the move fearing that at-large elections would make them vulnerable to lawsuits.

The Malibu law firm Shenkman & Hughes had threatened to sue Indio, alleging that the city’s at-large voting system underrepresented minorities and violated the California Voting Rights Act of 2001.

“Why am I running again? Well, we just completed our housing element and it’s clear, especially with the city of our size, that we are in need of a lot more housing, like every other city, and we have been working on this for several years,” Holmes told Uken Report. Hence, there are (hundreds) of affordable housing units coming up in our city and more in the pipeline. There are more apartments coming up, and condos, and more homes that are being built that fall into the more affordable range. Indio wants to embrace all, and this community is just so wonderful.”

Indio is growing, she said.

“I continue to support small business, existing, and new businesses. I want to make sure that everything we do for our businesses is encouraging and helps them be successful, something I’ve worked on since I’ve been a councilmember and continue to work on,” Holmes said, her voice rich with passion. “I think our city is doing a good job and we just need to continue focusing on that.”

The city is cleaning up neighborhoods, repaving streets, working with teens in the teen center and looking at new programs, Holmes said.

“We are looking at a relationship with Desert Recreation District,” Holmes said. “Our seniors are equally as important. So, it’s just a wonderful time to be a part of the city, to be able to move it forward, to meet the needs of our residents. And my passion, of course, as you know, is small business.”

To date, Holmes has at least one challenger.

Jonathan Becerra, who owns the Indio-based Palma City Productions, an event production company, has also indicated he wants the District 3 seat, according to a local news organization.

Holmes is originally from Glendale and received a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach.

District 3 covers northeast Indio.










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  • Elaine Holmes: City of Indio