Erick Lemus Nadurille Challenges Incumbent Lupe Ramos Amith

INDIO — Erick Lemus Nadurille is one of two people challenging longtime incumbent City Councilor Lupe Ramos Amith in the Nov. 3 election for the seat in District 5. Frank Ruiz is also challenging her.

He is 33 and a Community Health Organizer and live-event production specialist.

Uken Report asked all candidates identical questions. Following are his responses.

Uken Report (UR): What is your motivation for running?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: In 2020 there needs to be a change and challenge to traditional political leadership. I am running because I took a call to action from actual residents who are devastated by this pandemic in Indio. Like everyone during this time who was impacted by COVID, I felt hopeless and feared for the worst.  I felt in my heart that I needed to do more my family and our community and challenge my length of leadership. That is why I plan to prioritize the health of our working families while creating meaningful  support systems during and after this pandemic. I have personally been impacted by COVID-19 and realized that this city did not support our communities full recovery to health with its current political structure. Health is not a partisan issue and I am fighting to provide a new and distinct platform to help residents engage in this district’s first time election. I would have never ran if it were not for this pandemic, which challenged me to step up and actualize a future I believe in.

UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponents?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: I am choosing to separate politics on local community issues and I purposefully did not seek endorsements from establishment politicians from congress or state electeds and private interest groups because the people need a leader who will not be scared to be a fierce public health advocate who will  not be complacent to their endorsements or donors. Some of our health issues will require us to speak up against traditional political practices and private interest. I learned this from community organizing  because it requires more meaningful dialogue and a lot of listening to impacted community members that are sometimes overlooked. I make myself  available to everyone to uplift a collective voice and not a partisan one. As community health organizer, my style of working with the community is based on supporting past and current health issues with no reservations. Whereas other candidates in this race have no visibility on supporting the current community issues especially on the primary health in our district.  Effective community leadership means putting our own basis aside and adhering to all of the voices we represent.

UR: What one project or issue do you want to see addressed in your term?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: I would like to see and work on the creation of a city funded  homeless department that addresses housing crises solutions and mental health. I am not asking to reinvent the wheel. I am asking that we reevaluate our current strategy to end homelessness in Indio because this issue is still visible today, despite city budget investments to outsource a solution. Traditional means of support from the county and non-profits should be taken into consideration however, we should not  rely on just their efforts. In 2020 we must improve the quality of life for each resident of Indio including the one’s living in the streets from city funded initiatives.

I would also like to uplift the diverse community voices that need to be uplifted in 2020. Such as  families of color, our youth, our veterans, immigrant communities, health deficient communities, LGTBQ communities and most importantly our working class communities.

UR:  If someone walked up to you and told you that Indio was the worst place to live in California, what would your response be?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: In my community organizing experience, I often hear strong opinions from disenfranchised communities about inequities that people face. Although, we are not always able to fix or immediately address our communities’ concerns , It is very important to carefully listen to the root of people’s displacement in their community. If someone asked me this question, I could clearly assume that  they feel displaced.  My response would be one that encourages people to uplift their voices to make a change because every city has improvements to make. I would respond by: “Well given that Indio is a world renowned destination, what would you recommend on improvement to the city Indio?”

UR: If you could require every Indio resident to do one thing, what would that one thing be?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: Make health a priority in one’s personal life, in the practices of city government and in this coming election.

UR: The entire Coachella Valley has taken a huge financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. What needs to be done to help Indio recover?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: Before we can think about the recovery of our economy. We have to think about the recovery of the mental health of the working class. Indio has the largest working force in the Coachella Valley and the mental health needs of our working hands that make this great economy need be addressed. Therefore, in order to re-open business we must first rethink business with a health framework. Then and only then will we have an economy that residents and visitors feel worth investing in. Additionally,  our working families are struggling, sick, tired and often feel alone and that’s why they need to feel support from the city. That is why in the beginning of this pandemic,  I have advocated to the city council to invest in support services for our residents because social services and economic assistance programs put money in the pockets of our residents to spend in Indio. The city ignored me  and yet they still need to do a better job in investing city dollars for Indio residents services.

UR:  Tell us one good quality your opponent possesses.

Erick Lemus Nadurille: Lupe is a very smart candidate, I love that she recently changed her political affiliation. Everyone in this race should be practicing “new change” in this election.

UR: You are all well known, tell us one thing about yourself no one knows.

Erick Lemus Nadurille: No one knows why I’m running as an Independent candidate. It’s clear that the great length of my leadership skills are not accounted for by partisan politics because I chose to carry my own voice. I wasn’t chosen or polished by political spheres of Influence like other candidates in this race. I know because I have personally spoken to them. I am running to practice purpose not politics. I have true purpose in my community and I am placed where I make the most impact and no one with a political agenda seems to understand that. It’s ok, I begin to run with the mindset of assuming that I don’t have anyone’s support. Any gesture of regard to our movement is a blessing.  Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Indio and what would you do to address it?

Erick Lemus Nadurille: Big money in politics  because it’s clear that our  city budget  reflects the values of those that are taking money from private and political interest. The city hasn’t been able to recently pass any significant budget items that prioritize the interest of the working class. Budgets are moral documents and should only be developed by all of us not some of us. I plan to address this by creating different pathways to access government, so that all residents’ voices are uplifted. I also begin to work on this by not taking money from private interest to my campaign. My average donation is four dollars with a big heart.

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