INDIO — Erin Teran, who says she does not take “No” for an answer, is challenging longtime incumbent Glenn Alan Miller for a four-year term on the City Council. Both are seeking the District 1 seat in the Nov. 3 election.

Uken Report posed a series of similar questions to all candidates. Following are those from Teran.

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

Erin Teran: As a widowed mother, work, school, my daughter and her priorities occupied my schedule, but now that my daughter is in college, I am focusing my efforts to be of service to our community. Organizing community events and finding ways to help others is very fulfilling, however the real change comes with having a seat at the decision-making table. The seats on the City Council are important because it’s the level of government where the decisions that shape Indio are made by creating jobs, safer neighborhoods, more parks, advocating for more equitable healthcare facilities by partnering with outside agencies, providing necessary resources to the community that they have long been seeking, and by making sound decisions that relate to urban development and planning. These are just some of the ways that I would like to participate in order to create real change.

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

Erin Teran: I CARE FOR INDIO. I was raised here, attended Indio schools, and graduated as a proud Rajah. I have a network of diverse friends, family, and even professional contacts that are from different neighborhoods in our city, with varying ages and backgrounds. I understand Indio’s residents and their vision for our city.

Prior to becoming a Registered Nurse, I worked as a Paralegal in the areas of construction law, business, and real estate, which will serve as my foundation when making critical decisions for our City; my compassion as a nurse, allows me to think outside of myself in order to focus on the needs of our residents.

This is not about a title, power, or personal gain. I am seeking this seat, because it’s time for our city to put the needs of its residents first, creating healthy, thriving communities and positioning us as key element in our region as we move into the future.

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

Erin Teran: We are in a pivotal time for change in our city, and doing so strategically while recovering from Covid-19 will be fundamental. This pandemic is something we have never before experienced. We are going to be reeling from its effects for quite some time. I will focus on keeping our residents and essential workers safe, ensure resources such as rental and mortgage assistance are easily accessible, and support our local businesses to recover successfully.

The City of Indio’s mission is to embrace its diversity and provide outstanding municipal services to enhance the quality of life for its residents, visitors and the business community. It’s time that we align with that mission. I will lead by putting people first. This is the time to make significant changes in Indio, and I am ready for it.

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?

Erin Teran: First, I would ask why he/she believes Indio was the worst place to live in California. I would then proceed to address those concerns. To our conversation, I would add about the city’s rich history such as how it sprung to life in 1876; fun facts like that we are known as the City of Festivals and our populations doubles during festival season; and information about serving as the second county seat and the many other resources available to the residents of Eastern Coachella Valley. I would conclude by telling this person that there is no other place I would rather live. I grew up in Indio and chose to raise my daughter here. I have seen the city progress all throughout the years, and although it has fallen short in occasions, that I am looking forward to represent residents as we work to shape the future of Indio – a future that meets the needs of all residents!

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

Erin Teran: Because of the current COVID emergency we are in and as a nurse, of course, I would ask residents to be patient with health advisories, wear their mask, and continue to follow state and federal protocols. Thankfully, these policies and practices are in place; therefore, the next thing I would ask is for residents to find ways to get involved within our community, such as volunteering in their children’s school, participating in city-led events, and supporting our local non-profits.

Once elected, I will be assigned to serve as the liaison for our residents. I will actively seek their input. This position of councilmember belongs to the people and it is in their hands. I will ensure their voice is heard and that the decisions I make on the dais are reflective of our continuous communication. By giving a voice to the community, we will empower and encourage them to engage in the decision-making process of our city – something we are currently lacking.

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?

Erin Teran: In Indio, this pandemic was eye-opening. It brought light to the fact that we need to find ways to diversify our revenue. With tourism being affected and a significant loss of revenue to the City due to the cancellation of festivals, we have learned that we need to bring other ideas to the table to generate a stream of revenue in order to sustain a fiscally-responsible, balanced budget and to recoup our City’s reserves.

UR:  Tell us one good quality your opponent possesses.

Erin Teran: My opponent does not know me well, but one thing I have noticed about him is that he is really good at taking credit for things.

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

Erin Teran: One thing about me that many may not know is that I do not take “No” for an answer. I am a fixer, a problem solver, and I believe there is always a solution to every issue. It may take me some time, research, and teamwork to get to the conclusion, but I am not afraid of a challenge.  I am a worker bee. I am a great collaborator, work well under stress, and most importantly, get things done.

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

Erin Teran: The most pressing issue in my district is lack of equity. As a city, we need to provide more equitable planning and development throughout. Prior to dividing the city into districts, we could see that many areas were being disenfranchised and left behind, while others have been highly invested in. Now that we are in districts, councilmembers are going to be held more accountable for their area. I will focus on addressing street improvements; developing new parks and improving existing ones; restoring abandoned buildings; reinvigorating stalled projects; and attracting businesses that will bring not only financial, but cultural value to our city.

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