Frank Figueroa wants to bring support to the LGBTQIA+ community in Coachella

COACHELLA — Frank Figueroa, a higher education finance administrator, is one of four people competing for two spots on the City Council in the Nov. 8 election.

Those competing for the four-year terms in addition to Figueroa are incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Gonzalez. Stephanie Virgen, and Yurema Arvizu.

Coachella residents will also be voting for mayor. Mayor Steven Hernandez is seeking a fifth two-year term. Incumbent Councilmember Denise Delgado is challenging him.

Uken Report reached out to all four City Council candidates and asked all of them identical questions. Following are Figueroa’s responses.

Uken Report (UR): Who or what motivated you to run for City Council at this time?

Figueroa: I am running to provide for my community to put their needs first. What motivated me to run was the calling I have had from several community members who have supported me in my advocacy work within the community, bringing support to the LGBTQIA+ community in Coachella.

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

Figueroa: I have over 8+ years of experience as a university financial manager as well as experience serving on the Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District. I know the importance of being good stewards of public funds and ensuring we as elected officials and public servants meet the needs of those who have placed us in these roles to serve in their best interest.

UR: What can you bring to the City Council that is currently missing?

Figueroa: What I could bring to the council would be a keen understanding of how local government works having served on the Southern Coachella Valley Community Services District since 2015. I have a background in public finance management which allows me to understand the needs of the city’s budget and how to best allocate funding for the resources our residents drastically need.

UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?

Figueroa: I am proud to have the endorsement of Congressman Raul Ruiz.

UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?

Figueroa: One of my proudest moments was advocating for the city of Coachella to be able to fly the pride flag during pride month at city hall. It was a moment to be proud as our city was able to showcase its support by raising the flag. This took much courage to be open about the support living in a Latino community it is hard to be open about your authentic self, but it was important for me to showcase that we as a community support one another.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Coachella and why?

Figueroa: One issue that comes to mind is supporting the homeless community in Coachella. Like many other cities we have an increase in homelessness and the unhoused. This is something that needs to be address and as a city we need to support them.

UR: What will you propose to do about it?

Figueroa: I would focus on creating a bridge with local partners to bring in more support programs for those who are currently unhoused and those who might become due economic or other reasons. Creating a pipeline with local nonprofits would be key but the city also needs to seek funding to support this. The unhoused in Coachella are still very much so part of our community and we need to support them.

UR: Is there one decision with City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?

Figueroa: This is not a specific decision that they have made but more the inconsistency with cancelling of meetings. As elected officials we need to follow thru with meeting the needs of our residents. Knowing that sometimes we might have circumstances we might not make all the meetings. But as a council we need to make sure to attend all possible meetings to meet the expectations of our residents.

UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?

Figueroa: I am an avid hiker and enjoy hiking new locations when I travel.


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