INDIO – For the second time in as many days an Indio resident has come forward to announce a challenge to a veteran member of the Indio City Council. Frank Ruiz has announced his intention to unseat Lupe Ramos Amith in District 5 in the Nov. 3 election.

On Wednesday, Erin Teran told Uken Report she is challenging Glenn Alan Miller for the District 1 seat.

Both Miller, first elected in 2008, and Ramos Amith, on the City Council since 2004, announced their candidacies in 2019.

Ruiz describes himself as a “Native American by ethnicity and a Latinx culturally.” He also described himself as a moderate who wants to “find the right balance.” He said he was “invited” to run by numerous community leaders.

He is a man who wears multiple hats and is looking to add City Councilor to the array. Among his jobs are pastor of the Indio Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church on Clinton Street in Indio, chaplain for the Indio Police Department, social activist, and serves as Audubon California’s Salton Sea director. In the latter role, he rallies support for protecting bird habitat while addressing public health concerns associated with the Salton Sea.

“The community around the Salton Sea is my home and I am committed to helping guide it to a healthy future,” Ruiz said when he earned the role. “Birds and nature are part of what makes the Salton Sea special.”

Ruiz came to Audubon California with more than 13 years of experience leading non-profit organizations, most recently Por la Creación, a national alliance of more than 300 faith-based leaders that organizes and trains community stakeholders in their efforts to protect the environment. In addition, his ties to the region run deep, as pastor for a large congregation in Indio, and through Por la Creación, a driving force behind the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act, which established three new national monuments in the California desert.

His bid for City Council is not about him, Ruiz told Uken Report. It’s about the community.

“Our community is struggling,” Ruiz said. “And, it will continue to struggle unless we work together in a holistic approach so we can move forward.

In addition to Miller and Ramos Amith, Elaine Holmes, Oscar Ortiz and Waymond Fermon round out the five-member City Council.



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  • Frank Ruiz: Frank Ruiz