INDIO — Frank Ruiz, pastor of the Indio Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church on Clinton Street in Indio, chaplain for the Indio Police Department, social activist, and a member of the board of directors fpr Audubon California’s Salton Sea, is looking for one more role: City Councilor.

Ruiz will face incumbent City Councilor Lupe Ramos Amith and Erick Lemus Nadurille in the Nov. 3 election for a four-year term.  He is looking to represent District 5.

Uken Report posed a series of similar questions to all candidates. Following are the responses from Ruiz.

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

Frank Ruiz: I am running for Council because I believe that I can represent the views and voices of the diverse sectors of this community. It is time to enfranchise every member of this community that traditionally have not have a voice in the process of the decision-makings. My experience working and collaborating with different levels of governments has provided me with the skills to engage multiple entities to find feasible solutions for the local problems. I decided to raise my family here in Indio because I believe Indio can offer its families a prosperous future. I have a genuine passion for this community, which I have served in many capacities as pastor, police chaplain and as an environmentalist. I believe is time to elect someone who brings family values to the council and puts the interest of the community first.

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

Frank Ruiz: I am a proven leader whose record of accomplishments speaks for itself. I have assisted dozens of families of this community while in crisis. People in this community know that I am a reliable and trustworthy leader who will put people before political ideologies and the families of Indio before personal interests. I am not a career politician; I am just a member of this community who has seen too much inaction for too long.  First, I will fight to improve the health of our community members from a comprehensive approach with better and much-needed parks for our children. Secondly, I negotiate and attract better and more sustainable businesses for our community and at the same time, provide support for our family-owned businesses. Lastly, I will continue to improve our public safety to make sure that our residents are treated with respect and quality, particularly in times of crisis. Indio deserves better.

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

Frank Ruiz: In my conversation with Indio Manager Mark Scott, he indicated that short-term rentals have become a point of contention among our local residents despite being the second largest revenue to the City’s proceeds. I intend to bring community leaders together and find the common ground and achieve a feasible solution that will satisfy both sides. It will be important to implement a focus-group approach to find a healthy resolution.

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

Frank Ruiz: I would say that my response will be limited and perhaps inaccurate since I am not a resident of that community and it will be irresponsible for me to make a statement in that regard. I try to be respectful of the communities nearby since I understand that every community has its own strength and weaknesses.

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

Frank Ruiz: To be more civic engaged and get involved for the betterment of this community

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?

Frank Ruiz: We must provide a coordinated rental and mortgage assistance program, and launch an economic development loan fund to assist local family owned businesses

UR: Tell us one good quality your opponent possesses.

Frank Ruiz: She is a driven businessperson

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

Frank Ruiz: I lived in Athens, Greece while working on my ancient languages program

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

Frank Ruiz: Homelessness, the problem can only be addressed by engaging more local governments in the Coachella Valley with strong support of multiple entities such as Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs)

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  • Frank Ruiz: Frank Ruiz