You are about to learn one thing you might not have known about Grace Garner, and it might surprise you
PALM SPRINGS — Palm Springs Mayor Pro Tem Grace Garner, who is next in line to serve a one-year rotation as mayor, is seeking re-election to a four-year term in District 1. She has a sole challenger, Scott Nevins, a DAP Health Board member.
In the interest of fairness, Uken Report (UR) asked all City Council candidates identical questions. Following are Garner’s responses.
Grace Garner: City Councilmember, Attorney, Policy Consultant
UR: Who or what motivated to run for City Council at this time?
Grace Garner: Since my election in 2019 I have worked hard to represent the residents of district 1 and Palm Springs. I have made great strides during my term in advancing housing opportunities; increasing funding for parks and community centers, including over $7,000,000 in this last budget alone; and building on the City’s Spanish language outreach. I am running to continue moving forward on these issues and to continue to provide excellent services to the residents of district 1 and Palm Springs.
UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?
Grace Garner: I am the most experienced candidate. I have strong relationships with our city staff and unions. I am trusted to provide honest, thoughtful, and smart responses on city issues. My experience as an attorney and a second-generation resident of Palm Springs are an asset to the council. My extensive community relationships ensure that we are hearing from a wide range of residents.
UR: What can you bring to the City Council that is currently missing?
Grace Garner: I bring a strong focus on diversity and inclusion that is unique because of my identity as a Latina and my community relationships. I have actively recruited and appointed diverse residents to our city commissions which has improved our knowledge and relationships within the community. Upon being re-elected I will also be the only attorney on city council.
UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?
Grace Garner: I am proud of all of my endorsements, like the Inland Empire Labor Council, the Palm Springs Fire Association, the Riverside County Democratic Party and Mayor Lisa Middleton. The most humbling and important endorsements are those from the residents of district 1. They know me and trust me, and I am forever honored for their support.
UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?
Grace Garner: I am proud of the attention I have brought to our parks, including the over $7,000,000 in funding in this budget year alone which includes a parks master plan. The bolstering of our Spanish language outreach has created a more inclusive city hall. The strong council response to COVID-19 kept our residents and visitors safe. I am proud to serve on a council that takes public safety seriously. Prior to my council term, I served on the California Voting Rights Community Working Group which conducted outreach and research on district elections and how to reduce barriers for future candidates. This group was vital in increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in Palm Springs.
UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Palm Springs, other than homeless, and why?
Grace Garner: The housing crisis has hit our city and region hard. It is essential that we build workforce housing and provide safe and reasonably priced homes and apartments for all residents.
UR: What will you propose to do about it?
Grace Garner: I am working with the City Manager and Council to build homes on city-owned residential lots. This would provide home ownership opportunities to our residents who would otherwise be priced out. I also serve on the SCAG Regional Housing Policy Academy where I am working with other regional leaders to learn the best ways, we can work together to address housing in not just Palm Springs but the Coachella Valley and Riverside County.
UR: Is there one decision with City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?
Grace Garner: I voted no on the approval of the Tower Market. We need a real grocery store on the north end of the city to better serve our residents and children.
UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Grace Garner: In January I submitted my application to become a resource parent (formerly called foster parent). I am currently waiting on my final approval and placement.
- Grace Garner: Grace Garner