Henry Hampton, 43, a businessman and former airline pilot, is one of six people running for a pair of part-time spots on the Palm Springs City Council.
Hampton joins Judy Deertrack, Glenn Flood, Harry Hampton, Lisa Middleton and Robert Stone on the ballot in their quest for local political office.
Uken Report submitted questions to each candidate and all accepted.
Each candidate received identical questions. Their answers appear as they were submitted and were not edited or altered.
Exactly why are you running?
I have been listening closely to the concerns of local residents, business and stakeholders for years. I am running now because I have a straightforward plan to make Palm Springs better, focusing on what matters most to the people who live and work here:
First, solving our out-of-control homelessness issue.
Finishing the revitalization of downtown Palm Springs, including kick-starting any delayed projects.
Lowering crime rates and keeping our neighborhoods safe.
Supporting tourism and the local economy, which in turn will create new, higher-paying jobs.
Ensuring fiscal responsibility, transparency and integrity at City Hall.
Above all, I will deliver common-sense solutions drawing on my education, real-world business experience and local knowledge. Raised in Palm Springs, I will respect our past and champion our future.
What quality do you have that you believe your opponents do not? In other words, what sets you apart?
No other candidate has the unique combination of local relationships, real-life business experience, and the specific vision that I offer. I’m a second-generation Palm Springs citizen who was born and raised here. What’s more, I’ve chosen to raise my own children here. I am deeply invested in ensuring a bright future for all locals, because I am one too. In addition, I am the only candidate with real-life business experience. I know what it takes to make payroll, to budget, to increase revenue and lower expense to stay profitable. I have the expertise to balance our budget and look for new creative solutions to solve the City’s financial issues. Voters can count on me to deliver common-sense solutions to the issues that matter most to Palm Springs.
How much to you expect to spend on your race?
Who is your political role model?
There are so many leaders both in the past and present that I draw on for inspiration. I am going to go with Abraham Lincoln. He overcame life struggles and political defeats before rising to the highest office in the Country. He kept the Country united after the Civil War – a time in history that our Country was far more dividend then it is today. He did what was right – fighting for equal rights – in the face of what at the time was political suicide.
What are the three most notable endorsements you have received to date?
More than any other candidate, I feel fortunate to have the support of over 18 past and present elected leaders from across the Coachella Valley. But certainly the most personally humbling endorsements was from the Palm Springs Police Officers Association. They work so hard to keep our city safe, and knowing that they have my back makes me that much more dedicated to continue supporting public safety. I also was honored to receive the endorsement of the Inland Empire Business PAC. I’m glad to have their vote of confidence as the candidate who understands how to grow our economy and bring better jobs to Palm Springs.
Who recruited you, or did you decide to run on your own?
I’ve been thinking about running for years. But now more than ever, the people of Palm Springs deserve a City Council that will represent their interests. I know that I can be that kind of leader for our community.
What will you specifically do to restore trust in City Hall?
Transparency and trust in City Hall are absolutely essential to our community. And it all begins with person-to-person communication. I hope I’ve already started to gain the community’s trust by opening myself up to them to answer their questions and concerns. Every Monday for more than a month, we’ve hosted a Facebook Live chat where anyone can ask me anything. I’ve also put on regular coffee break meet-ups over at Koffi, which are open to all comers. And for those who can’t get out, I’ve made my cellphone number public and literally knocked on the doors of hundreds of people across town. When elected, I will continue to make myself accessible and accountable to voters with regular office hours. I also think we could make our City website a lot more accessible and informative, so that people can find out what’s going on 24/7.
Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative or moderate and what does that mean to you?
Local elections are non-partisan and for a good reason. Partisan politics do not work on a National level, why would we want to implement that system at a local level? I believe in good government – and at a local level – we have a unique opportunity to connect and be better than partisan politics. It’s more important to me to work together to get things done and help people and our community – than to be a career politician. As a City Council member, I will be entirely focused on doing what’s best for the people of Palm Springs.
Is it appropriate for Palm Springs City Council candidates to accept campaign contributions from outside Palm Springs?
I am extremely grateful for every dollar I’ve raised in this election. When people give money, it means they believe in what I stand for and my leadership ability. I’ve received contributions from a wide range of local supporters from residents to business leaders. Even though my support has come locally and I know some of my opponents are getting money from outside of the Valley, I don’t think there should be further regulations about who can give or when they can give.
What is the single biggest challenge facing Palm Springs?
Homelessness! That is why it is first on my list in my plan to better Palm Springs. To see the full plan visit ElectHampton.com.