CATHEDRAL CITY — The inauguration of the mayor and new members of the City Council —and a companion reception — are designed to showcase the city’s embrace of its rich culture and diversity.
An inauguration reception will feature the Mariachi Arcoiris De Los Angeles, the world’s first Mariachi to represent the LGBT community. Its primary purpose is to bring their culture and music to all. The group’s members include the first transgendered woman in Mariachi in the world as well as other members of the community and allies that all have one thing in common — love and respect of their music and for everyone’s right to love.
“It’s a chance to say here’s the next chapter for our town,” Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis told Uken Report. “(We want to) show our openness to diversity and inclusion. Bring the community together after two years of rancor among neighborhoods.”
Additionally, Pettis said, “(The Mariachi) celebrates both LGBTQ and Jalisco culture. (It) brings both of our largest demographics together.”
The presence of the LGBTQ Mariachi is to celebrate the city’s first LGBTQ mayor, Pettis, who is openly gay, along with a gay majority on the City Council, said Pettis. Councilmember John Aguilar is openly gay as is Councilmember-elect Raymond Gregory.
It is also the City Council’s chance to thank friends and supporters.
The inauguration of Pettis as mayor and new members of the City Council is set for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 in the City Council Chambers of City Hall, 68-700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero.
The inauguration will feature the Cathedral City High School Color Guard and the Cathedral City High School Choir.
“They are the official choral group of the city,” Pettis said of the high school choir. “We have a lot to learn from them.”
Councilmember-elect Gregory, representing District 5, will be sworn into office and Councilmember Mark Carnevale, representing District 3, will be sworn in for a second term.
A third new member of the City Council — either John A. Rivera or Ernesto Gutierrez — will also be sworn into office. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, Rivera has 31.97 percent, or 454 votes compared with Gutierrez, who has garnered 31.13 percent of the vote, or 442 votes, according to the Riverside County Registrar. Some 73,000 Vote-by-Mail and 45,000 Provisional ballots still remain to be counted. Rivera has held the lead since Election Day.
The 6 p.m. reception will be held on the Paseo of City Hall following the inauguration in the City Council Chambers. Light refreshments, including bottled water, finger foods, cookies, and more will be served.
Having the Mariachi perform was Pettis’ idea, he said. He has heard them before and describes them in one word: Fabulous.
City staff, Aguilar and Pettis have planned the evening, Pettis said. It is being paid for with private funds, he said.
Chris Parman, communications and events manager, reaffirmed that, “The entertainment is being paid for by non-city funds.”
Both events are open to the public free of charge. No RSVP is required.