DESERT HOT SPRINGS — Jessica Gilbert, 64, a Realtor, is seeking one of two, four-year terms on the City Council in the Nov. 3 election. He is one of seven people seeking one of two seats on the five-member board,

The six others seeking the seat are Russell Betts, incumbent; Robert Griffith, incumbent; Stephen Giboney; Jonathan Laura; Jason Moore; and Roger Nunez.

Uken Report has asked each candidate identical questions. Following are Gilbert’s responses.

Uken Report (UR): Why specifically do you want to be on the City Council?

Jessica Gilbert: I love that DHS is moving forward and I want to be a part of a cohesive team that continues to move DHS forward. As a 27-year resident, I know this community. I’ve been involved in service groups, youth programs, DHS Chamber of Commerce and currently the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce.  I’m active and listen to my friends and residents. Youth and Seniors are my passion.

UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?

Jessica Gilbert: I can’t pick one but I can pick two and they basically go hand in hand. Thru my Rotary Club I started EarlyAct in our elementary schools. EarlyAct is a program similar to Rotary where we meet with students twice a month at their schools and we teach the “Service Above Self”. We do community projects, bring in guest speakers and we do crafts and learning games teaching good citizenship. We also have fundraisers so that we can bring “Buddy Benches” to each elementary school. The other accomplishment is Emergency Kits at our 5 elementary schools. These kits are for our younger students that may have an accident during class. They have to sit in the office and miss class until a parent or guardian can be reached to bring them clean clothing. I brought this issue to our rotary club and they agreed to fund this project. I have 5 bins, one for each school that have underwear, tee-shirts, shorts and socks in various sizes so the student can come to the office and change and go right back to class. Each school calls me when they get low on items and I shop and replenish them.

UR: How do you define leader and leadership?

Jessica Gilbert: I define leadership as someone who sees a need and puts it into action. They involve others to assist and we become a team. A leader is someone that empowers others. A leader doesn’t need to be the public face, they can be behind the scenes and let others shine.

UR: Do you fit this definition?

Jessica Gilbert: I absolutely do in ways I’ve stated above. When I empower others, especially students it gives them confidence. I work to respect others and in turn they respect me or nothing would ever get done.

UR: What are your top three goals for DHS if elected or re-elected?  To release all public information to the residents of Desert Hot Springs.

Jessica Gilbert: My top 3 goals are bringing more resources to Desert Hot Springs, continue to bring more programs to DHS for our youth and seniors, and to continue to improve the image of Desert Hot Springs.

UR: If you could change one thing about DHS, what would it be?

Jessica Gilbert: The number one thing – IMAGE! I have sold so many homes to wonderful people. We have great residents who give of their time and money. I see it all the time. I have had clients that were skeptical of purchasing a home in Desert Hot Springs and I almost always turn them around. I see them in the community and they always come up to me and say, “thank you for changing my mind, we love it here”. I’ve always said, “DHS is the little city with the biggest heart.”

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  • Jessica Gilbert: Jessica Gilbert