Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon officially launches Trustee bid for Area 4

RANCHO MIRAGE — In a race that could hinge on name recognition, money and endorsements, Joel L. Kinnamon barreled out of gate with all three Friday as he launched his trustee bid for Area 4 in the Nov. 8 election.

Kinnamon, President Emeritus of College of the Desert, will seek a seat on the Desert Community College District (DCCD) Board of Trustees for Area 4, which includes eastern Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and a large portion of La Quinta.  DCCD is the publicly-elected governing body for College of the Desert.

The Kinnamon campaign committee has $55,000 cash on hand and $30,000 more in individual pledges that still need to be collected, Chris Parman, communications manager, told Uken Report. Parman is also Kinnamon’s husband. They have been together for 24 years and were the first gay couple to be married on the Assembly Floor of the State Capitol in 2008.

One of his competitors, Brian Nestande, told Uken Report on Friday that he has about $30,000 cash on hand.

Kinnamon, who has dropped broad hints about his candidacy over the past few months, made it official in a video announcement. He will run incumbent Aurora Wilson and Nestande.

Out of the starting gate, Kinnamon has amassed an impressive list of endorsements, according to his website.

So far, Kinnamon has racked up endorsements from more than a dozen local government officials and College of the Desert affiliates, including:

  • Assembly Democratic candidate and Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege
  • Palm Springs City Council candidate and Human Rights Commissioner Ron deHarte
  • Palm Springs Planning commissioners J.R. Roberts and Kathy Weremiuk
  • Cathedral City Mayor Ernesto Gutierrez and councilmembers Mark Carnevale, Raymond Gregory and Nancy Ross
  • COD Bond Oversight Committee Board Member and former COD Trustee Rebecca Broughton
  • Former COD trustees Jane Sanchez-Fulton and Michael O’Neil
  • Former COD student trustees Larissa Chavez Chaidez and Arturo Delgado
  • COD Foundation Board Member Peggy Cravens
  • COD counselors Basil Augustine and Lisa McFadden

Nestande also has garnered some endorsements primarily from councilmembers representing cities in Area 4.

You may watch his video message in its entirety here:


“Over the last year, College of the Desert has lost its focus, creating an environment of suspicion, confusion, and mistrust,” Kinnamon said in a prepared statement.  “COD’s Board of Trustees is in a crisis. Newspaper headlines from the past year or more have pointed to a majority of the governing board violating the public’s trust through deception, lack of transparency, and breaking its word on committed projects that would create greater access to education and equity for our students.  Before my retirement in 2021, I’m proud to have led College of the Desert to national awards in excellence as the fastest growing community college in the state of California, and believe I can get C.O.D. back on track.”

Kinnamon has released a seven-point plan to get C.O.D. back on track on his website. You may read it by clicking here.




Image Sources

  • Joel Kinnamon: Joel Kinnamon