PALM SPRINGS – Geoff Kors, elected to serve a four-year term on the Palm Springs City Council in 2015, is expected to announce on Monday, Jan. 28, his bid for re-election in November when the city moves from at-large to district elections.
Kors, who is currently Mayor Pro Tem, will announce his election plans at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 28 on the steps of City Hall.
A Stanford Law School graduate, Kors has long said he would announce his decision by the end of January. That time has arrived.
Last week, the day after Mayor Rob Moon announced during a City Council meeting that he would not seek re-election, Kors told Uken Report that Moon’s “announcement doesn’t impact my decision or already-planned timing of my announcement.”
If he announces his candidacy as expected, Kors would run to represent District 3, one of five newly created Districts in Palm Springs. You may view the District Map by clicking here.
The seats of Councilmembers Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege will move to districts when they are up for re-election in 2021.
Currently, no residents have publicly announced their intentions to seek the open seats in Districts 1 and 2.
The City Council voted 3-2 vote on Dec. 10 to approve a final five-district voting map in compliance with the California Voting Rights Act. Within a five-district Electoral process, the position of mayor will rotate among Council members and be appointed annually.
Moon and Councilmember J.R. Roberts also live in District 3. Roberts, like Moon, has decided not to seek reelection. In a 3-2 vote, both Moon and Roberts opposed the move to district-based elections.
The move to districts is designed to empower more Latino residents to seek public office. Latinos make up approximately 25 percent of Palm Springs’ total population and about 16 percent of all voters, according to City Manager David H. Ready.
There are currently no Latinos on the City Council — and no Latinos sought election in the most recent city race. All candidates were Caucasian. The current panel of elected city officials is comprised of two women and three men; all are Caucasian.
Throughout his first term in office, Kors has established himself as a leader among his peers and in the community. The examples are too numerous to mention. Here are a couple of examples:
- In December 2018 he was appointed Mayor Pro Tem, signaling a vote of confidence among his peers.
- In March 2018, when Moon refused to sign a proclamation declaring March 24 as March For Our Lives Day in the City of Palm Springs, Kors stepped in to not only sign the proclamation but also certificates of appreciation for the student speakers and organizers. “I believe it is important to recognize the March and their leadership,” Kors told Uken Report at the time.
- In July 2018, Kors took on a prosecutorial-like role as he worked fervently to get to the bottom of what exactly Moon had done or not done by surreptitiously planting recording devices in City Hall. Moon told Uken Report he had been investigated and cleared, which was a lie. A formal investigation was opened; results are pending. “It’s a live stream,” Kors said at the time of the recording device. “This is not a typical surveillance camera you see at restaurants that show videos and you see if someone is stealing. They have a microphone. Conversations can be listened into. How long did that go on? How often? When? Was it activated every time someone walked down the hallway?
- Kors took a high-profile leadership role in opposing Measure C, the ballot measure that would have banned rentals — of 28 days or less — of single-family homes. The measure ultimately failed.
- He and his husband, James Williamson, will be honored at the 25th Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards on Feb. 9 for their marriage to community service when they are presented with the Partners for Life Award. The couple has a long history of community leadership, focusing their time and resources on social and political issues as varied as LGBTQA+ rights, education, and healthcare. Long-time supporters of Desert AIDS Project, both are members of Partners for Life.
Kors, the former Executive Director of Equality California, serves on several City Council subcommittees including Public Integrity, Cannabis, Voting Rights, Vacation Rentals, Budget, Homelessness, and Communications. In addition, Kors serves as the liaison to the Sustainability Commission, the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, Palm Springs tourism and hospitality organizations, the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Small Hotel Tourism BID Advisory Board and the Community Choice Aggregation Program & Coachella Valley Community Energy Authority.