Carlos Pineda, a community activist who sought election to the Palm Desert City Council in the Nov. 6 election, has died.

“Carlos passed away on Jan 1, 2019 surrounded in death as he was in life — by those who loved and respected him,” Lynnie O’Neill, a Democratic activist confirmed for Uken Report. “Carlos became a U.S. citizen just over one year ago and he used his last year on earth in the most noblest of pursuits: to live a purposeful life.


Becoming a U.S. citizen (Photo courtesy of Lynnie O’Neill)

“Carlos ran his Palm Desert Council race with his heart and his head,” O’Neill continued. “He never deviated from his core beliefs, which are that all people deserve, justice, kindness and the opportunity to be part of something larger than ourselves. He will be missed and all of our thoughts of strength and healing are sent to his loving husband and partner of 19 years, Bill Holzhauer.”

Pineda was taken off life support Tuesday afternoon, his husband confirmed for Uken Report. Holzhauer confirmed Pineda entered the hospital with a cold that turned into pneumonia and he never recovered.

Pineda, 43, had lived in the desert for eight years and in Palm Desert for two years. He described himself as a progressive Democrat. As a political newcomer and self-described activist, he was seeking one of the two seats held by incumbents Sabby Jonathan and Jan Harnik. During the campaign he marketed himself as “Your Voice for Change.”

Those who knew him consistently commented on his passion, especially for local politics and people.

“As progressive Democrat, I believe that everyone has an equal opportunity to fairness, social and economic justice,” Pineda told Uken Report in his bid for election. “(I believe in) freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to control our bodies.”

In an interview with Uken Report last fall, he said he was “running to be the voice of all Palm Desert residents for change. Too often constituents feel that they’re never heard. Too often politicians focus on the few. I seek to speak to anyone who wants to talk to me about the issues, their concerns of the city, and what we need to do to improve it.”

As a concerned citizen and activist, Pineda said he wanted to do his part to improve the lives of Palm Desert residents by working hard with honesty and integrity.

He ultimately lost to Jonathan and Harnik.




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