Palm Springs Mayor Robert Moon was booed and chants of “vote him out” erupted during the “March for Our Lives” Rally in the community on Saturday as an estimated 2,000 people gathered to protest gun violence in the nation.
The chorus of jeers and chants erupted after one of the student speakers announced that Moon, elected to a four-year term in November 2015, had refused to sign a proclamation declaring March 24 as March For Our Lives Day in the City of Palm Springs.
Moon took to Facebook on Sunday explaining why he refused to sign the proclamation and told Uken Report on Monday that he stands up his decision.
“For the mayor to unilaterally sign a proclamation is to politicize the office,” Moon said in a telephone interview. “I am not willing to speak for the entire City Council on an issue that has political overtones. This is not a political position. It is not a Democrat or Republican office. Some of my City Council colleagues want to use their positions to advance a political agenda. I don’t. That’s me. To support something with political overtones is an inappropriate use of this office.”
Moon said Richard Noble, a local activist who helped spearhead the rally, knows the process for getting a proclamation signed. Moon said he should have brought it before the full City Council for discussion and possible consent.
Despite the mayor’s refusal, the students were still able to secure their requested proclamation courtesy of Councilmember Geoff Kors, who was also elected to a four-year term in 2015.
Kors not only signed 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.
You can read the proclamation in its entirety HERE.
Anyone on the City Council can sign a proclamation but the person requesting it almost always sends it to the mayor, Kors said.
“He alone signs them without input from the rest of Council,” Kors told Uken Report. “When I was told he declined to sign the proclamation and the certificates of appreciation for the student speakers and was asked if I would sign them, I agreed to do so.”
Noble said Moon could have easily signed the document and the certificates for the students.
“He refused for unfounded paranoid reasons,” Noble told Uken Report. “This was a call for love and he missed it. He was so caught up in procedure, or his misinformed idea of procedure, that he missed the call. I’d like him to come into the light and correct this.”
City Councilmember Lisa Middleton, elected in November 2017, attended the rally and welcomed marchers at City Hall.
“I join with the many millions of Americans who are so grateful to — and in awe of — the students, Middleton told Uken Report “When they arrived at City Hall I made the following public statement: ‘On behalf of the majority of the City Council, I am honored to welcome you to City Hall. On behalf of those over 60, I am honored to welcome you to the fight.’ ”
Middleton said she would not comment on the mayor’s actions “at this time.”