CATHEDRAL CITY — Nancy Ross, who says she has attended more than 250 city governance meetings, says her vast experience in the public sector sets her apart from her sole opponent: JR Corrales.

She is seeking a four-year term on the City Council representing District 2.

Uken Report posed a series of identical questions to both candidates. Corrales did not respond. Following are Ross’ responses.

Uken Report (UR): What is your motivation for running?

Nancy Ross: As a proud resident of Cathedral City, I was keenly interested in what was happening in our city. I started attending Council meetings to learn about the governing of our city. As I listened and watched I realized that I had a background, experience and perspectives that would add value to the discussion of many issues. I know that my background as a civil rights advocate, business owner and entrepreneur, I will bring leadership experience, fresh ideas, and vision to help guide Cathedral City forward.

UR: What makes you a better candidate than your opponent?

Nancy Ross: The more than 30 years of experience in the public sector serves as my burden of proof.

Experience matters and perhaps in no time more than now.

For more than 3 years I have attended every City Council meeting, study session, Planning Commission meeting, Parks and Events Commission and Public Arts Commission where I have also served as a Commissioner on the Public Arts Commission. I am on both Cathedral City’s Cannabis Task Force and the Homeless Task Force. I sit on V. Manuel Perez’s Green Ribbon Commission on Homelessness and participate with Lift to Rise and their community action network helping usher in new low-income housing into the Coachella Valley.

At the more than 250 city governance meetings I have attended I have had the opportunity to hear the concerns of residents who have come to these groups to share ideas and concerns.

As a civil rights advocate I have been invited to speak at conventions and symposiums across the nation regarding the rights of others, including an invitation to speak at the White House on the civil rights of children.

Serving for more than 6 years on the board of directors for the ACLU has taught me how to collaborate and use inclusion to advance ideas. I know how to make hard decisions.

I want to continue to serve Cathedral City utilizing my knowledge, skills, and personal understanding of both the people of the city and how local government can work to enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

UR: What project or issue do you want to see addressed in your term?

Nancy Ross: COVID-19. I will work with both employers and employees to get our businesses opened back up while ensuring the safety of employees and customers.  I will work with both landlord and tenants to devise innovative solutions to how tenants can catch up on back rent and landlords to catch up on overdue mortgage payments.  I will work with neighborhood organizations to identify Cathedral City residents who are not getting enough to eat or are suffering from food insecurities and with our non-profits to get food pantries open at full capacity and serving those most in need.  I will work with schools and parents to assist children in returning to the classroom in a safe and sensible way for employees and students.  I will be working with community groups and citizens to educate residents about existing programs that may assist those in need and simultaneously create innovative ideas that will help alleviate these struggles.

UR: If someone walked up to you and told you that Cathedral City was the worst place to live in the Coachella Valley because of crime and gangs, what would your response be?

Nancy Ross: I’d say, “Then you don’t know Cathedral City.” We are vibrant city, with welcoming neighborhoods, diverse cultures, quality open spaces, people who care about one another, and small and large businesses that work together to support our city and its residents.

Plus, Cathedral City meets the needs of the thousands of snowbirds who make our city their “winter home” drawn to us by the abundant restaurants, hiking and biking trails, casino, spas, hotels, and shops. For those who want to wander further afield, Cathedral City is uniquely situated to provide easy access to our neighboring cities, state and national parks, and miles of desert.

I’d say that Cathedral City really has it all.

UR: If you could require every Cathedral City resident to do one thing, what would that one thing be?

Nancy Ross: If there was one thing I could encourage our residents to do it would be to participate in the civic life of our city. This could range from working with children such as walking a child to school, helping with a reading program, or volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club.  If working with adults is where your interests lie, how about helping with meals at the Cathedral City Senior Center or volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter.  If you are interested in working with our city government, get involved.  Apply to serve on a committee or commission, let your voice be heard by testifying at a commission or council meeting, maybe even run for a position on the city council.

UR: The entire Coachella Valley has taken a huge financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. What needs to be done to help Cathedral City recover?

Nancy Ross: Along with my fellow council members I will help navigate us through these difficult times. We must address the effects of COVID 19 head-on while not allowing it to solely define our future.

In Cathedral City 80% of our budget is personnel, so every cut hurts our city. The pandemic brings reduced tax revenue, shuttered businesses, and food insecurity. Unemployment is at a record level and getting our citizens back to work is an absolute priority. A key strategy will be to look for and take advantage of every program that will bring additional dollars into our city.

Additionally, we need to move ahead on the completion of several projects that are in the works now. The Ophelia Bridge project on Cathedral Canyon is set to be completed late 2021 and has all its funding in place. The Agua Caliente Casino on Date Palm and 111 will open by year’s end with a 30,000 square foot facility and will hire 500 new employees. The fully funded renovations at Cathedral Palms Apartments, an affordable senior housing complex with wrap around social services begins this month and the Veterans Housing project on Landau breaks ground in October.  We have applied for and are in the running to receive a grant to build a new park in the Dream Homes neighborhood which, if funded, will provide a great park to accent yet another area of our city.

These projects will all provide new living wage jobs.  Once complete we can build on these projects by encouraging small businesses to locate nearby to provide the services that the new residents will be looking for and wrap around social services.

UR: Tell us one good quality your opponent possesses.

I really don’t know my opponent, we have yet to meet, but the fact that he is running for office shows that he has a willingness to serve the city.

UR: You are all well known, tell us one thing about yourself no one knows.

Nancy Ross: I love entertaining. There is nothing that makes me happier than to cook large, wonderful, multi-course meals and share it with our family and friends. We have not been able to do this for a while now and I miss the way our home smells when food has been simmering all day and how it feels when it is full of laughter and happiness. I really look forward to better times ahead when we can all be together again.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Cathedral City and what would you do to address it?

Nancy Ross: The pandemic and underlying consequences.

To get our people back to work safely and our kids back to school. We need to have testing numbers below, and remain at or below 8% positivity, low enough to allow us to fully open our city. To do this we must continue to appeal to our citizens that we are all in this together. Making sure people are protecting their family and friends by social distancing. That face coverings continue to be worm while in public or in groups outside your immediate family. Not congregating with people in public places where social distancing is not an option and/or people refuse to wear face coverings. Lastly, getting tested including contact tracing if you feel ill. The city cannot do this, only our citizens can.






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