CATHEDRAL CITY – The Mayor Greg Pettis Lasting Memorial Committee has narrowed its list of ideas to two, which the City Council is scheduled to consider at its regular meeting on Wednesday, March 13.

The Memorial Committee recommends that the Fountain of Life and the Rainbow Crosswalk be named in honor of the late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis.

He died on Jan. 15, about a month after he was sworn in as mayor.

Pettis was known for being a fierce advocates for his constituents — all of them, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, children and adults, men and women, and every ethnicity.

He had a lengthy record of legislative accomplishments that included shepherding some of the city’s jewels. One of those gems was the Fountain of Life. He enjoyed watching the children play in the water on sweltering summer days.

Pettis played a major role in turning the city’s downtown corridor into an Arts and Entertainment District. The Fountain of Life, a focal point of the Downtown, is part of this corridor. The overriding theme found in the fountain’s design is the spiral, a symbol of continuous birth and ever-upward rejuvenation, the essence of the process Cathedral City is involved with Downtown.

These are some of the reasons the Memorial Committee is suggesting that the Fountain of Life serve as a memorial to Pettis and his legacy.

The Memorial Committee also recommends the Rainbow Crossing be named in his memory.

In March 2016, the entire City Council of Cathedral City, city staff, members of the Public Arts Commission, individuals from the Cathedral City LGBT Days Planning Committee, and local residents helped unveil Cathedral City’s “Rainbow Crossing,” – a first-of-its-kind crossing in the Coachella Valley that symbolizes and celebrates diversity.

Pettis Lasting Memorial Panel Makes Suggestions

Unveiling the Rainbow Crossing in March 2016

The unveiling of the “Rainbow Crossing” occurred near the Bell Tower in downtown along East Palm Canyon Drive at West Buddy Rogers Avenue. The “Rainbow Crossing” consists of painted stripes within a downtown crosswalk that matches the Rainbow Flag utilized by the LGBT community as a symbol of pride and diversity.

The crossing was heralded as an important step to recognize the historic progress in the civil rights movement.

Pettis Lasting Memorial Panel Makes Suggestions

Cathedral City Rainbow Crossing, 2019

Consisting of six colored stripes, The “Rainbow Crossing,” was designed in accordance to the Rainbow Flag created by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 including the color red to symbolize “life,” orange for “healing,” yellow for “sunlight,” green for “nature,” blue for “harmony,” and purple for “spirit.”

Pettis raised the first Rainbow Flat during Cathedral City’s LGBT Days.

The Memorial Committee was tasked with finding ways to memorialize the man who was the city’s first openly gay mayor and the longest serving member of the City Council.

Members of the Memorial Committee are Mayor Pro Tem John Aguilar, one of Pettis’ closest friends and trusted confidantes; Councilmember Ernesto Guiterrez; Parks and Community Events Commissioner Diane Hines; Arts Commissioner Sue Townsley; former Arts Commissioner Josie Diaz; City Engineer John Correla; and City Manager Charlie McClendon.

“Our goal is to have something ready to dedicate at the opening of LGBT days at the end of March,” Aguilar told Uken Report.



Image Sources

  • Unveiling the Rainbow Crossing,_March_2016:
  • Cathedral City Rainbow Crossing:
  • Fountain of Life in Cathedral City: