PALM DESERT – Carlos Pineda, who describes his occupation as community activist, is one of five residents to date who is asking a seat on the Palm Desert City Council.

Pineda, 44, has lived in Palm Desert two years and describes himself as a progressive Democrat.

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

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

“I will strive to work by cooperating with others to improve the lives of the families and the community,” Pineda said. “A unified voice can insure we move forward together.”

Two residents have pulled Nomination papers and are poised to unseat incumbents Sabby Jonathan and Jan Harnik on the Palm Desert City Council in the November election.

There are two seats open in the November election. They are now held by Sabby Jonathan and Jan Harnik. Both are seeking re-election.

In addition to Pineda, Jonathan and Harnik, Kenneth Doran and Matt Monica have pulled nomination papers.

To date, the only two who have qualified as candidates are Jonathan and Monica, according to the City Clerk.

Doran has run – or attempted to run – at least twice before. He ran for the City Council in 2014 and placed last in a field of seven candidates with 5 percent of the vote, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters. In 2016, he pulled Nomination paper but was disqualified as the signatures did not meet requirements.

Doran has not returned two requests for comment.

Monica has name recognition for being the Coachella Valley’s longest-serving school board member. Monica was first elected to the Desert Sands Unified School District board in 1981. He served on the board for 30 years. Monica relinquished his seat for five years between 1999 and 2004 when he lost re-election.

He won re-election to the board in 2004 and served until 2016. By then, the school district was divided into districts and Monica found himself running against his neighbor, Wendy Jonathan. Monica lost his re-election bid in the general election on November 8, 2016 to Wendy Jonathan.

She is the wife of Sabby Jonathan, one of two incumbents Monica is now trying to unseat.

Monica did not return two messages seeking comment.

Harnik was first elected to the City Council in 2010. She is seeking a third, four-year term.

Jonathan was first elected to the five-member Palm Desert City Council in 2014. This year he is serving his first rotation as mayor. He is the only one to date that has qualified to be on the ballot, according to the city clerk.

Pineda is the political newcomer.

Other members of the City Council are Mayor Pro Tem Susan Marie Weber, Kathleen Kelly and Gina Nestande.

If you are a resident of Palm Desert who is interested in running for election to the City Council, an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office is required.  You may contact the City Clerk’s Office at 73510 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260, or by telephone at (760) 346-0611, ext. 304, with any questions. The nomination period closes Friday, Aug. 10.