PALM DESERT – Carlos Pineda is a self-described political activist who would use his voice to take action on the Palm Desert City Council.

At 44, Pineda has lived in the Coachella Valley for eight years, two of them in Palm Desert.

Pineda is one of five qualified candidates vying for two, four-year terms on the City Council in November. The others are:

  • Sabby Jonathan, incumbent, Certified Public Accountant
  • Jan Harnik, incumbent, City Councilwoman and businesswoman
  • Kenneth Doran, challenger, retired
  • Matt Monica, challenger, retired educator, he declined to respond to the questionnaire

Following are a series of questions Uken Report posed to Pineda, as it did all candidates, and his responses.

Uken Report (UR):  Are you liberal or conservative and what does that mean?

Pineda: I’m a proud progressive Democrat.  I stand for progressive views.  I stand for equality and social justice. I believe that every person has value and should be heard. As a progressive Democrat I would ensure that my constituents know that with me they can be sure that I would use my voice and that I would take action.

UR:  Why specifically are you running?

Pineda: I’m 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.

UR:  What is the single biggest issue facing Palm Desert, why and what are you doing – or will you do – to correct it

Pineda: We’re facing stagnation and we have to start implementing the 20-year plan to improve our city. We have to be competitive with our neighboring cities, and be seen as a city that leads or else we will continue to fall behind. By taking action on this plan we can ensure that Palm Desert is seen as The Shining Light again in the Coachella Valley.

UR: Where (in what area) do you think you can make the biggest difference?

Pineda: I will be talking to as many business owners as I can. Palm Desert perhaps should hold a Business Town Hall and hear all of their concerns. Together we all have to come up with a solution. If businesses in our city thrive, so does the city of Palm Desert. This will ensure that we keep moving forward and help us to implement our vision for our 20-year plan.