Yurema Arvizu running for office to bring transparency and accountability to City Hall

COACHELLLA — Yurema Arvizu, a campaign communications manager and reproductive health educator, is one of four people competing for two spots on the City Council in the Nov. 8 election.

Those competing for the four-year terms in addition to Arvizu are incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Gonzalez. Stephanie Virgen, and Frank Figueroa.

Coachella residents will also be voting for mayor. Mayor Steven Hernandez is seeking a fifth two-year term. Incumbent Councilmember Denise Delgado is challenging him.

Uken Report (UR) reached out to all four City Council candidates and asked all of them identical questions. Following are Figueroa’s responses.

UR: Who or what motivated to run for City Council at this time?

Yurema Arvizu: I’m running for City Council because I want to bring transparency and accountability to the decision-making process and in the process, better the communication between the city and the community. Our community needs leaders who will encourage public engagement. People have opinions, comments, but aren’t being encouraged to speak up. I want to encourage public participation by providing safe spaces for the community to stay informed and feel comfortable voicing their concerns. In light of our rights being stripped from us at a federal level, I want to ensure we have people in local office who will tirelessly work to secure everyone’s freedoms – regardless of their background. And I’m that person. Change starts at a local level. We need to be the change to see the change.

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

Yurema Arvizu: My background is in advocacy. I’ve dedicated my career to advocacy work both professionally and personally. I rise to the occasion because I care. I can’t stand by and watch carelessly as injustices happen around me. This doesn’t necessarily make me better, but it shows I’m willing to keep fighting to make sure we get our community what it needs.

UR: What can you bring to the City Council that is currently missing?

Yurema Arvizu: I aim to bring transparency and a better line of communication between the residents and the city.

UR: What is the single most important endorsement you have and why?

Yurema Arvizu: Councilmember Megan Beaman-Jacinto. Having the support of an outgoing councilmember means the world to me because they believe I can continue their work and I aim to build on that to bring our community what it needs.

UR: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment either in or out of office?

Yurema Arvizu: My greatest accomplishment is becoming a homeowner in Coachella during the pandemic at the age of 23. With the increased cost of living, becoming a homeowner is far less attainable than it was 20 years ago.

UR: What is the single biggest issue facing Coachella and why?

Yurema Arvizu: The biggest in Coachella, and nationwide is the increased cost of living. We need to make sure we put residents first when approving new housing and business developments and consider the impacts it will have on existing residents.

UR: What will you propose to do about it?

Yurema Arvizu: I propose we move Coachella forward with caution. We don’t want Coachella to repeat the mistakes of other cities who pushed out their life-long residents to develop. We don’t want to lose what makes Coachella so great, which is the existing community. We need to ensure we approve projects that will only uplift the community and won’t add to the rise of property taxes, if it does, how will we help offset the cost for those who are already struggling? As we build housing, we need to make sure we build fair housing for everyone and zone for low to moderate income earners.

UR: Is there one decision with City Council has made with which you strongly disagree? If so, what was it and why?

Yurema Arvizu: I strongly disagree with adding big-named businesses to the city. We need to be wise with the use of land we have and make sure we don’t negatively impact local businesses as we move forward.

UR: You are all well-known. What is one thing people don’t know about you?

Yurema Arvizu: I create and design all my campaign artwork. I created my own website and created my own logo. I have a background in social media and graphic design.

Image Sources

  • Yurema Arivizu: Yurema Arivizu