Third potential District 4 City Council candidate steps forward prior to Tuesday election

Naomi Soto, chair of the city’s Measure J Oversight Commission and chair-elect of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, said she is interested in the seat should it become available.
Clockwise, from left: Naomi Soto, Joe Jackson, and Ernest Cecena have all expressed interest in filling a potential City Council vacancy in District 4.

While we won’t know for sure until Nov. 8 whether the scenario will exist, a third candidate stepped forward Friday to indicate her interest in filling a potential vacant seat on the Palm Springs City Council.

Driving the news: Naomi Soto, chair of the the city’s Measure J Oversight Commission and chair-elect of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, said she is interested in the seat should it become available.

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  • The Sonora Sunrise resident, who has lived in the desert since 2011, said she felt compelled to seek the seat because, “The next Councilmember should strive for an economic future that works for all of us because, the truth is, Palm Springs is not an equally fabulous and easy city for all its residents.”

Bigger picture: City Council races in districts 1, 2, and 3 are on the Nov. 8 ballot. But the councilmember in District 4, former Mayor Christy Holstege, is also on the ballot, seeking a seat in the California Assembly. Should she win, the her District 4 seat would need to be filled.

  • Should Holstege win, there are a few ways the city can go about filling the potential vacancy. But whether the seat is filled by appointment or special election, somebody has to serve.

Looking back: Joe Jackson, a former chair of the city’s Sustainability Commission, filed paperwork earlier this year indicating he intends to seek the District 4 seat. Last month, Ernest Cecena — chairman of the Tahquitz Creek Golf Neighborhood Organization– said he would also file the necessary paperwork and seek the seat.

Zoom in: Should she be seated on the City Council, Soto said her focus would be on three issue — expanding economic development beyond downtown, fixing the city’s housing issues at all levels, and increasing the quality of life for residents.

  • “What does a high quality of life mean?” she asked. “It means clean parks, walkability, access to grocery stores, and safe neighborhoods are your community norms. The healthy choice shouldn’t have to be the hard choice.”

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