The short-vacation rental debacle in Palm Springs has dominated most of the news related to the June 5 primary election, but voters in the Eastern Coachella Valley have different issues in mind.
The City of Coachella is predominantly Latino, 96 percent, and historically Latinos have low voter turn-outs but community members said they want to change that.
Carlos Heras is a resident of Coachella and he wants to make his voice heard through his vote. Heras said, “There’s a lot of issues that I am concerned about not just one but I feel like it’s time that I get involved.”
So he did get involved, Heras voted for the first time, he said, “First Amendment and Second Amendment those things is what I am more concerned about and it seems as if we are forgetting about them.”
The Bagdouma Park Community Center and the Coachella Senior Center are two of the polling places in the east part of the valley, and staff inside said they are busier than they expected especially for a primary election.
Guadalupe Gonzalez lives in Coachella and she said she also noticed more of her neighbors were ready to vote early Tuesday.
Gonzalez said, “Before people would stay behind, but today I saw everyone come out and I noticed even when my daughters came to pick me up, I told them lets go, I was just waiting on them to vote.”
Gonzalez’s daughter-in-law, Ruth Gonzalez said they have noticed some of their family members and friends are showing more interest in the election than before, too.
She said she is casting her vote to finally see the immigration reform she has hoped for, Ruth said, “It feels unsafe, people go off to work but they do not know if they will come back, and the families getting separated is simply wrong, families should be together, parents should be able to raise their children.”
Arturo Ayala is one of many voters KMIR News spoke to on primary Tuesday, and Ayala has one thing in common with many of the voters, he wants a safe and healthy community to raise his family.
Ayala said, “Almost every day we have issues with gangs, and even though things are changing, we should try harder to live in peace.”
The June 5 primary results will determine who and what makes it onto the November ballot.