One of my initial priorities as a City Council member was to build Indio's economic development in a strategic and thoughtful manner.
I'm proud to say that today Indio is ranked as the 30 Fasting Growing City in America. Nearly, 1.4 million people visit Indio annually. Obviously, Indio's existing leadership has been doing something right.
But we need to make sure our business leaders, community stakeholders and our citizens have confidence in our ability to recruit, retain and expand businesses here in our city. As a small business owner myself, I provide the necessary experience and leadership to continue Indio's strong economic development.
Over the past 12 years, I'm very proud of the business relationships I have built with both large and small Home builders and developers. Currently, there are more than 2,700 housing units planned or under construction.
If we want to create more jobs, we need more homes for people to live, and that is why we have led the effort to build more housing in our community. We have been successful at recruiting successful businesses. We have created more jobs. And we just need to create the housing for new employees to enjoy as they become a part of our community.
Our city has been the leader in generating the most building activity and new business start-ups in Eastern Riverside County for the past several years.
Recent business successes in the City of Indio include:
and many more businesses already opened or coming soon to Indio.
Just prior to my election to the City Council in 2008 the Indio Senior Center was opened. During the past 12 years, I have seen the Indio Senior Center (ISC) grow and flourish. ISC provides a place where people over 50 years old can socialize, make new friends, share their skills and ideas, and learn new things. ISC is dedicated to enhance and dignify the quality of the lives of the culturally diverse aging population of Indio.
Some of the services that ISC offers include: Health seminars, Computer classes, Medicare counseling, and numerous other social and educational activities. I have actively and successfully worked to continue growth of ISC during my three terms on the City Council, and I look forward to working closely with ISC staff and volunteers over the next four years to champion the work of this important community facility.
One ISC program that has been very successful are the Inter-generational Seminars. This landmark program is breaking barriers between generations by pairing Indio seniors with young people from the Indio Teen Center. The synergy, collaboration and cooperation between the Senior and Teen Centers is one of the many reasons that the City of Indio is an exceptional community to live and raise a family.
One of the most challenging problems we now face is the issue of homelessness. As Mayor of the largest city in the Coachella Valley, I’ve worked on and developed collaborative solutions to this serious problem with local non-profit agencies, other Elected officials, and representatives from Indio's Police Department Quality of Life Team.
Our Indio Police Department has recently added three full-time officers to work with the homeless population in our city, as well as increasing security in and around our public parks and public places where people should feel safe and secure. The City of Indio recently committed $1 million dollars to Martha's Village & Kitchen to help fund programs to address regional homelessness.
This important issue requires solutions that must be regional in scope and will need participation by other Coachella Valley cities, as well as the County of Riverside and State agencies. As your City Council member, I have helped expand the work of Indio's Quality of Life Team to seek additional funding for homelessness solutions where possible, as well as expanding our local efforts to address the impacts of homelessness in our city.
Nobody should be homeless in Indio. We have jobs. We are building housing. We are bringing jobs into our community. We have a great city, and there is no reason we should have people sleeping in the streets and hiding in the shadows. I look forward to continuing my work with the county, the state and the federal government to bring the necessary social services to eliminate homelessness in our community.