Fierce

This 24-Year-Old Chicana Is Running For Coachella Mayor And She Has A Clever Response For Those Saying She’s Too Young

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Coachella, Calif., in the spring of 2020, its residential community, largely working-class Latinxs, had questions, concerns and needs. But Lesly Figueroa, who’s running for mayor of the small city, says many didn’t know where to voice their worries or obtain critical information and resources.

“There needed to be someone to step up and have better leadership,” the 24-year-old community organizer tells FIERCE by mitú.

Frustrated by the lack of support from local elected officials, Figueroa decided to challenge three-term Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez for the top leadership office in the city.

Lesly Figueroa

The first-time candidate grew up in Coachella, attending schools in the Coachella Valley Unified School District. Presently, the daughter of Mexican immigrants works as a policy advocate for the community-based environmental justice nonprofit Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. In her role, she works with marginalized communities to advocate for sound policy, eradicate injustice and secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income and place. Recently, she has been helping residents of the Eastern Coachella Valley’s unincorporated communities and mobile home parks in their struggle for clean drinking water and affordable housing.

With a degree in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego, where she was student body president, she believes she has what it takes to tackle one of the biggest issues the people of her city are facing: development. 

Coachella, which is home to 45,000 people, is transitioning from a small town to a city. With the area vulnerable to real estate investors, Figueroa wants to ensure that the people of Coachella – where 98% of the population identifies as Latinx – are not forgotten, or worse, displaced.

“We know investors see working-class communities as having cheap land and cheap labor, which is very offensive,”  Figueroa says, “I want to bring community members in to play key roles in shaping their neighborhoods.”

If elected mayor, she intends to create planning groups or establish several councils that aim to ensure residents of each district are part of the urban planning process, which could look different for each community.

“They are the ones who live there. They are the ones who go outside in the morning and see a place they want to live in or something that disrupts their life, whether that neighborhood issue be over-policing, bad smells or not feeling seen by your government,” she says.

This bottom-up approach would be executed to tackle various city issues, she says. For instance, by communicating with community members, Figueroa has discovered that many are distrustful of local officials and are disillusioned by politics. To promote accountability and a transparent democratic government, Figueroa proposes an annual assessment of where and how public funds are being used as well as creating a community outreach guide that the council and commissions can follow when applying for funding opportunities.

Figueroa’s platform also mentions more affordable housing options and tenant protections to the city and ensuring a fair and just economic recovery for residents impacted by COVID-19, including creating economic opportunities through union jobs that offer livable wages.

“I want to lead with a bottom-up approach that’s informed by the community and puts the needs of the most vulnerable to the forefront: those who are low-income, undocumented, women, LGBTQ [and] single mothers,” she says.

At 24 years old, Figueroa notes that her age has made some question her mayoral capabilities. However, she points out that Hernandez – who was first elected to city council in 2006 and served as mayor since 2014 – was just 23 years old when he entered public office. 

Additionally, Coachella is a relatively young city. With a median age of 33.5 years old, it has the youngest population of any city in the Coachella Valley. These energized young people, not unlike many of their disillusioned elders, have one thing in common: they want change, according to Figueroa.

“They’ve seen what Coachella has become, how it has changed and that it is better than it was 10 years ago, but they want more progress and new leadership, and they see young people coming to the table to do this,” she says.

Although Figueroa is running as a young Latina woman with an all-volunteer campaign team, she doesn’t see her crusade as revolutionary. Instead, she prefers to focus on how she could help make small, realistic and necessary systemic changes that significantly transform the way people live.

“It would be an honor to be there with my community and lead them to a next-level position,” Figueroa says. “I want this to be a start and something we can do locally to deconstruct the negative things of our society and construct positive things in our community that will advance us and unite us.” 

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Team Trump’s Latest Appearance At The Oversight Committee Hearing Was A Complete Trainwreck Oh And Giuliani Farted

Entertainment

Team Trump’s Latest Appearance At The Oversight Committee Hearing Was A Complete Trainwreck Oh And Giuliani Farted

Alex Wong / Getty

Something stinks in the White House and it’s not just Donald Trump and his inability to cope with being a loser.

Rudy Giuliani’s campaign effort to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election continues to waft through hearing rooms like a rotten gaseous scent… which, according to video recordings, not unlike the one Guiliani is suspected of releasing during Wednesday night’s conspiracy-filled hearing in Lansing, Michigan.

Giuliana stirred up a rash of cackles this week when the audible sounds of his stomach were heard during the hearings.

Four hours into the lengthy event, two fart sounds could be heard while Giuliani delivered his speeches. During the Michigan hearing, Michigan state Rep. Darrin Camilleri asked Guiliani a question about the recent New York Times story which reported that Giuliani talked with President Donald Trump about seeking pardons for himself last week.

“The discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani occurred as the former New York mayor has become one of the loudest voices pushing baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, which Mr. Trump still proclaims publicly that he won,” NYT reported. “Many of Mr. Trump’s longtime aides have refused to do his bidding to try to overturn an election that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won by nearly seven million votes. But Mr. Giuliani has repeatedly thrust himself into the spotlight to cast doubt on the results, which has ingratiated him with the president.”

Guiliani objected to Rep. Camilleri’s questions and accused him of defamation.

“I will ask that he be disciplined for that,” Giuliani requested into the microphone which picked up the first pedo sound.

Not 90 seconds later, Camilleri asked Giuliani to address Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement that federal prosecutors had yet to come across evidence of election fraud.

“The answer that I gave you was that they didn’t bother to interview a single witness,” Giuliani replied as another louder even larger sounding pedo came in through the mic.

It didn’t take long for Giuliani’s loud fart to go viral on Twitter.

HuffPost reporter Ryan Reilly shared the clip on Twitter on Wednesday night. It has since been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

Users were quick to note that Jenna Ellis, another attorney taking part in Giuliani’s campaign of lies about a Trump 2020 victory. (Which did not happen) could be seen reacting to the noise by glancing at him over her shoulder.

Like the hot air Giuliani blew into the hearing, there were quite a few bizarre moments that came about.

Giuliani brought in a parade of alleged election fraud witnesses who all managed to make outrageously conspiratorial and racist statements during the hearing. Plus, according to Buzzfeed, “Giuliani was not sworn in at the hearing, so he was under no legal obligation to tell the truth.”

One “witness,” Melissa Carone drew audible laughter during the hearing for her clown-like performance.

According to The Guardian, Carone is a contract worker for Dominion Voting Systems and “appeared before a Michigan house panel on Wednesday and insisted, without providing evidence, that tens of thousands of votes had been counted twice.” Her aggressive approach to her claims quickly drew viral attention on Twitter from users who were quick to compare her to a Saturday Night Live character.

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A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Culture

A Bride Tested Positive For Covid Three Days Before Her Wedding So They Improvised

Maxwell Monty EyeEm / Getty Images

Your wedding day is something so many people plan for years. Things always come up that change plans or even ruin the whole day. One bride in California had a moment that could have ruined her big day but she made the most of it.

A bride in California tested positive for Covid three days before her wedding and that didn’t stop her.

Lauren Jimenez and Patrick Delgado were getting closer to their forever fairy tale and then Covid struck. Jimenez tested positive three days before getting married and it seemed like all chances of an in-person event were off. The bride and groom considered calling it off to protect the health of their loved ones until Jimenez had an idea.

“I was like maybe we can somehow get married with me in the window. It’ll be like a fairy tale, I guess,” Jimenez told ABC 7.

The wedding became a real-life fairy tale that looks so much like Rapunzel.

Instead of hair, Jimenez and Delgado got married using a rope that was tied together by her aunt. The rope connected the two while Jimenez sat at the window of her bedroom on the second story of her parents’ home. Delgado told NBC News that he was saddened when the wedding day approached because everything was being canceled due to Jimenez’s Covid diagnosis.

The wedding is being called one of the most 2020 weddings.

What do you do if you test positive three days before your wedding, but everyone else around you is negative? Let’s up…

Posted by Jesscaste Photography on Sunday, November 22, 2020

The image of a bride and groom marrying while social distancing is the epitome of this crazy time for the world. While romantic and beautiful, the photos are a stunning reminder of the full scale of this viral outbreak and how much it has interrupted everyday life. Guests in the photographs are all wearing masks and there is no physical contact among anyone. It is a surreal sight to see a family come together for a distanced and contact-less wedding.

Cities and counties around the country are going back into lockdowns as cases start to surge. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently put the city back on a strict lockdown and told residents that it is “time to cancel everything.”

The Delgados’ wedding is a touching reminder of the power of love.

Nothing could keep these two from tying the knot and proclaiming their love to those closest to them. The wedding is one that everyone, not just the family, will remember for a very long time to come. Once the world moves forward and the vaccine is distributed we will all look back on the time we saw a woman get married from a bedroom window.

According to ABC 7, Jimenez went straight to bed right after the wedding was over. The couple is still distanced as the new wife recovers from the virus before reuniting with her husband.

Congratulations on your wedding! We wish you years of happiness.

READ: California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

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