Geoff Kors Announces Plan for Ethics and Sunshine Task Force and Ordinance

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2015

Contact:  Geoff Kors 760.537.0061

Palm Springs City Council Candidate Geoff Kors Announces Plan for Ethics and Sunshine Task Force and Ordinance

Kors proposes stronger conflict of interest rule for city officials

Palm Springs City Council Candidate Geoff Kors, who earlier this year proposed the formation of an ethics and sunshine task force, today announced eight specific proposals to make Palm Springs government more open, inclusive and transparent.   Kors’ Form 700 Statement of Financial Interest and his Form 460 Campaign Donor Report are posted on his website.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring that our government operates in the most ethical, transparent and inclusive way possible,” Kors said. “Currently, Palm Springs follows the minimum ethics and open government rules allowed under state law. We can do better than that,” Kors stated.  “I have proposed that the city post the statement of financial interest of all elected and appointed officials on their website.  I have also proposed that candidate and elected office holder filings – that contain the names, occupations, employers and amounts given for their campaign contributors – be posted.  I am leading by example and have posted both documents for my campaign on my website,” Kors added.

Other ideas Kors has proposed include: requiring more detailed disclosure of conflicts of interests; prohibiting city commissioners from having private discussions with applicants on matters they will be voting on; moving all city commission meetings to after work hours so more residents are able to attend and serve; prohibiting elected and appointed officials who also serve on boards of directors from voting on grants or other matters related to those entities; creating and following criteria for grants; and requiring the sale of city assets needing council approval be put out for open bid.  

“I am committed to ensuring that Palm Springs residents have the trust and the opportunity to participate in their government,” Kors said. “Elected and appointed officials are there to serve the people they represent and to do so in the most transparent and inclusive way possible,” Kors concluded.

Kors’ proposal can be found at:  GeoffKors.com/Ethics

 

Same-sex marriage decision sparks Valley celebrations

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –

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Immediately after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country, people gathered at the LGBT Community Center of the Desert in Palm Springs for a news conference to applaud the decision.

“I think for people here in the Coachella Valley and people across the country, today is a historic day for everyone. For the first time in so many millions of  people’s lives we’re now treated equally under the law in this country,” said Geoff Kors, government policy director from the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The decision ends uncertainties same-sex couples have about where their marriage is valid.

Organizations involved in representing plaintiffs in landmark marriage equality cases lead the event including Kors, Roberta Conroy, treasurer of Lambda Legal and Andy Linsky from the Human Rights Campaign.

The LGBT advocates said there’s a lot to celebrate, but still a lot of work to be done.

“It’s going to be some work to make sure everywhere in the country the constitution and the decision today is followed, that’s always something that has to happen after historic decisions and we’re confident that will happen,” said Kors.

Kors said the fight for equal rights isn’t over.

“There are a lot of states where people can be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender or denied an apartment. After we celebrate tonight, tomorrow get back to work and we use the momentum. We use this decision to really push congress to pass a federal non-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Kors.

Not everyone at the court supported the decision.

“We hope that millions of Americans who still believe that a marriage is one man and one woman will continue to proclaim that truth today,” said attorney Austin Nimocks.

Courtesy KESQ

http://www.kesq.com/news/samesex-marriage-decision-sparks-valley-celebrations/33803776

PS Town Hall tackles current city issues

 

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –

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It may be a heated election season in Palm Springs, in the wake of allegations of conflict of interest surrounding Mayor Steve Pougnet, who’s not running for re-election.

At a Town Hall hosted by Geoff Kors, a candidate for city council, residents expressed their desires for change when it comes to how the city runs its day-to-day business.

“We’re looking to a time when it’s going to improve,” said Joshua Edmundson, who lives in Palm Springs and attended Monday night’s forum.  “I feel like there’s some great people coming onto the council. I think it’s going to be a great future.”

More than 100 people gathered for the forum, held at the Jewish Community Center of Palm Springs, to address issues like quality of life, development, and open government.

“As you can see they broke into groups with facilitators to get their ideas out,” Kors said.

The breakout groups talked for about an hour on ways the city process can be better, more accessible and more transparent.

Many of those conversations were influenced by the current city council and recent questions raised about incentive programs and land sales.

“We just need rules that not only avoid legal conflicts of interests but appearances of conflicts,” Kors said.

http://www.kesq.com/news/ps-town-hall-tackles-current-city-issues/33723304 (or click Courtesy KESQ below)

Courtesy KESQ

Los Angeles Pride

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Great time with Palm Springs Contingent at LA Pride with representatives from our Police, Fire, City Departments and ONE-PS.

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz Endorses our Campaign!

 

 

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In his endorsement Dr. Ruiz said:

“I’m proud to endorse Geoff Kors’ campaign for a seat on the Palm Springs City Council.  Geoff has been a leader in our state and local community for years, fighting for social justice and positive reform.  We need him to bring that same passion and determination to the Palm Springs City Council.”

It is a great vote of confidence to have received this endorsement, the first endorsement Dr. Ruiz has made in a local race in any city.

Geoff Kors Harvey Milk Award Acceptance Speech

An amazing honor to receive the Harvey B. Milk Leadership Award!

Geoff Kors talks constitutionality of same-sex marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court may rule in June on the constitutionality of bans on gay marriage in four states. News Channel 3 takes an in-depth look at the potentially landmark case as we speak to Geoff Kors, the government policy director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

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News story credit: KESQ

Palm Springs city leaders speaking out about FPPC investigation

It was a packed house Friday morning at the Harvey Milk Diversity breakfast in Palm Springs.  Many were there to honor gay rights activists in the community, but many are still buzzing over Thursday’s announcement from the FPPC.

“I think the city is in turmoil right now. And what we need to do, in addition to figuring out what happened so we can fix it, is actually start looking forward,” city council candidate Geoff Kors said.

Kors is no stranger to politics. At the breakfast, he received the Harvey Milk Leadership Award for his gay rights activism. Now, he wants to add city councilman to his resume.

“So what we need to be doing is looking at what sort of conflict of interest rules we might want to change, what kind of transparency we need. How do we do things so people feel connected in their government and included in their government?” Kors said.

Kors, the former head of Equality California, said if elected, he plans to make some legislative changes.

“So for me, the most important piece of what is happening is how do we move forward in a positive light and not let what’s going on right now stop the amazing progress we have going on in the city,” Kors said.

 

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News story credit: KESQ

Geoff Kors receives Harvey Milk Leadership Award

 

Kors, who’s running for a seat on the Palm Springs City Council, recently led Equality California, during which the organization passed more than 70 pieces of LGBT legislation.

Kors traveled to Washington, D.C. in April to witness oral arguments given at the Supreme Court in the federal case on gay marriage.

He credited his parents for instilling in him a passion for activism, recounting his Jewish family’s struggle to survive the Holocaust and to thrive during times when being Jewish brought on overwhelming discrimination.

Kors also talked about his struggle to succeed as a young gay attorney about 30 years ago, when countless people advised him to hide that part of his identity. It was these life experiences that brought him to fight for civil rights and that eventually brought him to Palm Springs.

“The city has done so much to be at the forefront of justice and equality,” he said

News story credit: The Desert Sun

GEOFF KORS LAUNCHES FIRST CAMPAIGN VIDEO FOR PALM SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL

On May 1st 2015, Geoff Kors hosted his first campaign event. Over 200 people attended and Geoff shared his vision for the future of Palm Springs.

Please watch and share this video.