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Looking back at the notable political events of 2022

2022 and we're taking a look back at the big changes this year in local politics.

The year began in Palm Springs with the debate over plans to build a homeless navigation center on McCarthy Road on the edge of the Desert Highland Gateway Neighborhood.

Many residents protested.

"Take it and put it out in your own community and see if they like it, they won't do that, if you have money, you do what you want to do," said Tommy Russell Jr, a Desert Highland minister.

In the end, the city council decided to move ahead with the plan and the center is anticipated to open in 2023.

Also in Palm Springs, controversy over the removal of a statue of former Mayor Frank Bogert. People were there on both sides of the debate when it was removed in July. It was removed over the former mayor's involvement in the removal of hundreds of mostly minority residents from Section 14 from 1954 to 1966

Late in the year, a group filed a claim against the city saying they are owed reparations.

"The plan was to bulldoze their homes, in many cases with their personal belongings still inside," said Areva Martin, lead attorney for Section 14 descendants.

The legal battle will continue into the new year.

College of the Desert found itself the target of a lawsuit from the city of Palm Springs over delays on plans for a west valley campus.

"Currently, not a single part of the promised west valley campus has ever broken ground, eleven years later, cod officials have produced a dramatically reduced campus,"

The college is moving forward now with an audit on recent expansion projects.

News Channel 3 traveled to Washington D.C. for the signing of the Honoring Our Pact Act, expanding benefits to millions of veterans.

John White first reported on the story of local veteran Jennifer Kepner who passed away in 2017 at the age of 39 from pancreatic cancer she blamed on burn pit exposure.

Local Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz promised at her funeral to continue her fight on behalf of others. He talked with John White about it on the north lawn of the White House.

"Jennifer Kepner was the ultimate fighter who till her last breath was fighting for other veterans and became a very strong source of inspiration for me and it's in her honor and her family's honor we got this done," Ruiz said.

The mid-term elections dominated the headlines in 2022.

The Coachella Valley was split into two congressional districts, setting up a multi-million dollar battle between Republican incumbent Ken Calvert in the 41st district with Democratic challenger Will Rollins.

Calvert won by a little under 5 points.

Redistricting also created a tight battle in the 47th State Assembly district. After four weeks of counting, Republican Greg Wallis edged out Democrat Christy Holstege by just 85 votes.

"You know, this race was a tie and our community is split. There are some ideas on both sides of the aisle we need to explore and be able to represent a unified voice up in Sacramento," Wallis said at his swearing ceremony.

That's your Coachella Valley political year in review for 2022.

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Article Topic Follows: 2023: The Year in Coachella Valley

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John White

John White anchors News Channel 3 Live at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.on KESQ-TV and CBS Local 2. Learn more about John here.

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