Outspoken residents filled Indio’s city council chambers Wednesday night to express their reaction to Mayor Lupe Ramos Watson’s decision to remove prayer from meetings.
“We want equal opportunity to be able to pray and ask for god’s guidance on this council,” said Joan Dzuro of Indio.
“To me the only way to go is to go with prayer,” said Henry Amaya of Indio.
Instead of putting the issue to a vote, the council decided to table it for the time being.
“We’ll be going over this issue at our city council retreat, so tonight I’m just reporting that we’re still working to find a compromise,” announced Councilman Michael Wilson, who is for reinstating invocation.
Indio is now the sixth valley city not to have invocation. Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells all begin their meetings with the pledge of allegiance.
Cathedral City, Palm Desert and Palm Springs city councils all begin with prayer.
“We believe prayer is important, we’ve taken God out of our schools and government,” Dzuro said. “So we want to ask the mayor if she will please reconsider.”
Some local residents say the issue of invocation in Indio could impact future elections.
“How this council votes will mean a lot how I vote next time around,” Amaya said.