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Lisa Middleton sworn in as Palm Springs mayor; First transgender mayor in CA history

Mayor Pro Tem Lisa Middleton has been sworn in as mayor of Palm Springs.

Middleton was sworn in during Thursday's city council meeting. She is now the third transgender individual to serve as the mayor of a United States city and the first transgender mayor in California history.

She will serve a one-year term as mayor as the position rotates among councilmembers after the city switched to district-based elections in 2019.

Middleton spoke with News Channel 3's Peter Daut about her goals for the city

2022 will be a notable year for Middleton, as she will seek election into the state senate.

This isn't the first time that Middleton made California history. When she was first elected to the Palm Springs City Council in Nov 2017, she became the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California. She was re-elected to a four-year term in 2020.

Lisa Middleton celebrates her election victory (11/07/17)

Middleton has had a busy few years since her election.

Middleton currently serves on the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the Sunline Transit Board of Directors, the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy, and on Coachella Valley Association of Governments' Transportation, Energy & Environment, and Conservation committees representing Palm Springs.

She is also the vice-chair of the League of California Cities Revenue & Taxation Policy Committee, second vice chair of the League's Riverside County Executive Committee, and the League's LGBTQ Caucus.

In September, Middleton was appointed to California's Transgender Advisory Council.

Middleton has a long history as a public servant and community activist even before her time on the city council.

Middleton spent 36 years with California's State Compensation Insurance Fund. At her retirement, she was the senior vice president of Internal Affairs with executive responsibility for internal audits, fraud investigation, public records, and governance. She was also a member of California's Fraud Assessment Commission, which she chaired in 2010.

Locally, she served as a member of the Palm Springs Planning Commission and as chairwoman of the Organized Neighborhoods of Palm Springs. She is a member of the board of directors of the Equality California Institute and the Desert LGBTQ Center. In 2014 she was the Center's interim executive director.

Middleton is also the city's second-ever female mayor. Christy Holstege, who will pass the position to Middleton on Thursday, has the distinction of being Palm Springs' first-ever female mayor in its 82-year history. Holstege is also the first openly-bisexual mayor in the United States.

We'll have more coverage of Middleton's swearing-in ceremony on Thursday. Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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