Christy will be the first out bisexual woman to serve in the California legislature!
Christy Holstege works as a civil rights attorney and community leader and currently serves as member of the Palm Springs City Council. She was first elected to serve on Palm Springs City Council in 2017 as part of the first all-LGBTQ city council in the country. Christy was re-elected in a landslide in 2020, serving as the city’s first ever female mayor, the city’s first millennial mayor, and the first openly bisexual mayor in America.
As the Mayor of Palm Springs, Christy led the city safely through the COVID-19 crisis, addressed homelessness with innovative solutions, passed pro-housing policies to build more housing at all income levels, invested in green energy and worked to protect the environment, supported small businesses and created jobs with living wages, expanded healthcare and social services, and enhanced economic development to build an equitable economy that works for everyone.
During the pandemic, Christy led the charge in enacting strong worker protections, supporting small business relief, and providing healthcare and other critical social services to the community. Christy led the way in approving hero pay for essential workers, providing $1 million in small business relief, and converting the Palm Springs Convention Center to a COVID-19 testing site, a mass food bank with the national guard, and later a vaccination site that administered 42,000 vaccines and hundreds of thousands of free meals for residents most in need.
Christy has worked to address the housing crisis by securing more than $10 million in state resources for housing and homelessness services specifically for the city of Palm Springs, spearheaded new programs to house over 200 formerly homeless people, and approved the first affordable housing developments in the city in 10 years, using city land to build housing and investing millions of dollars to create hundreds of new affordable units for seniors, families, and low-income residents.
As an attorney, Christy has represented hundreds of local residents, often helping people facing the most serious issues of their lives: tenants facing eviction, victims of discrimination losing their livelihoods, disabled clients thrust into poverty, domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, low- income workers, local non-profits and businesses, homeless clients, LGBTQ clients, seniors, veterans, Spanish-speakers, and minority groups seeking legal advice and assistance.
In 2012, Christy earned a Stanford Law School-Stanford Public Interest Foundation Fellowship and secured funding to establish a legal aid clinic for domestic violence survivors within the Coachella Valley’s only domestic violence shelter, Shelter From The Storm. Christy has also represented farmworkers in civil rights, housing, and employment litigation at California Rural Legal Assistance. Christy has a wealth of experience as a community organizer and community leader, including serving on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and Eastern Coachella Valley (ECV) for Change. She also served on the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission and the City of Palm Springs Homelessness Task Force. Previously, Christy organized the No on Proposition 8 and No on Proposition 4 campaigns in 2008 at Planned Parenthood, and served on the board of directors for Democratic Women of the Desert, the Human Rights Campaign, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, Well in the Desert, a resident-owned mobile home park, and Women Leaders Forum.
Christy earned a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara. Christy is proud to live in Palm Springs with her husband Adam Gilbert, a small business owner and third-generation resident of Palm Springs, their son Aden, and their dogs Ollie and Layla in a home that their family has resided in for over 50 years.