By Morgan James
Noe Gutierrez is an incredible asset to the Coachella Valley. His ties run deep and hold strong as he actively pursues multiple paths to better the community in which he lives and those citizens within it. A proud father with the swollen heart of a humanitarian, Noe very humbly works to touch the lives of those surrounding him by thrusting those in need into the forefront of community news by multiple social and media means. Through his work as a journalist, a promoter, podcast host, and musician, Noe has made it his business to help others succeed around him. For 24 years Noe Gutierrez has also worked as a Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health employee and is a Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor with the State of California. His impressive resume of helping others to better themselves is prevalent across his broad interests, passion projects, and span of work history. His inspiring demeanor is infectious, creating a ripple of waves throughout the far reaches of this valley that Noe has made his home. As his friends, family, and many souls he has touched throughout his life rally around him this election year, Noe Gutierrez steps onto an even greater platform to share his heart for his community with a run for Indio City Council. I was fortunate enough to speak with Noe about his community ties, his passion for music and successful career, why he has chosen to step into the political spotlight and what he hopes to gain from this newest endeavor.
MJ: First off I would like to acknowledge your work fundraising for the community. You were very active in the fundraising efforts for young Desi who sadly eventually passed away from cancer. You even used your birthday celebration to host a very successful concert to create awareness and bring people together around this cause. Tell me about that.
NG: “I never got to meet Desi. I’ve always wanted my birthdays to be more than about me. It was easy to decide to raise funds for Desi. Musicians from John Garcia to Dug Pinnick to Ozomatli donated items for auction. We had Machin’, Mikey Reyes Acoustic Movement, Giselle Woo & The Night Owls and 3rd Ear Experience perform. Her spirit carries on through all of us.”
MJ: You are fundraising again at your upcoming birthday party this week at The Hood. This time for Andrea Avoian who was just in a horrific accident. What was your motivation to do this and your connection with Andrea?
NG: “I didn’t hear about Andrea until Tracy (Dietlin) mentioned it and asked if we could do something for her. Tracy said that Linda (Lemke-Heinz) had called her and asked if I might want to do something at my party to help out. Once again, it was an easy call. I’ve had conversations with Andrea in the past about music and her love for hard rock. She has always supported all the bands and now it’s our time to support her. We will be accepting donations at our show at The Hood Bar & Pizza on Friday, 8/19.”
MJ: Speaking of these concerts, you have fronted several bands as lead singer and played many shows yourself in the valley here locally, working alongside many other talented musicians. What is it about singing on stage and sharing your music with the Coachella Valley that keeps you doing it over the years?
NG: “Once I was able to be good enough to perform live I just kept yearning for the opportunity to improve. I found out early on that the key for me was to play with quality musicians. Everyone I’ve ever performed with has been world-class. I’ve been truly blessed. From Wyte Gye to Aphrodisiac Jacket to Above the Aggregate to EL KYSS, it has been my honor.”
MJ: You not only perform on stage yourself, but have been extremely active in the promoting and managing of other musicians and bands. Tell me how you got started in this and do you see yourself continuing in this capacity?
NG: “Looking back, I started promoting back in high school. Many of my friends like John Garcia and Arthur Seay were in bands and I would make it my responsibility to get people to the shows. I started formally producing shows only a few years ago. I now work under the ‘Desert Music’ moniker. My mission is to work with all Coachella Valley and High Desert musicians in getting their music heard and performances witnessed. Ultimately, I see a full-on management and recording company.”
MJ: Why is the promotion of other musicians so important to you?
NG: “Lifting up my friends is my passion. One of my favorite things is to watch those I care about succeed. If I can help it gives me pride.”
MJ: You’re also a journalist for this very publication and have promoted music events and bands in that capacity. What got you started writing for Coachella Valley Weekly?
NG: “I started writing for Coachella Valley Weekly in 2013. I knew Tracy and Phil and just responded to one of their FB posts asking if anyone was interested in writing for them. They took a chance and I instantly got the writing bug. I had just completed a master’s level writing course in order for me to be accepted into the MSW program. It all worked out. I still write for them as time permits.”
MJ: As much as you do for the music community here in the Coachella Valley, you have held an extremely valuable position with Riverside County, holding a very important job as a Substance Abuse Counselor in Indio. What inspired your work in this role?
NG: “I fell into addiction treatment through my work with the county. I gravitated towards people with criminal justice issues. I’ve worked at the Larson Justice Center, in the east county jail and the Indio/Palm Springs parole units. A majority of those who have criminal justice issues have some sort of substance use problem.”
MJ: It seems your need to help others and serve the community has now led you into a run for public office. Tell me why are you running for Indio City Council?
NG: “I felt it was time to do more. I have worked for Riverside University Health System Behavioral Health (Riverside County) for over 24 years. I feel like I’ve served my community during that time and this seemed like the next ‘natural step.’”
“I also like new challenges and expanding my knowledge base. I feel I have a lot to bring to our city and council. I realize there’s a steep learning curve and I am willing to learn. My strengths lie in my work ethic, integrity, ability to lead and facilitate and participate in collaborative efforts. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in social work at Cal State University San Bernardino. I will be graduating in June 2017. Part of my degree will specialize in macro (community) practice. This level of social work will allow me to help provide interventions on a large scale that will affect our entire community. I currently have my Bachelor’s degree in sociology through Chapman University, now Brandman University in Palm Desert.”
“My children, Ruben 13 and Sofia 9, are older now and I have their blessing. My girlfriend, Emily Coy, and her son, Ayden, have been in my corner and are eternally supportive. They are all my biggest cheerleaders and my main inspirations.”
MJ: What’s your history with Indio and why is it important for you to run for office there?
NG: “I was born in 1971 in Lubbock, Texas. My parents and I moved to Indio when I was 3 after my father, Steve Gutierrez, was offered a job to work at Mecca Vineyards Apartments, now Summer Field Apartments, through his brother and apartment manager David ‘Mingo’ Gutierrez.”
“I’ve been an Indio resident for over 40 years. I attended all Indio schools and graduated from Indio High in 1989. I was immersed in the music program at Indio High. I played alto, tenor and baritone sax in the marching, concert and symphonic bands respectively. I then attended College of the Desert and completed my Associate’s degree. I secured my county position through my mom, Mary Gutierrez, who was working as a Licensed Vocational Nurse at the community mental health center. She is now a charge nurse at JFK Memorial Hospital where she has worked since 1981. My mom instilled in me a sense of compassion and being empathetic towards others.”
“My dad passed away in 2014. He once asked me a question to consider on a daily basis, “What have you done for your fellow man/woman today?” That question has always stuck with me. He remains with me in all that I do and I speak to him frequently. Part of my journey is continuing his and my mom’s legacy of helping and being of service to others.”
“My sister Valerie Gutierrez is office manager for Dr. Harry Lifschutz in Indio. My nephew, Stephen Gutierrez, is a 3rd year college student and hip hop artist known as ‘Stevieraps.’”
NG: “My platform includes maintaining public safety, supporting small business owners from inception to sustainment, quality of life, expanding existing parks while developing new ones, continuing to address homelessness, continue to improve human services available to all residents, and re-energizing ALL of Indio.”
“I feel that the city council has done an excellent job in creating and maintaining progress within the city. It may be time for fresh eyes and a more unified vision.
Although Indio is considered one of the top music cities in the nation, I believe that we can do more to further elevate our music scene to rival music communities such as those in Seattle, Austin, New York and New Orleans.”
Indio is ‘the place to be’ and the ‘City of Festivals.’ I have a vision of reestablishing Indio as ‘The Hub of the Valley, the best place to work & play & live.’”
Contact Noe at: Noe.Indio.firstname.lastname@example.org (760) 485-0948