Chapter 7: The Joy of Politics | Crooked Media
July 12, 2023
Dreamtown: The Story of Adelanto
Chapter 7: The Joy of Politics

In This Episode

Stevevonna Evans’ former friends in the city council have turned against her. But a trip to Sacramento and conversations with an unlikely ally convince her to take a big career swing.

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David Weinberg If you like Dream Town, The Story of Adelanto and want access to early ad-free episodes. Join Friends of the Pod, Crooked’s new subscription community at Crooked dot com slash friends.


Betsy Zaiko Well. Hi there. Welcome back. Now, I like this woman, Stevevonna Evans, don’t you? But she seems in a real tight spot. Takes the fall for a city council screw up, and then her friends on the council turn against her. And she’s the odd man out now, so to speak. But Stevevonna? She still has a lot she wants to fix around Adelanto. So now I’m wondering, how is she going to dig herself out of this hole she’s in?


David Weinberg Adelanto City Hall is a two story building with a red tile roof and a small cactus garden. OUTFRONT next to it is a park with a baseball diamond and a playground and a squat. One story building with bars on the windows. The city owns that building, too. It’s the Adelanto Senior Citizens Center, which became ground zero for yet another controversy at city Hall. Back in 2018, a few months before Stevevonna was elected, city manager Jesse Flores submitted a recommendation to the council to lease the Adelanto Senior Center building to some nonprofits for $1 for three years. In exchange, these organizations could use the building to provide services to seniors in the community. And one of those organizations was the Kicks Kafe Senior Club, which was run by 80 year old council member Joy Jeanette.


Joy Jeanette I started the Kicks Kafe Senior Klub and the Kicks Kafe Senior Klub puts on the refreshments at our council meetings, which is unheard of in a council meeting. We always have coffee or homemade cupcakes or cookies and refreshments for our council people, but the main thing is that we give hugs.


David Weinberg But when this lease agreement was drawn up, it revealed something curious the way Joy spelled the name of her organization. The word cafe was spelled with a K. So was the word club. So it was the Kicks Kafe Senior Klub. With three Ks.


Joy Jeanette But anyways, so we named it that. And the lady that I work with, Ms Severen, she says, Well, why don’t we call the Kicks Kafe Senior Klub with Ks and it’d be catchy.


David Weinberg The inspiration for the name came from the Kix Diner, an old restaurant on Route 66.


Joy Jeanette You know, Route 66 goes through Victorville, and we wanted to make it historic. And then after something that had already been, which was the restaurant and then add something that would be catchy, something that would be different than anybody else. And that’s all that was about.


David Weinberg When word got out about the three K’s, there was a lot of outrage from people in the community who voiced their concerns at the city council meetings.


Community Member I am a black senior woman. That KKK has been in discussion for at least two and a half, three years, saying that it is offensive to black people and so why we’re still in 2021 talking about the impact that the KKK has on us is disgraceful.


David Weinberg When the public speaks at city Council meetings, the council members are not allowed to respond in the moment. But Joy sat on the dais listening to their concerns.


Joy Jeanette Some folks didn’t like it that it sounded like KKK, which is not. It wasn’t made at all for that because my family is a mixture of Heinz 57. So I guarantee you we have everything from Chinese, Japanese, blacks, whites, purple, pink, stripe. I don’t know, we got everything in our family. So we’re none of that. We have none of those issues. I would never allow that kind of thinking. It would not happen.


David Weinberg Joy says she also got some support from black people in the community who told her she shouldn’t change the spelling.


Joy Jeanette A lot of the people that are from that culture said I shouldn’t have because it doesn’t offend them because they know my heart.


David Weinberg Three years after the city leased the building to Joy, it came time to renew the lease agreement, and Joy’s organization was still spelled with three K’s. But this time around, Stevevonna Evans was a council member. In fact, she sat right next to Joy on the dais and they often disagree on a number of issues.


Joy Jeanette There was a lot of about whose life matters. And I know you know what I’m talking about in my life. Everybody’s lives matter. And the people that I deal with is everybody’s lives matters. So I don’t hone in on one group of people because we’re all to me, we should be family. We should be helping each other, promoting each other and serving each other.


David Weinberg Stevevonna and Joy have a complicated relationship that has taken some surprising turns over the years. As you may remember, Joy voted to strip Stevevonna of her mayor pro tem status during the football ring scandal. But even after that, amidst this debate over Joy’s spelling choices, Steve Warner still needed allies on the council. And sometimes those allies come from the most unlikely places. From Crooked media. This is Dream Town. The story of Adelanto. Chapter seven. The joy of politics. In September of 2021, two years after the Ring scandal, Stevevonna and her fellow council members took a field trip to Sacramento for the League of California Cities, an annual conference where local government officials attend workshops and panels and inspirational talks by keynote speakers. It’s also an opportunity to network.


Stevevonna Evans I’m so excited that the Women’s Caucus and the African-American caucus are at two different times, both in their sessions and in their little networking events. So I’ll get to attend both of those.


David Weinberg This was an opportunity for councilmembers to get something close to on the job training. When Stevevonna got elected. She’d hoped there’d be some kind of crash course on local government, but she was essentially on her own. Though here at the League of Cities, Stevevonna could rub shoulders with more experienced politicians and go to panel discussions and hear from other folks who were struggling with some of the same issues that she was. One afternoon I tagged along with Stevevonna as she made her way through the carpeted hallways of the Sacramento Convention Center. Her next stop was a meet and greet put on by the African-American Caucus.


Marla Mateen So, hi, everyone, I’m Marla Mateen, the executive director for the caucus.


David Weinberg The caucus’ mission is to represent the interests of African-American city officials and the greater African-American community.


Community Member The purpose of the caucus is to help educate those elected officials in terms of our so they can continue their success as elected officials in their community.


David Weinberg There were a few dozen people sitting at tables around the room. Stephanie grabbed a seat near the back. And one by one, everyone introduced themselves.


Wanda Williams And Wanda Williams. I’m a council member in Suisun City.


Racquel Vasquez My name is Racquel Vasquez , mayor for the city of Lemon Grove.


David Patterson I’m David Patterson, councilman for the City of Hawthorne.


Moderator Okay, very good.


David Weinberg After the introductions, the moderator made some official announcements, and then a late comer arrived. Adelanto City Council member Joy Jennette. She pushed her walker along the back wall until she found an empty seat in the corner. I was very surprised to see Joy there. None of the other than me. She was the only white person in the room and as soon as I saw her, I looked over to Stevevonna to see her reaction, particularly Stevevonna rolled her eyes. I actually had at this time the Kicks Kafe Senior Klub was still spelled with three ks. So I had a hunch why Stevevonna on it was rolling her eyes. And Joy’s arrival did not go unnoticed. When the head of the caucus saw her, he asked her to introduce herself.


Moderator We have some more visitors. Can I have your name?


Joy Jeanette Hello young man.


Moderator Good to see you again.


Joy Jeanette My name is Joy Jeanette and I’m a city council lady and I want to support your endeavors.


Moderator Thank you very much.


David Weinberg After the caucus event ended, the room empty and everyone spilled out into the hallway. Stevevonna joined a small circle of people and they were chatting as Joy came over to us. Stevevonna asked her what she thought of the meet and greet.


Stevevonna Evans Joy what were your thoughts on sitting in on that meeting?


Joy Jeanette I loved it.


Stevevonna Evans Yeah?


Joy Jeanette Oh, yeah. I feel at home.


Stevevonna Evans Do you think it was productive?


Joy Jeanette I don’t know. I think we might have missed something. I mean, I think it’s a great idea to get people integrated and get them going into the city center.


Stevevonna Evans Okay. Cool.


Joy Jeanette  I don’t have any idea what they talked about earlier.


Stevevonna Evans Gotchu.


David Weinberg Joy excused herself and started pushing her walker down the hall to the next session. I stayed back to talk with Stevevonna. I was going to ask if you were surprised to see Joy at the Black Caucus.


Stevevonna Evans No, She told me she wanted to come. I, and lowkey I was hoping that because Joy and I have had some conversations, you know, about just things that she doesn’t see as a white privileged woman. Right? And so when I, well Stevevonna that that’s not happening. No. Yes, it is, Joy. Well, I don’t see it. No, shit Joy. You know, And so when she said she wanted to come, I was like, cool, maybe, you know, hearing it from other people. So I’m kind of happy that the different folks actually expressed some of their concerns that are concerns that I’ve told her about. But then when I asked her, like, what’d you get? Ugh, I don’t know. But, I also believe that people, at this point, you see what you want to see.


David Weinberg Later that afternoon, as the conference was wrapping up for the day, I met up with Steve Varner and Joy. I was talking and came over and asked if she could join Steve on it. At another networking event put on by the African-American Caucus, a cocktail reception at a nearby bar. I got the sense that Joy was maybe a little lonely and didn’t have anyone else to hang out with. And Stevevonna was gracious and let Joy tag along with her to the cocktail reception. When we got to the event, Stevevonna worked the room saying hi to people she knew, shaking hands with, people she didn’t. And at one point, Joy and I were sitting together at a table, just the two of us. It was loud inside the bar and out of nowhere. She turned to me and I thought I heard her say, I just love New Orleans. I wasn’t sure what prompted her to say that. The first thought I had was that maybe it was because New Orleans is a majority black city and we were in a room full of black people. But I was confused. And Joy must have recognized the confusion on my face because she repeated herself this time, emphasizing her words more clearly. And what she actually said was, my son loves Oriental ladies. I was still confused. But I nodded and said, Oh, that’s nice. And then she went on to explain that her son had married an Asian woman and now their family was very diverse and she loved it. Then, a lobbyist from a solar panel company came over and struck up a conversation with Joy, and I got up to get another drink. Not long after this trip to Sacramento, Joy changed the spelling of her organization, though not everyone was happy about it. She only replaced one of the Ks. She says that she came to realize that even if she herself didn’t see an issue with the spelling, she understood why it offended so many people.


Joy Jeanette A real leader admits her mistakes. And, you know, I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t. And I never will. Neither will you. None of us will. And we need to be have the ability to say, hey, I want to learn what you know, I want to learn to make me a better person. And that’s my my thing. I want to be a better person.


David Weinberg After the League of Cities conference, the council went back to work and a familiar pattern emerged. Most of the time the council voted on things. Everyone was in agreement with each other.


Stevevonna Evans I would say most of the time we are a 5-0 council, despite what people want to say and how dysfunctional we are and all the things. Most of the time we’re a 5-0 council. Typically, if it’s not a 5-0, it’s a 4-1. Right? With me being the one.


David Weinberg Stevevonna and Joy had been sitting next to each other on the dais for nearly three years. They were on opposite ends of the political spectrum on most issues. But after the whole football ring scandal, Stevevonna felt that her allies on the council had betrayed her. And as much as she hated the game of politics, she knew that if she had any hope of accomplishing her goals, she would have to play the game. And sometimes that means reaching your hand across the aisle and hoping you don’t get bit. As the most progressive member of the city council, Stevevonna often found herself outvoted on many of the issues that were most important to her, like police reform. Every year. The council voted on the city’s contract with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Stevevonna felt that Adelanto was being overcharged for the police services that they received.


Stevevonna Evans You know, you look at Barstow, who has 40 sheriffs or 40 police officers total, 20 on shift at a time, and they’re paying around $9 million. Well, if I’m paying 6.7 for three on shift at a time, this is a problem. Makes no sense to me.


David Weinberg Stevevonna wanted to make changes to the contract. Adelanto had a unique relationship with the police compared to other cities. Most cities have their own police department. But that was not the case in Adelanto. And so they didn’t have oversight over the officers that policed their community.


Stevevonna Evans If we had our own police department, we would have control over hiring, firing policies and procedures, whereas right now we do not. All we get to do is pay them. We don’t get to say who gets overtime. We don’t get to say, you know how they handle our residents. We don’t get to any of that. We don’t. It’s all thank you very much for paying us. That’s it. We have no control.


David Weinberg This wasn’t always the case in Adelanto. The city used to have its own police department. But they abolished it in 2002, nearly two decades before abolishing police departments became a hot button national issue. Back then. Adelanto did this for a few reasons. The main one was corruption.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes The captain unfortunately had a chop shop and yeah, and that and crazy enough, like the chop shop was like right behind the police station.


David Weinberg According to Mayor Gabriel Reyes, this was one of the many scandals involving the Adelanto PD. In this case, the police were allegedly running a car theft ring, and one of the cars they allegedly stole belonged to Reyes’ grandmother.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes She had a beautiful Cadillac and it was, quote unquote, illegally towed. And the lieutenant and the captain actually drove around my neighborhood like taunting my family in my grandmother’s Cadillac.


David Weinberg They would drive the Cadillac?


Mayor Gabriel Reyes Yeah, they drove the Cadillac through the neighborhood.


David Weinberg Well, how did your parents react when the police would drive there after stealing their car? Drive it over?


Mayor Gabriel Reyes So my grandmother, she never allowed that to move her. But it sure worked on my dad, you know, And growing up as a child, I know my dad he was always he always taught us to be honest and be truthful and never to lie, especially to adults. Right? But there was one one occasion, one occasion that I had the permission to lie. And and that was if the police ever came by the house looking for him or my brothers, tell them that he just missed them.


David Weinberg Eventually the citizens of Adelanto, unable to trust the people who are supposed to serve and protect them, decided they’d had enough. And they shut the whole thing down. Fired all the police. But they still needed law enforcement, so they contracted with their county. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes The San Bernadino Sheriffs took over and I didn’t really deal with them personally, but my dad had nothing but great things to say about them. I will say that there was a drastic change, a drastic difference in you know Adelanto PD to the sheriff’s.


David Weinberg But Stevevonna did not share the mayor’s positive view of the sheriff’s department. She felt that the city didn’t have enough oversight over the officers. For example, Stevevonna wanted the sheriffs to wear body cameras, something the city could have demanded if they had their own police department. But the county did not require sheriffs to wear body cams, so they didn’t. Stevevonna also felt that the sheriffs were too expensive. She just wanted the sheriffs to agree to some changes before the city committed to a contract. One of those things is wearing body cams. Another was negotiating a lower rate for their services.


Stevevonna Evans Let me be clear right before i get in trouble. It’s not that I dislike the sheriffs. My problem is I’ve seen other cities doing far more for far less.


David Weinberg So Stevevonna reached out to the city staff and ask them to do some research on this issue and compare the rates of other cities, police budgets to what they were paying. But she says even after years of asking, none of the city employees provided that information. Instead, a fellow council member stepped up and did that work. Someone Stevevonna never would have thought would agree with her on this issue. Joy Jeanette.


Stevevonna Evans And I was shocked.


David Weinberg Joy Jeanette was very pro law enforcement. She spent much of her life working inside prisons.


Joy Jeanette I started befriending prostitutes and things on the street, just praying for them and their children or trying to make sure their children got what they needed. And I became a chaplain. And then they made me the chaplain of Santa Cruz jail for women. And that’s how I got involved in all that.


David Weinberg Joy says she went on to become the program director at Soledad Men’s Prison.


Joy Jeanette As a program director. And I work with the lifers and all of those guys. And in the whole, you know, that exercise yard, wherever anybody gets stabbed. I didn’t have any problems.


David Weinberg Joy was a big supporter of Adelanto’s prisons. And vice versa. She says both of the prisons in town were supporters of her campaign. So Stevevonna was surprised when Joy stepped up and helped her find answers to the questions she’d been asking about the sheriff’s department.


Stevevonna Evans Councilwoman Jeanette did an amazing job at doing the research I have been asking staff to do for like two years.


Joy Jeanette I do a lot of research on everything that I vote for. I do research, and sometimes people don’t like that because I come with the facts as we learn it. Because I sure don’t know. I’m in a learning process always.


Stevevonna Evans She went around and she pulled papers and she actually went out and talked to Barstow.


Joy Jeanette One of the comparisons that we are looking at is in Barstow. And I went up to Barstow. I talked with the mayor. I wanted to know how it was going, how their money was spent. And to my understanding it’s working well, they spent $9 million, but like they have 42 police officers. We have six representing us at $7 million. I thought it was outrageous when it was $4 million. Now they’re getting seven. Something’s wrong.


David Weinberg Every year. When the contract came up for renewal, Stevevonna was outvoted. But this time an opportunity presented itself.


Stevevonna Evans There was a huge meeting we had back when we were approving the the contract for the sheriff’s. Back then we only had four council members.


David Weinberg During the COVID pandemic, Stevevonna’s former ally turned rival Jerry Hernandez, resigned because of health complications from COVID 19. And Ed Camargo had been replaced by Daniel Ramos in a recent election. So there were only four council members when the sheriff’s contract came up for a vote. Stevevonna, Joy, Ramos, and Reyes. If Stevevonna could get one of the other council members to vote with her, the contract would not be approved and she might be able to force the sheriffs to make some of the compromises she was asking for. And as unlikely as it seemed, Stevevonna and Joy were on the same page.


Stevevonna Evans We were split. Joy and I voted no not to approve their contract at the first meeting. Mayor Reyes and Daniel Ramos voted to approve the contract. And so we were split. And the contract doesn’t get approved, which it was yeahh shut um down. Right?


David Weinberg I was going to ask before how often you and Joy vote the same?


Stevevonna Evans Me and Joy?


David Weinberg How often that happens?


Stevevonna Evans Not on topics like that, I’ll tell you. Not typically ever on controversial issues when it comes down to those kinds of things, when it’s a social justice issue.


David Weinberg After this initial meeting, the contract came up for an official vote, and if Joy stayed on Stevevonna’s side, the council would be deadlocked at 2 to 2. And a deadlocked council meant that the sheriff’s contract would not be renewed.


Stevevonna Evans We are about to shut them down!


Joy Jeanette I personally, what I would like to see in the city is people that are really interested in the residents of the city. And we don’t find that right now with the sheriff’s department. But if we had a police department, it would be great because they would know Johnny or whatever the names are, the children, Lucy or whatever the names are, and they would know and build a relationship and a fun thing with them and the families. They would know, the families they would be ever present. They would know who lives on what block they would know, blah, blah, blah. You know, it would be wonderful.


David Weinberg And then a few days later, it was time to take the official vote.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes All right. Moving on to new business item number one, approve amendment number 25 to the agreement with the county of San Bernardino for the sheriff’s department that provides city law enforcement services for fiscal year 2021-2022, in the amount of 6.6 million 935,064 and authorizes the city manager to execute the amendments. Finance?


David Weinberg Mayor Reyes handed things over to Joy so she can make a statement before the vote.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes Ready, Councilwoman Jeanette?


Joy Jeanette Yes, sir. As you know, I went ahead with my own due diligence and I want to thank the chief of the Barstow police and also the sheriffs and also the staff for sitting down with me separately. And we had a great discussion. Number one.


David Weinberg Joy, basically gave a recap of all the research she had done on police contracts.


Joy Jeanette When this all started about a couple of years ago, I believe we talked about the sheriffs maybe working together with the kids in basketball after school or having some kind of leagues where the sheriffs are involved with the kids, where the kids can look up to the sheriff and want to be one one day. Perhaps those things did occur. Let’s change the climate and be supportive of one another. Let’s look for ways to engage our kids in productive sports activities. And I know this can be done. And that is my report.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes Awesome. Thank you so much, Councilman Ramos.


Daniel Ramos Councilwoman Joy Jeanette, this is where you if you had a mic, this is where you would drop it and you would just walk out of the room. Ma’am. Very, very, very well said. Mr. Mayor. I have nothing further. I’m good to go. Thank you, sir.


David Weinberg Then the council opened it up for public comments, and everyone who spoke was in favor of the city creating its own police force.


Daniel Ramos Go ahead caller.


Public Comments Praise be to God.Allah and all that other stuff. How y’all doing over there? Mayor Reyes Councilwomen, councilmen. I’m just saying we should just go ahead and look at building our own. Well, we can write it. We can put it in the bylaws. We won’t. We can. I mean, we could design it from the bottom up. I mean, you could create something with the council,  Mayor. You. I mean, we could just create something that could be the envy of the world or the United States or California. It ain’t that hard. It’s a police department. Nobody really likes to police, I love the police cause without the police being present. It’s a lot of crime. So I need the police. I just don’t like how they treat people at certain times, But, like Councilwoman Jeanette was saying, we have a chance to bring it all together as one cohesive unit working together with the community on the hiring.


David Weinberg Then Mayor Reyes spoke.


Mayor Gabriel Reyes So, yeah. Thank you again. Councilwoman Jeanette and Councilwoman Evans for for the and for the due diligence. And you know what? What, what we have at hand, let’s just move aggressive in whatever direction that is that we choose to go, you know? So that being said, it’s recommended that the city council approve amendment number 25 to the agreement of the county of San Bernardino, where the sheriff’s department to provide city law enforcement services for fiscal year 2021 and 2022 in the amount of $6,935,064 and authorize the city manager to execute the amendment our motion.


Daniel Ramos I second that Mr. Mayor.


David Weinberg And then it came time for the vote.


Community Member Counselor Evans?


Stevevonna Evans No.


Community Member Councilor Jeanette?


Joy Jeanette Yes.


David Weinberg Joy changed her mind.


Stevevonna Evans She was like, I vote, yes. Ma’am. What? You done spent 15 minutes explaining to us why we should have our own police force. And then she voted yes.


David Weinberg Joy’s reasoning was that it could take years for Adelanto to establish its own police department. And in the meantime, they should rely on the sheriff’s department, even if she didn’t like the way they policed her community. Despite her concerns, Joy was willing to accept the contract as it was. So in a 3 to 1 vote, the sheriff’s contract was renewed.


Stevevonna Evans Now, she did vote yes under the understanding that we would be having workshops and we would start discussing forming our own police department. But those things haven’t happened yet. So we’ll see what happens.


David Weinberg It wasn’t the outcome Stevevonna wanted, but she came out of this vote with a changed view of Joy.


Stevevonna Evans What I respect about Joy is I don’t think any of us know what she’s going to vote on a particular item. And there are some things where you’re like, you can kind of like, this person’s going to vote this way, This person is going to vote this way just based on what the item is. I don’t think I could do that with 85% of the items with Joy.


David Weinberg Joy told me that she also has a lot of respect for Stevevonna.


Joy Jeanette I think she’s a wonderful lady, very intelligent. Smart comes off the wall sometimes, as many of us do, and we disagree a lot. But we also were able to sit down and talk, have dinner. I’ve learned to respect her, and sometimes she doesn’t show respect for others. But that’s Stevevonna. She’s getting her point across and she’s a good woman.


David Weinberg Yeah. What are some of the things that you learned from her would you say?


Joy Jeanette Learn from her? How to be more of a lady.


David Weinberg What do you mean?


Joy Jeanette Well, sometimes people, when they have authority of some sort, they let that authority rule them rather than common sense. And I think that we need to be more kinder and gentler to people. And I think that each of us stand for something. Whatever it is. I mean, I’m for animals and seniors and kids and God knows what. I’ll stand on this for a lot of things, too. She’s a very good woman and very good with her children and. Far as. Far as our time together. It can be confrontations at times, yes, but that’s part of life. If you’re going to run for any office, you’re going to get that, whether it’s from one on the dias or somebody else. Be ready for it. If you’ve got thin skin, you’re not going to make it.


David Weinberg Just a reminder, the Adelanto City Council is nonpartisan, but generally speaking, Stevevonna was the most progressive member of the council. And while she had learned a lot in her first few years as an elected official, she felt like she hadn’t accomplished what she set out to.


Stevevonna Evans And so I think, you know, a lot of things like why my city hasn’t progressed as much as it should have over the last four years. A lot of things happened over the last four years at the hands of our leaders. Right. The mayor, the city manager, that that don’t sit well with me.


David Weinberg Stevevonna thought about what her political future would look like. She knew she wanted to run for reelection, but if she won, it would be another four years of being outvoted and watching the mayor take the city in a direction she did not agree with. Stevevonna’s relationship with the mayor had been strained ever since the football ring scandal. It wasn’t uncommon for them to butt heads over certain issues. But one day, she says, the mayor said something that flipped a switch inside her.


Stevevonna Evans There was a meeting where the mayor the mayor made a very offensive, to me, comment. And what he said was that, you know, I was the reason why all of our products are always stalled. Because I was asking for for them to go and do their job correctly. But when he said that to me, it really lit a fire, you know, because I felt like me asking questions and doing what I think is right by my residents, you see that as a problem. So it doesn’t make sense for us to try to work on the same team anymore. So let’s let the residents decide.


David Weinberg On February 8th, 2022, Stevevonna made it official. She would run against Gabriel Reyes for mayor of Adelanto. And that meant hitting the local airwaves of high desert talk radio.


Radio Announcer The 2022 election happens this November. Candidates across the region have been looking to shift the direction of progress and success in the high desert and Victor Valley region. The city of Adelanto’s mayoral election will also be held this year, and Councilwoman Stevevonna Evans is looking to become the new leader of the city.


David Weinberg Stevevonna was now campaigning as an elected official with a track record that she saw as an asset.


Radio Announcer I want to say thank you so much for spending some time with us today to talk about some of these issues.


Stevevonna Evans No, of course. Thank you for having me.


Radio Announcer So, I guess, before we start, why did you decide to run.


Stevevonna Evans The first time or this time?


Radio Announcer This time?


Stevevonna Evans You know, I think that I learned a lot in the last three and a half years. There are some things that we’ve done well and some things that I think could have been done better. And so I think that it was important for me to take that next step to ensure that we’re able to take care of the things that we miss and continue to move the city forward.


David Weinberg When Stevevonna decided to run for mayor, she could have also run for her city council seat at the same time, but she decided not to. She didn’t see the point in sitting on the council alongside the mayor for another four years.


Stevevonna Evans It just came down to I truly think that both of us want the city to advance. We have different ideas on how we get there, and unfortunately, I cannot work with the tactics and the morals and ethics that he displays from the dais. I hate the game, and I’ll say that over. Politics is horrible, right? But if we all just if everybody that thought politics was horrible just threw their hands up, then what happens? We have to get in and we have to be willing to change the game and fight to change the game. So if the residents are willing to allow me to help them change the game, I’m down to do that.


David Weinberg Come November, Stevevonna would either be the mayor of Adelanto or she would be out of politics entirely. That’s next time on the final chapter of Dream Town: The Story of Adelanto. If you loved this episode of Dream Town, The Story of Adelanto, you can hear the next episode right now. For early ad-free access. Join friends of the Pod Crooked’s new subscription community at Crooked dot com slash friends. Adelanto is an original podcast from Crooked Media. It’s hosted, written and executive produced by me, David Weinberg. Nick White is our story editor. Angel Carreras is our associate producer. Sound design. mix, and mastering by Brendan Baker of Phenomephon. Our theme song is by Icarus Himself, and our original score is by Eric Phillips. Fact-Checking by Amy Tardif. Additional production help from Ines Mesa, Sydney Rapp, and Kobe Copeland. Thanks to Betsy Zaiko for narrating portions of the show. From Crooked Media, our executive producers are Sarah Geismer, Katie Long and Mary Knauf with special thanks to Allison Falzetta, Laura Smith, Andrew Leland, Richard Parks III, Shocker Molly, and Katya Apekina.