John Peña began his public service in 1982, when he served on a school site task force with city and school district officials to locate school sites in the City of La Quinta. He was elected to the La Quinta City Council in 1984, he served on the Council and was elected Mayor in 1988 and served in that capacity until his retirement from public office in December 2002. John came out of his public service retirement and was again elected to the City Council in 2014.
John currently serves as a member of the League of California Cities Public Safety Committee, Coachella Valley Association of Governments Public Safety and Homelessness Committees as well as a Board Trustee for the Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District and the IID Electric Consumers Advisory Committee. In his previous terms of office, has served on various Boards and Commissions throughout the Coachella Valley including: Sunline Transit Agency, Coachella Valley Association of Governments, the Palm Springs/Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Bureau, Riverside County Transportation Commission, Court Appointed Special Advocates, La Quinta Chamber of Commerce, Local Agency Formation Commission, Riverside County Commission on Education, La Quinta High School Foundation, Children’s Discovery Museum, Dr. Carreon Foundation, Riverside County Workforce Development, and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital Board.
A lifelong Coachella Valley resident, John graduated from Indio High School and attended College of the Desert where he was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Fullerton and continued his postgraduate work at Western State University College of Law where he received his law degree. He also completed an Executive Education from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.
John has received many honors including selection by the Jewish Federation to travel to Israel for the International Conference of Mayors, Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America, Distinguished Recipient Honoree of the Annual Hispanic Awards.
John is CEO of Desert Cities Consulting, Inc., a business and governmental relations consulting firm. He has two grown children and three grandchildren.