WEHOville

Citizens Agenda Week 1: WeHo City Council Candidates on Whether Experience Matters (and Donald Trump)

Mon, Jan 09, 2017   By Staff    6 Comments

Earlier this month WEHOville asked West Hollywood residents what issues they wanted candidates in the March 7 City Council election to address. We received hundreds of responses and boiled them down to 11 key issues. We have asked each of the ten candidates in the March 7 City Council election to offer his or her positions on these issues. On each Monday over the next few weeks we will publish one or two of the questions and the candidates’ responses.

1) If you haven’t participated in civic life or taken public positions on major city issues in the last few years, why should we believe you’re willing to devote the time required to adequately represent us on the city council? And why should we believe you have the background and knowledge of local issues necessary to make important city decisions?

CYNTHIA BLATT

I have been active, engaged and involved in West Hollywood civic life, working and organizing alongside my fellow community members all over the city for almost three years now. I have been fighting to give people in our city a voice. As a licensed clinical social worker at the Veterans Administration in West Los Angeles for eight years, I learned the challenges people face, how to address them effectively and the vital role that social services plays in West Hollywood.

Cynthia J. Blatt (Photo by Dennis Trantham)

As a community planning and development representative for the last 16 years at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), I oversee the expenditure of federal funds granted to local governments to create affordable housing, build parks and malls, develop jobs and housing programs for the homeless and protect the public trust. My entire career has been spent in developing affordable housing and providing services and, at HUD specifically, in overseeing all the aspects of the HUD grant programs. I know what works and how we can better leverage funds from federal and state resources to support the people and the businesses of West Hollywood.

I know how to both preserve affordable housing and create smart growth and planned sustainable development. It is what I do every day, and it is what I have always cared about. As a community advocate, I understand the difficulties imposed on our neighborhoods by 30 years of the city council’s bigger, faster, louder development policies. This is why I will be ready on day one to fight effectively for our neighborhoods, for affordable housing, to preserve rent stabilized units and to serve the citizens of West Hollywood.

MICHAEL CAUTILLO

I understand the valid concern this question raises. I believe that over the coming weeks people will get to know me and come to know my passion, dedication and work ethic. Those who know me already have inspired me to campaign for

Michael Cautillo

city council. These people are our neighbors and our business owners; people who have known me for decades. Even in this pre-election process, I have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy and I am doing this for one reason: I believe I can help and be of service to our community. I can assure you that my efforts will be re-doubled after the election. My passion for this city and my neighbors would not allow for anything less.

I have lived in West Hollywood for 25 years. During this time, I have consistently involved myself in the issues that concern all of us. I have had hundreds of conversations over the years about everything from overdevelopment to pedestrian safety and everything in between. In an effort to convey to our residents that I have the background and knowledge of local issues, I have set up a website: michaelcautillo.com, as well as a Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/michaelcautilloforwesthollywood/?ref=bookmarks
so that our neighbors can judge my passion, knowledge, and views on the issues for themselves. I have also set up Twitter and Instagram pages for these same purposes. I intend to use social media, WEHOville, forums, and meet-and-greets as grassroots ways for the residents of WeHo to get to know me and for me to listen to what is important to them.

NATE CLARK

We all have the opportunity to participate in our government— regardless of previous involvement— and the acceptance of new voices is more critical than ever. Prior involvement in city politics is not a requirement for participating in our democracy. In fact, in some instances it can actually be detrimental to creative thinking, drive and ethical decision making, for reasons that should be obvious to the citizens of West Hollywood. We must judge candidates based on their real-world experience in order to elect leaders who truly represent the constituents they serve (not their wealthy campaign contributors.)

Nate Clark

An effective member of WeHo’s City Council should be the following:

• PASSIONATE: I have clearly demonstrated my passion for progressive values.

• DEDICATED: I have volunteered consistently (weekly) for over 15 years, including work for public radio, helping the homeless, and riding in the 2015 AIDS LifeCycle.

• INTELLIGENT: I posses an incredibly varied skill-set and an innate ability to understand new concepts quickly.

ETHICAL: I come to the table without baggage or charges of questionable ethics. I am unaffiliated with any large donors, and I have no history with anyone hoping to influence policy via campaign donations.

• DYNAMIC: I have the experience to lead teams and negotiate conflicts in a bold, effective manner, even under the most trying circumstances. My experience as a project manager for large brands has taught me how to lead teams and negotiate conflicts in an effective, organized manner, even under the most trying circumstances. (Seriously, you should meet some of my clients.)

I’ve been a dedicated, active participant in our community in many ways besides being a part of city government, including regular volunteering, running a small-business in WeHo, being an active member of trade unions and contributing to the larger political conversation that also affects our daily lives. Also, I am part of a new generation of LGBTQ creative professionals and artists, and I bring that perspective to the table.

I acknowledge that if elected I will need to acclimate myself with the specific mechanics of our local government and the policies we enforce; however, my experience, passion, and ethics far outweigh the “learning curve” I will navigate after joining council. My voice on council will provoke a disruption of ideas, not a disruption of process. We need creative thinking and council members who are unencumbered by silly scandals and whispers of back-door dealings. I am the candidate for people who are tired of WeHo’s “business as usual” approach.

To those who are skeptical of my candidacy, I welcome the opportunity to get to know you and to share with you my vision for our city. I believe in the power of the democratic process, and I am thrilled to be a part of this conversation. Thank you for your consideration.

JOHN DURAN

Before I became a city council member in 2001, I served on both the public safety commission and rent stabilization

John Duran

John Duran

commission. All of my colleagues on the council have served on one or more commissions before joining the council (except for Councilmember Heilman since he was a city founder).

The experience on city boards and commissions is critical to understanding how government functions and differs from private sector organizations. It also gives one the experience of working with colleagues to consider and debate policy, seek compromise and work through decision-making before one is entrusted with the city’s $100 million budget.

Council members serve as trusted stewards of the city’s finances, quality of life and future. It is helpful to have some experience under one’s belt before jumping to such a paramount position of responsibility as a council member.

AMANDA GOODWIN

I have participated in civic life, especially active in Tri-West, and I have taken positions on major city issues in the last few years, speaking before the city council and planning commission, as well as, the last few decades, about matters ranging from traffic impact to egregious development, including a two-year fight against development next door to my property that evicted nine creative, amazing, pioneering rent control tenants for 16 condos, that exceeded its setbacks and variances in the back room of planning, so the builder could squeeze in one more unit and one more floor, which was not fair to the residents who saw a completely different model presentation.

Amanda Goodwin

Over the last several years, I have built relationships with many staff members in City Hall, as well as with the council members present and prior. I know many on the WeHo Chamber of Commerce team; I graduated from their WE LEAD Academy and support the chamber’s work on behalf of businesses and this city. I owned my own small business on Melrose for 10 years, called The Buzz Stop, and know the challenges of entrepreneurship, managing people and how to motivate and drive others for results and excellence. As a long-time resident of nearly 25 years in West Hollywood, I know many of my neighbors and business owners, being a huge supporter of our local establishments and entertainment. Also, I have been a landlord/agent since 2000, believe landlords must be responsible to their community and have a record of advocating and supporting tenant rights.

Because I am an entrepreneur, and do not have a 9 to 5 job, I will dedicate my time to understanding all city issues, challenges and solutions, working with residents and small businesses in concert with city staff. City planning and policy is complicated and vast. There is much to consider. It all boils down to remaining true to your convictions, having an unbiased vision for our city that benefits quality of life over greed and building on existing relationships, that can make a difference, through collaboration and compromise, and which I subscribe to and where I operate from.

I love this city as much as you do and have the same concerns as you. I am affected by many of the negative changes like you are, all the while understanding that growth is essential to monetizing what makes West Hollywood an incredible place to live.

But, we must fight to protect the essence of West Hollywood, preserving its community and hamlet feel, and not allow it to turn into East Beverly Hills, where high earners and high rents are the majority, paving over what we love about West Hollywood, and forgetting our mission statement: “We are proactive in responding to the unique needs of our diverse community, creative in finding solutions to managing our urban environment, and dedicated to preserving and enhancing its well being. We strive for quality in all our actions, setting the highest goals and standards.”

I strongly believe that.

 

John Heilman

JOHN HEILMAN

I have been very active in West Hollywood for more than 30 years. I was part of the committee that incorporated West Hollywood in 1984, and I’ve had the opportunity and honor to serve on the city council and as mayor. I have a great deal of experience serving the West Hollywood community.

 

 

 

 

STEVE MARTIN

In defense of those who have not made regular appearances before the city council, in my experience the council does

West Hollywood City Council candidate Steve Martin

Steve Martin

not make public participation easy. Although the agenda may start at 6:30 p.m. the actual business may not start until past eight and then the meetings run past midnight. This discourages participation by members of the public. While one council member invariably thanks the public for coming out to testify, those who do often leave the meeting doubting the sincerity of that thanks and wondering if their testimony made any difference. Particularly in regard to hearings on land use issues, the public often gets the impression that the process is a charade and that approval is “a done deal.” This sort of cynicism makes it difficult to get residents to appear and participate.

While I believe attendance at public meetings is healthy and a good idea for anyone wanting to run for office, I know many people who can converse quite intelligently on West Hollywood issues without attending meetings; you don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. But attendance does help your fellow citizens determine your qualifications and judge your opinions on the issues of the day. At this point in our city’s development perhaps just convincing the public you are honest, open minded and not beholden to special interest should be enough to be taken seriously.

JOEL QUARESIMO

I have been very involved with civic life for the past eight years through my show “My WehoWorld.” I have interviewed almost all of the council at least once. We even did a segment on a tour of City Hall and all the various departments.

Joel Quaresimo

I have spent a lot of time with council members over the years reviewing the issues at hand and how they would resolve them. I have also participated in council meetings when an issue required public intervention.

I watch the council meetings on Channel 10 to keep up with the issues at hand.

Also, I own a home here in West Hollywood and have a vested interest to be aware of all resident issues, especially housing.

I am available full time and intend to dedicate myself full time to the city as a council member.

 

CARLA ROMO

Running for West Hollywood City Council is my start in politics. I am a local woman running for a local council. I could be viewed as the underdog because I don’t have experience in the political arena. But working within the traditional political

Carla Romo

arena has led the council further away from its resident base. A fresh voice would reconnect long-time and new residents to the council. I am looking to represent the statistical make up of people that live in our community. I envision a city that not only sustains its current population and status quo, but continues to make strides forward by attracting diverse and hardworking individuals like myself.

After finishing college in just three and a half years and graduating with honors in mass communications, I moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of my career in television production and documentary filmmaking. Thanks to my passion, stamina and committed work ethic, I have forged a successful career in an industry which is not only difficult to survive in, but even more challenging to thrive in. By age 24, I began receiving casting producer credits and was able to crowd fund enough money to begin production on a documentary raising awareness for Type-1 diabetes, an issue close to my heart. I know what it takes to be successful in the entertainment world in L.A., skills I will bring with me to my work in the West Hollywood City Council.

My campaign prides itself on being grassroots. This means I make myself accessible to residents here in West Hollywood. I promise to be a voice for the needs of the people first and foremost. I am not tied to any big budget developers or special interest groups. I personally represent the majority of our economic demographic in our city. I will always seek the best solution for the people in West Hollywood.

REED STILWELL

First of all, I would like to thank you for submitting your questions and concerns as well as thank WEHOville for giving me the opportunity to begin a dialogue with you. I welcome you to reach out to me so that we can continue the discussion personally, and I will make myself and my time readily available.

To answer your question, I will start by saying that it’s honestly a difficult one to answer. So, I will just be straight with you and do my best. The reason why you should believe that I would be willing to devote the time to adequately represent

Reed Stilwell

you is because I am equal parts will and devotion and I’m all about acting on it. Here’s one example of that, which began this past July. I was working on developing a television show with an indie production company in Burbank and had decided to stay in for lunch that day. I was halfway through a granola bar, skimming Facebook on my phone, when I read a post that I couldn’t shake. I’m from Oklahoma and am used to a fair amount of things appearing in my feed that I strongly disagree with, but this one seethed with the latest craze of Islamophobia and I had heard enough. I did a quick google to see what jobs were available on the Hillary campaign, then a another google to see which cities had the biggest population of Muslim communities. Two weeks and four interviews later, I got a phone call from Ohio Together offering me a field organizing position in Columbus, Ohio. I needed to be there for training in four days.

The following morning, my car was packed and I kissed my wife (whom I’d just married June 12th) goodbye, and drove myself to Ohio. In three days. For the next three months, I worked 15-plus-hour days at full speed without a single day off. Not because I was driven by the passion to help elect the first woman president (I was secretly a converted Burner,) but because that’s what it was going to take. I turned forty in Ohio and I also grew up. Regardless of my efforts, I still woke up on November 9th with a pretty profound sense of guilt. I should have fought this hard and been this engaged in my own community a long time ago. And I can own that. However, I drove away from Ohio and still felt like I had won because my definition of winning had drastically changed. It wasn’t about two candidates. It wasn’t about swing states or debates. It was about people waking up and realizing the amount of work we have left to do and the amount of fight we need to have to keep each other safe. I can work and I can fight.

And now, I want work as hard as I can, speak up for whoever needs to be heard, and fight for whoever is in danger in my own community. As for the second part of the question, my background is all about collaboration, listening, and paying attention to detail. That said, I am very familiar with the issues in our community and very willing to involve you in the discussion on how to get to work resolving them. I have real-world experience, an insider’s understanding of social and political movements, and am deeply passionate about what this community represents and the importance of protecting it.

2) The election of Donald Trump has left many local residents concerned about his possible actions on issues involving undocumented workers, LGBT rights, climate control and financial regulation. Should the City of West Hollywood take action to ameliorate the impact on its residents of any major changes by the Trump administration? If so, what would those actions be?

CYNTHIA BLATT

The City of West Hollywood is a local municipality that alone cannot have any influence on federal policy. We certainly can pass declarations that state we don’t support the various initiatives that might or might not be introduced to congress and that might or might not be passed by congress, but it is highly unlikely that we will have any impact on the campaign threats made by Trump if they actually are instituted unless we become a part of a larger national movement. Rather, it is important to the city and its residents that the next generation of city council members turns our attention to these issues as they affect local residents.

We must be more effective and diligent in fighting to protect existing affordable housing. We must address the issue of climate change on a local level, as the city is currently wasting millions of gallons of water a day by flushing toxic water from under the Pacific Design Center and the garages of the numerous hotels on Sunset Boulevard and on the east side of West Hollywood down the storm drains, out through Ballona Creek and into the bay. We make no effort to clean and recycle this water for non-potable uses such as watering our parks or running car washes, for example. We must address the issue of fiscal responsibility by analyzing the nature and volume of expenditures by City Hall and the manner in which those expenditures do or do not benefit our community and its residents. We should examine the estimated $200 million debt imposed on the city through the issuance of bonds that have now created a debt that the city has no way to pay except on the backs of local citizens. In short, we must address the issues that will affect us and our neighborhoods directly and that is where I will focus my efforts.

MICHAEL CAUTILLO

West Hollywood must fight against what I believe to be the historic danger of a Trump/Pence administration.

With regard to climate change, we must put a halt to the overdevelopment that has run rampant in West Hollywood. This negatively impacts our environment in every way imaginable including overcrowding, pollution, decreased green spaces and so on. We should push for the extension of the Crenshaw line to West Hollywood to decrease our carbon footprint from automobiles. We should grow our new bike-share program and build roadways to safely accommodate roadsharing. Finally, we need to make it safe for residents to leave their cars at home and walk around our urban village by establishing a pedestrian safety plan that would ensure that no one is ever maimed or killed in our crosswalks again. My proposals include crossing guards, flashing crosswalks and timed traffic lights.

Despite recent claims by the president-elect that the LGBTQ community does not need to fear the repeal of same-sex marriage rights, the threat of a political backlash aimed at the LGBTQ community is real, and a host of other gay issues remain at stake. The city must take steps to ensure that our citizens are protected to the fullest extent possible. My husband, Mark, and I have been together for over 20 years and got married just last month, in part to assure the legal validity of our marriage in the event Trump tries to outlaw same-sex marriage. In this process, we found that our own city does not perform marriages or issue licenses. I believe this is something that is important and can be changed quickly and easily. Thus, we can afford other like-minded couples the right to get married within the borders of our own city so that they too can protect their partnerships against a Trump/Pence administration.

I look forward to meeting, and getting to know, many more neighbors in the coming weeks and am grateful to WEHOville for providing this forum for our residents to get to know their candidates.

NATE CLARK

Of course we must take action. The Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress will wreak havoc on our civil liberties, the environment, and the progress for which we’ve fought so hard.
In order to mitigate the effects of a Trump administration, we must legislate and enforce policies that set the standard for tolerance, diversity and the progressive values we cherish. The City of Los Angeles recently enacted measures to protect against the deportation of families and to accommodate (literally) the homeless, in addition to their early moves to raise the minimum wage. How is it that, in many ways, L.A. fights for progress while WeHo lags behind? A friend of mine recently said to me “the gay community is really good at mobilizing to fight for our own rights… but when it comes to the bigger picture we keep dropping the ball.” I agree with him.

It’s time to stand-up and fight. We can do that by supporting policies that promote the following:

• Transparency. I propose ordinances that require RFP’s and a mandatory bidding process for all municipal contracts. We need to remove any question of impropriety from city government.

• Participation. We must reach out to more people. We need to develop policy based on the input of all residents and businesses in West Hollywood, not just those who have the time to show up at city hall every other week. Everyone in our community deserves a say.

• Social services: I stand for initiatives that provide support for the homeless, the elderly, at-risk youth, those struggling with substance abuse, and every marginalized member of our city. We must develop more creative initiatives that bolster community services while also supporting the local economy.

• Education: We are uniquely positioned to instill the next generation with our values — creativity, tolerance, and respect for diversity — and we should have more say in the schools that serve our area.

• Sustainability: Business, development, and daily life must respect the threats to our environment, such as climate change, air quality, waste management, and water standards.

I applaud Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for her commitment to standing up against the Trump campaign. I believe we must be even more visible in this fight— by proving that open-mindedness, transparency, and sustainability are good for everyone, including businesses.

The “It Gets Better” campaign from a few years ago did a terrific job of inspiring LGBTQ youth. When people say “it gets better,” they are talking about West Hollywood. This is one of the few places where it truly does get better. And, unlike Chelsea or the Castro, we are an incorporated city. We should be more than just a haven for our diverse population; we must be a beacon for the rest of the world, especially in the face of a Trump administration.

JOHN DURAN

I was recently elected as the national chairman of NALEO — the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Elected Officials Educational Fund. This position has been occupied in the past by members of Congress and statewide elected officials. The organization witnessed the work I did on behalf of the LGBT community in West Hollywood and California over the past 30 years and felt I would be an effective spokesperson and champion to battle the Trump administration on immigration and citizenship issues

The City of West Hollywood, along with every city in states like California, must take action to combat misguided federal policy if the Trump administration attempts to dilute or reverse the gains we have mode over the years. Under the concept of federalism, the federal government has limits on power while states (and local government by extension) have powers reserved to them under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We must be prepared to wage battle on LGBT issues, protection of the environment and workers and protecting religious minorities like Muslins. West Hollywood has a large immigrant population froom the former Soviet Union, Mexico, Canada and Westen Europe. We must protect our residents from any Trump effort to destroy their livelihoods or separate their families. It is our moral obligation. I have a long record of creating and leading California statewide LGBT organizations with the Life AIDS Lobby and Equality California and have spent my lifetime fighting the right wing in courts and the legislature. I am a seasoned political warrior ready to take on Donald Trump and his cronies.

AMANDA GOODWIN

As a gay, married women, with three millennial stepchildren and a bi-racial granddaughter, I am a progressive and will never allow our country to be led backwards. I am a native of this state that upholds equality and liberty for all of its citizens.

If the Trump administration tries to effectuate changes in marriage equality or enact any discrimination against the LGBT and their liberties, the State of California, including the representatives of the City of West Hollywood, will take action by vigorously upholding and protecting our constitutional rights, honoring the state’s laws, being on the forefront of fighting against discrimination against the LGBT community and all individuals, inside and outside of our state lines.

We remain on the right side of history. The California State Assembly passed AB 1887, ceasing travel to anti-LGBT states, which has gone into effect. We are led by a governor who believes in climate change, is not afraid to take on Trump, as well as, our city works in collaboration with the mayor of Los Angeles who upholds L.A. as a sanctuary city, not intending to disseminate communities or fracture families by rounding up productive undocumented workers. We should support that position and create a path to amnesty, ending the disgraceful tactics of non-inclusion and fear mongering, perpetrated by Trump. We also must remain vigilant that our LGBT community is safe from bully tactics and hate crimes, perpetrated by hate speech, coming from supposed national leaders of this country, especially Trump, for the fish sinks from the head.

We as citizens and a city and county must do all that we can to pursue and implement sustainable measures to ease climate challenges, including, exploring the repurposing of grey water. In addition, the city and citizens themselves must not fall prey to predatory banking practices that could weaken or crumble our economy, allowing Trump’s repeal of Dodd/Frank and We, Americans, should demand the reinstitution of the Glass-Steagal Act.

I will continue to fight against the racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia and lies of Trump and the majority of Republicans who subscribe to the same dogma, never allowing this country or our city to treat any person as a second class citizen or jeopardize their liberties and equal rights. I will passionately continue to support and champion West Hollywood’s core values: ” We recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community by treating all individuals with respect for their personal dignity and providing a wide array of specialized services. We promote mutual respect, courtesy, and thoughtfulness in all interactions.“

JOHN HEILMAN

I recently initiated an item that the city council approved to respond to the election of Donald Trump. The item re-affirmed the city’s core values in response to Donald Trump’s election. The item authorized the mayor and city manager to send letters on behalf of the city to express our opposition to Trump’s proposed appointees whose values are contrary to the city’s commitment to equality and environmental sustainability. The item also re-affirmed that West Hollywood is a sanctuary city that will fight to protect the rights of immigrants, the LGBT community, religious minorities, and women and girls.

As a city, we have a long history of promoting and advocating human rights for all people, fighting for sound environmental policies and protecting reproductive choice. As a city, we need to be prepared to defend our principles and our residents from hateful rhetoric and discriminatory policies. As a city and as a community, we can be a strong counterexample to the policies advocated by the new administration. We will continue to sponsor educational forums and provide legal assistance and advocacy to support our positions.

STEVE MARTIN

The election of Donald Trump is likely to have many adverse impacts on West Hollywood. We are likely to be confronted with cuts to community block grants or suffer shortfalls due to cuts in federal money that would formerly be sent to the state or county that would ultimately be spent or distributed to West Hollywood. Cuts in federal programs could impact women’s access to health care or availability of medications to those of us who are HIV positive. It is highly likely there will be less money for transportation programs, housing, the arts or road maintenance.

My focus will be on insuring that we have money for people in need and to insure the city picks up shortfalls for programs that are endangered due to cuts in federal spending. That will require attention to detail and a focus on the budget. We are going to have to re-examine our spending at every level and restore common sense to our budget process. Having served eight years on the city’s budget committee when I was a council member I am ready and willing to tackle those challenges.

In the meantime we need to clean up our own house. Trump’s election can be partially attributed to the cynical abuse of power and the persuasive role of money in the decision making process by both political parties at every level of government. We can’t decry the influence of big money in politics in Washington or Sacramento when we turn a blind eye to abuses here in West Hollywood. We need to elect new council members who are only beholden to the people of this City. We don’t have to go to Washington to find narcissistic political leaders who don’t believe the normal rules of adult conduct apply to them.

JOEL QUARESIMO

I most certainly agree that the city must take action immediately. We should follow the lead of other California cities in declaring the city a “sanctuary city” for undocumented workers. A sanctuary city bans city employees and police officers from asking people about their immigration status.

I believe that this should be “de Jure”; put in place as a law and not just observed (de facto), which many other cities have done.

Since we don’t have our own police department we will need to make sure that the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station falls in line with the city’s ordinance and not question residents about their immigration status at, for example, a traffic stop.

We also must protect all of our LGBT rights as well. We already have a history making domestic partnership available in the city, being the first to do so in 1985.

I feel for the bigger issues such as climate control and financial regulation we should stick to our guns with our current rules and regulations.

Though some of these regulations are county-based, as a city I would take no issue to giving up federal funds that are received by the city.

According to the 2017 budget, we will receive $686,920 this year, which is only .005 percent of our 129.57 million dollar revenue stream.

As far as the new Trump administration we may need to get both our city government and citizens involved in formal protests against the changes that he plans to make which could destroy this country.

CARLA ROMO

After the presidential election I knew I could no longer sit back, and I felt empowered to get out there and do something. We are a city that welcomes all and we need to make that clear. I am a woman, a child of a Mexican immigrant, have many LGBTQ+ friends, and am currently insured under Obamacare. Your concerns of a Trump America are my concerns. We are in this together.

As your councilwoman I will ensure that we take action. If we wait until something happens, it will be too late. Formulating a letter to Trump restating our principles and who West Hollywood is as a city, and will always be, is the first step. Building our wall of love and peace and taking a stance against any potential threat sends a message that our way of life cannot be threatened by Trump.

While local political offices may not be able to circumvent federal regulations and executive actions, we do have the power to make our city as livable as possible. This would include improving our green infrastructure, supporting our local businesses at every chance, and lending our direct support to the City of Los Angeles in making this a safe city for immigrants and the LGBTQ+ community.

REED STILWELL

The diversity of West Hollywood is something we must protect at all cost in the years to come. We need to be proactive, united and engaged as a community. I believe that begins with bringing a more balanced representation of our citizens in leadership positions as well as ensuring that the voiced concerns of our community are not only heard but respected and incorporated into process of decision making as well as the resolve. We must use all available means to protect against any threat to our civil liberties and also to ensure that we continue to move progressively forward on issues that protect our foreign-born citizens against xenophobia, to protect the rights of our LGBTQ community and to protect our environment from the very real climate change. We need to adopt a clear prohibition against bullying, harassment, discrimination and intimidation of any kind. We should look to bolster confidentiality policies that protect private information such as immigration status, sexual orientation, public benefits recipients and victim status. We should look to where we can invest in smarter land use, foster transportation policies that reduce our emissions, develop smart, eco-friendly infrastructures, as well as look for creative ways we can create and sustain green jobs with good wages. I am confident we have the talent, the will, and the fortitude to overcome the waves of change headed our way, but we must surf as one.

Next week the candidates will address your questions about the impact on residents of large events such as Halloween Carnaval and L.A. Pride, whether some form of the city council deputy system should be restored and whether developers who don’t move forward with a project should be allowed to sell to other developers any special concession the city has given them.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Larry BlockMon, Jan 09, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Limit candidate answers to a set number or words for each question. Brevity is easy when it is accompanied by knowledge of the subject matter.

  2. Nir ZilbermanMon, Jan 09, 2017 at 8:47 am

    You go, CYNTHIA BLATT and STEVE MARTIN.
    You deserve, You showed us, you got what it take to be our voices.
    You are the voices of the truth and the stand for those in needs.

  3. Election WoesMon, Jan 09, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Larry Block is correct. Less Me, Myself and I. More clarity on issues. We can then evaluate temperament in the coming public forums compared to what we have previously observed with their displays at public meetings while delivering messages to the council. An enlightened, balanced person can learn anything, but excellent temperament and attitude is irreplaceable.

  4. concerned consumerMon, Jan 09, 2017 at 11:30 am

    The grand self assigned importance of West Hollywood’s opinion on anything effecting anyone and anywhere other than West Hollywood is non-sense. Other places look at Weho as the weird town with way too much money, and an almost cult like city government. Its sad that our once promising town has been so denigrated in the public eye.

  5. JessicaMon, Jan 09, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Duran and Heilman are very experienced in pay for play when it comes to developers. Time for those two to go. What will Townscape do without them?

  6. Lulu PadgettTue, Jan 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    As a millennial i feel there is not a person on the council who represents us. I met Carla Romo while she was campaigning and I have to say she has my vote. #RomoForWeHo

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