WEHOville

In Memory: John H. Underwood

Sat, Aug 05, 2017   By Ruth Williams    2 Comments

John H. Underwood

A resident of West Hollywood from the early days of cityhood, John Underwood was a soft-spoken person with a big heart and a passion for social justice.

As a founding member of West Hollywood Citizens for Better Police Protection, he dreamed of a community-based police force for West Hollywood. He was instrumental in qualifying the WHPD initiative for the city ballot in 1992 and in waging an issues-oriented campaign that narrowly lost.

During the campaign, he reached out to extended hands from the other side and forged lasting friendships and working relationships. That’s just how John was. When reflecting back on the days of West Hollywood police reform, he was pleased how far the LASD had come in serving the residents of West Hollywood and that the battle fought hard on both sides, ended up bringing the community together in many positive ways.

His journey took him to Palm Spring in later years, where he channeled his passion for social justice through membership in Democrats of the Desert and other organizations seeking to bring social change to the Coachella Valley. He never lost his love for West Hollywood and kept abreast of many of the issues and happenings in WeHo.

An avid collector of Presidential campaign materials and memorabilia, he was thrilled to expand his extensive collection to include President Barack Obama’s campaign. He adorned his walls with beautiful photos of President Obama and the first family. He enjoyed his life in the desert and was tickled that he had so many opportunities to see his favorite diva, Cher, perform live in concert

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Ruth Williams

About Ruth Williams

Ruth Williams is a long-time member of the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission and previously has served on the city's Rent Stabilization Commission. Williams is a former director of advocacy for the National Council of Jewish Women / Los Angeles. She was a recipient of the city's 2016 Rainbow Key Award.

View all posts by Ruth Williams →

2 Comments

  1. Steve MartinMon, Aug 07, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you Ruth; the young men that ran the campaign to replace the Sheriff with our own police department were so dedicated and such nice guys that even those of us who disagreed with them became fast friends. Chris Fairchild who lead the effort later became my public safety commissioner and their spokesperson, Adam Devejian, remains a good friend to this day. While Ruth was one of the most outspoken opponents of getting rid of the Sheriff, rather than demonizing her, these guys embraced her and remained active members of the community for years. John Underwood was intelligent and gentle and he will be missed.

  2. David ReidSat, Aug 05, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Rest in Peace.
    He is an article from the campaign the weekend before the vote on a West Hollywood Police Department. He almost slayed the windmill. What a handsome man he was.
    http://articles.latimes.com/1992-10-30/local/me-974_1_west-hollywood

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