West Hollywood is addressing the city’s pattern of low voter turnout with a lyrical campaign that plays on WeHo’s connections with the world of rock music and plays on the youth of many potential voters.
The City Council election is set for March 3. The City Council has proclaimed February as “Get Out the Vote Month” in the hope of getting better turnout than the 14 percent who voted in the June 3 state primary election and the 20 percent who voted in the 2013 City Council election. Mayor John D’Amico has announced goal of 35 percent.
The city’s focus since January has been voter registration, which can be done online up until midnight on Tuesday. Then the focus shifts toward encouraging those registered to actually vote.
The call-to-action messages in the city’s campaign are inspired by popular song lyrics from Madonna, The Doors and Janis Joplin and echo rock-and-roll posters from the Sunset Strip.
Red, white, and blue versions of the designs say “Express Yourself” or “You Hold The Key,” while more brightly hued versions humorously suggest “Break On Through” or “C’mon Baby.” The theme of the campaign, reflected in a fifth design, is that “Your Voice Matters” when it comes to registering, voting, and being a part of the democratic process of choosing local elected representatives.
The effort includes dozens of street banners on light poles along Santa Monica Boulevard; print and online advertising in community news and entertainment publications; social media posts and city staff email footers and as well as postcards, which were distributed to West Hollywood businesses.
Materials were created in English and Russian — according to a 2013 survey of the community in West Hollywood, 3,872 people live in the City who identify a former area of the Soviet Union as their primary ancestry.
West Hollywood currently has more than 25,000 residents who are registered to vote. All materials for the register-and-vote effort feature a website URL to the city’s elections page, which provides detailed election information and links to the California Secretary of State’s voter registration page, the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s website, and specific links for polling places and sample ballots.