Opinion: Heidi Shink is an LGBT Activist Who Will Deal with WeHo’s Parking, Traffic Issues

West Hollywood is my home and has been for 25 years. I care about what happens here because our City has given me the freedom to be the best and most authentic person I can be. I am accepted here, feel safe here, and am part of the progressive community here. That’s why this Special Election is so important: the outcome of who is voted in by the people will help determine the agenda of this City for the immediate and foreseeable future. We have to get it right.

Chaz Bono
Chaz Bono

I have known Heidi Shink for almost as long as West Hollywood has been a city. The first time I met Heidi, she had a clipping on her refrigerator from the New York Times with her in a crowd of tens of thousands of LGBTQ people protesting the anti-gay SCOTUS decision Bowers vs. Hardwick. She said to me, “If you’re going to be in my life, it will be filled with activism.” And for 30 years she has never wavered in her commitment to work tirelessly for social justice causes. I have seen Heidi on the front lines of the fight for equality and civil rights for the LGBTQ community, as well as for women’s rights, animal welfare, the environment, and seniors. For 30 years, she has been a dependable, passionate voice that has always spoken truth to power and championed the voiceless. In fact, Heidi has been an inspiration for my own activism. I marched alongside her with Act Up/NY in 1988, went on numerous marches on Washington for Pro-Choice, the Aids Quilt, LGBTQ rights, and other causes. Every time there was a reason to take action, Heidi was out there fighting, and she has continued to fight, in one form or another, ever since.

As a WeHoan, I’m concerned with what the future will bring for our city. The increase in traffic and the lack of parking (as well as the vehemence with which even minor parking infractions are punished) is unsustainable. And the charming “urban village” which I once knew seems to be disappearing. Yes- the last 30 years have brought us a place where all of us— gay, lesbian, transgender, or anywhere along the spectrum— can walk the streets with our heads held high. But now we have to face the rapidly rising costs of 30 years of a development philosophy which seemed to say “build now- ask questions later.”

We need a true activist in City Council. We need someone who will be an independent voice and put the interests of residents above all else. Heidi Shink is that voice. In my neighborhood, I’ve watched more and more “McMansions” sprout up right next door to my house. On the West Hollywood Planning Commission, Heidi fought to help create a “neighborhood overlay zone” in West Hollywood West to protect from the reckless, rubber-stamping of development which is getting exponentially worse. She is committed to protecting all neighborhoods around the city in the same way. On the Human Services Commission, Heidi worked to increase services like Meals-on-Wheels to our aging population, as well as taking care of our next generation by funding the Tots to Teens program. That’s why community members like Stephanie Harker, Cathy Blaivas and Roy Huebner, along with Congressman Adam Schiff, former Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, current LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz and West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico have all offered their endorsements to Heidi’s campaign.

I am proud to add my voice to the chorus of people who are saying “WeHo needs Heidi Shink,” and that is why my mother, Cher, has not only endorsed Heidi (she rarely, if ever, gets involved in local politics), but will be holding an intimate evening for her on Saturday, April 18th which all are invited to attend. Simply go to www.heidishink.com, and click on the “Events” tab to RSVP. I know it will be a very special evening for all in attendance.

The last election cycle brought needed change to the City Council, and now there is one more piece to fit into the puzzle. Heidi Shink will complete the Council and help launch us on a new phase for West Hollywood— “WeHo 2.0,” as some are calling it— with thoughtful, innovative solutions to push our city forward and finally help solve our traffic and parking issues, as well as addressing our growing lack of affordable housing.

Knowing Heidi as long as I have, there is no one I’d rather see on City Council than her. Our city needs thoughtful people making thoughtful decisions, and I can’t think of anybody who is smarter, anyone who is more passionate, and anyone who understands the issues better than she does.

On June 2nd, I urge you to join with me and so many others and vote for Heidi Shink for West Hollywood City Council.

Chaz Bono is an actor, author and activist whose latest book, “Transition”, is published by the Penguin Group Inc.


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Rob Bergstein
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Rob Bergstein

Again, I’m fine with Heidi one one one, but not as a council member. This latest in the ongoing misuse of her campaign finances and from what I’ve heard (I wasn’t there when she allegedly said it) of her changing her mind on the Kings Road project….as a sitting planning commissioner, she is setting up the City for legal liability pertaining to any appeals on the project. Mike Jenkins, City Attorney, needs to sit Heidi down & help her understand the lines that can’t be crossed as a commissioner…she took an oath of office….

Brian Holt
Guest
Brian Holt

Shink = Eastside and not development, per se.
Heilman = Hell No!
Beverly Hills Hotel BS = get over it. It’s not that simple or black n white. Puhleeze. She’s a lesbian for God’s sake. What more credentials does one need to be pro gay issues. Ugh!
She’s a woman = I’ll take another imperfect female candidate over another male. We’d be the first council in the nation with a female majority. Talk about progressive.
Did I forget to mention Shink = Eastside. Oh yeah, I’m in.

Stacy J.
Guest
Stacy J.

If Cher wanted to actually make a difference she would endorse Hillary Clinton. As far as Chaz, this is the same guy that cried and whined when Ivy Bottini slipped on one word involving his/her gender during the Rainbow Key Awards.. Chaz slammed the event and the city, pouted and pouted and demanded an apology letter that the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board pandered and broke down until Chaz accepted our apology. What has Chaz done with all the opportunities granted to him, her, ? With regards to Heidi she is just disingenuous about everything.. You see that video ‘she… Read more »

jimmypalmieri
Guest
jimmypalmieri

perhaps the Burkle debacle matters more because the money raised is going to help someone who happens to be running for a position in the city. COUNCLIMEMBER. It makes for bad bedpartners ase far as I can see.

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

Mike Dolan, I’m sorry but your comment is shrill and laughable. By your logic (or rather lack thereof) you and I are not allowed to have a voice on racial discrimination, abortion rights, gender equality, animal rights, holocaust, education, immigration reform etc etc, because we are not directly victimized. The only thing “out of bounds and marginal” here is your absurdly discriminatory comment. Furthermore, had you actually read my comment, you might have noticed that I neither defended nor criticized Ron Burkle, I merely pointed out the hypocrisy of selective moral outrage by those who don’t like his latest endorsement.… Read more »

Disco Dan
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Disco Dan

I’ve read on other WeHoVille posts that some people think that Shink supposedly wrote this for Chaz. I do not believe this and it is an absolute insult to Chaz insofar that he is MORE than capable to express his views. As regards his mother (Cher) getting involved in this election, well, this is her son, a long time WeHo resident. Why shouldn’t she do so?

Mike Dolan
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Mike Dolan

If you’re not gay or a woman any comment regarding Ron Burkle any comment in his defense, Heidi Shink, Chaz Bono, or Cher is out of bounds and marginal. Ron Burkle supports businesses, Governments that would no sooner see women and gays annihilated form this planet. I would not be surprised to see any of these people again patronize Beverly Hills Hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei for a buck in there campaign fund raising. Very hypocritical. But, to say the least, shameful. Not on our council.

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

haha, Guy, that is a fair question but should also be asked of all those generous campaign and PAC donors from out of town.

Kings Road Over Development: No studies
Guest
Kings Road Over Development: No studies

There are 4 illegal developments planned on Kings Road between SMB and Waring. They must all be stopped. The city is letting developers ignore the law and skip environmental and traffic studies. Please like facebook STOP826Apartments Save our street/village. Please. 8350 Santa Monica (corner Kings/SMB): 4 story with 48 condos planned. 1028 and 1030 N. Kings just bought by developers (Next to Gelsons): Do not tear down these trees, lose people’s views, increase traffic/delivery trucks; add to noise and congestion, etc. NO MC MANSIONS. No buildings over 2 stories on this street! There is no place to park. There is… Read more »

Guy Privaton (@guyprivaton)
Guest

Cher isn’t “local” is she?
Why is she getting involved in our politics?

Rudolf Martin
Guest
Rudolf Martin

Frank, as such a man of integrity you have surely boycotted all Democratic Party candidates and causes over the last fifteen years? Ron Burkle has been fundraising for pretty much all of them.