The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee (PAC) has endorsed incumbents John Duran and John Heilman in the March 7 WeHo City Council election.
The endorsements came after interviews by five PAC trustees of each of the ten candidates running for the two council seats. They were anticipated by political observers, given that most of the challengers are running campaigns against what they perceive as over-development in West Hollywood under the current city council.
“I would like to thank the members of the PAC committee for the time and effort they have dedicated to production of the candidate’s forum as well as the comprehensive candidate review process that has led up to these endorsements,” said Keith Kaplan, a real estate agent and chair of the chamber board, referring to a recent forum involving the candidates.
“Each candidate arrived prepared to engage in a healthy and productive dialogue”, said Don Zuidema, chair of the PAC and an owner of LASC, the men’s clothing store. “Ultimately WeHo PAC elected to endorse those candidates who presented the best understanding of the issues that impact our business community and the experience and vision for the future of West Hollywood”.
An announcement from the chamber said the candidate each were asked five questions: 1) If you were elected to the West Hollywood City Council, what would your priorities be for the next four years? 2) How would you balance the interests of the residential community with the interests of the business community, especially when it comes to new business and commercial development? 3) How would you seek to improve traffic in West Hollywood? 4) How would you encourage workforce, affordable and aging-in-place housing? 5) How do you view the role of the chamber in the City of West Hollywood and what efforts would you make to further partner with the chamber of commerce?
To date, Duran and Heilman have garnered the largest number of endorsements from political organizations and well-known politicians. Both have been endorsed by Equality California, an LGBT rights group, and by the Stonewall Democratic Club. Heilman’s long list of endorsements also includes the Los Angeles branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a union; the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club and the Miracle Mile Democratic Club, the Coalition for Economic Survival and the L.A. League of Conservation Voters. Endorsements also have come from former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, state Assemblymembers Richard Bloom and Laura Friedman, state Senator Ben Allen and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. WeHo City Council members John D’Amico and Lindsay Horvath also have endorsed Duran and Heilman. To date Mayor Lauren Meister has not endorsed a candidate, however she has contributed to Cynthia Blatt’s campaign.Blatt has been endorsed by the local branch of the Sierra Club. Challenger Nate Clark secured an endorsement from the L.A. County Young Democrats, which also endorsed Heilman. And challenger Amanda Goodwin has been endorsed by the National Women’s Political Caucus.