Opinion: Real Change Is Possible If Younger People Get Involved in Politics

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years, I know what I’m doing.

That is just one of several derisive comments made by Senator Dianne Feinstein last week to a group of teenage activists during an exchange over legislation for a Green New Deal.

Similar sentiments were expressed at the last  West Hollywood City Council candidate’s forum, with one incumbent appearing to question the seriousness of my campaign. Never mind that I have been consistently engaged in public service and progressive advocacy since high school. Or that my detailed, policy-driven campaign earned the endorsement of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Or that I chose to run not for vanity, but to be a voice for those whose needs have been ignored for far too long. 

Both episodes illustrate why so many people feel such deep disillusionment towards our current leaders. Leaders who readily dismiss our pleas for action and who, because of their age and wealth, will likely not suffer the consequences of their inaction. Consequences the rest of us cannot escape.

I don’t doubt the sincerity of the current council’s desire to improve housing affordability, reduce traffic, combat climate change and end homelessness. But by every objective measure these issues have gotten worse, not better. And the policy changes that could yield real improvements are ones they refuse to entertain.

We know what needs to be done. We know that any real solution to our housing crisis must, at its core, allow for more housing development in West Hollywood and throughout California.

We know that to reduce traffic and combat climate change we must provide real alternatives to driving by expanding public transit, adding more dedicated bike lanes and lifting the ban on scooters.

And we know that homelessness will only get worse as long as we remain mired in a housing crisis, underfund outreach and shelter services, and refuse to invest in more permanent supportive housing.

For years we have watched our leaders fail to take the action necessary to solve these problems. But like many other young people, I haven’t given up hope. I still believe real change is possible — but only if we take control of the political process ourselves.  I believe the time for that is now, and I ask for your support this Tuesday, March 5th.

To learn more about my campaign visit www.brendanhood.com or find me (@brendan4weho) on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

  1. As someone who has attended all the candidate forums and spoke one on one to those running, I have to disagree with the comments above. Mr. Hood has outlined his policies on his website, he’s spoken in detail about how he would execute them at his events, and he’s taken time to visit residents and listen to the issues that are important to them.

    He may be a first time candidate, but his resume includes public service and grassroots going back 15 years, something you’d know if you researched him instead of passed judgement in a comments section. As a voter who doesn’t feel that my interests (and many others) are currently being represented by the current council members, Mr. Hood is a breath of fresh air. He’s fighting to be an agent of change and that’s exactly what we need right now. Not more of the status quo. I want a candidate who will work to pass actual resolutions to benefit the city, not vanity votes like renaming LAX or giving Stormy Daniels the key to the city.

    I’m proud to give my vote to Brendan Hood this election.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Brendan Hood is prepared to take action on day one of being elected. He’s running to represent a large group of West Hollywood residents who aren’t rich and don’t fear change. The current council members cater to a small group of residents and are very self-serving. If we learned anything from the midterm elections, it’s that it’s time for a more fired-up group of elected officials to take charge. I want someone who is going to push for real legislation that will actually help the city and its residents. West Hollywood has big problems with a lack of affordable housing and the city isn’t doing enough to help the homeless. #ImWithHood We are from California – the state that should be leading the charge on change. I want my elected officials to be the champions of change, so please YES IN MY BACKYARD! #YIMYBYs4Hood

  2. This candidate likes to tout his Chamber of Commerce endorsement. The Chamber endorsed 5 candidates! That endorsement means nothing, zip, zero. He says he’s been “consistently engaged in public service……since high school.” Anytime anyone refers to high school in their timeline of accomplishments, shows a lack of depth and experience.

    Whoever the Hoodster’s been talking to about West Hollywood, doesn’t live in West Hollywood.

  3. I have admired your campaign and your platform, but in your attempt to bridge a generational divide your words approach bombing the bridge. You’re replacing one generational arrogance with another generational arrogance. Stay on the message of policy and realize that there will be supporters and detractors in all generational groups. Not everyone in more senior generations messed things up, just as not everyone in more junior generations has the right solutions. This opinion piece exposes a divider at a time that WeHo needs uniters. My third vote is now up for grabs.

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