“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.