Opinion: Time for West Hollywood to Shyne

My name is Sepi Shyne and I’m running for West Hollywood City Council.

As a Iranian Lesbian, a woman of color and an immigrant… I was never supposed to run for public office. There are no out LGBTQ Iranians in public office anywhere in the United States. I can count on my fingers the number of elected officials who look like me, grew up like me, and yes, love like me. And that matters. West Hollywood residents, perhaps more than most cities, know what it is to lack representation. We know what it is to lack a voice in government. More importantly, we know why it matters when our elected leaders have lived the same experiences we have.

Sepi Shyne

I was never supposed to run for office, but I am. We face a tremendous mountain of injustice in this nation and like any mountain, we must begin addressing these injustices at the foundation. In this case, local government. At a time when hateful legislators in Washington chip away at our democracy and attack our most basic rights and values, I am running.

I’m running for many reasons. Today, I want to focus on the fact that the rent is too damn high. That’s why I’ve pledged not to accept a single penny from big developers or their lobbyists. From day one, I will fight to deliver comprehensive solutions to the crisis facing renters across West Hollywood. By expanding access to free or subsidized legal services to residents facing unjust evictions and working with non-profit partners specializing in tenant protections, we can tip the scales in the David-versus-Goliath battle renters face.

By addressing shortcomings with current code enforcement efforts and holding property owners accountable, we will ensure buildings are maintained and renters can live with dignity, not in a run-down building in disrepair. And by working with state legislators in Sacramento, we will repeal the Ellis Act and Costa-Hawkins, expanding our options for local control and ending the one-size-fits-all approach from Sacramento that has directly contributed to our current situation.

We’re not stopping there though. By eliminating red tape and restrictions on construction, lease, and sale of accessory dwelling units on residential properties, we’ll empower homeowners to lease or sell ‘granny flats’ while providing small-footprint affordable alternatives for seniors and young people, who are disproportionately impacted by our lack of affordable housing.

We’ll introduce a ban on contributions from developers and their lobbyists, to level the playing field and empower the voice of ordinary West Hollywood residents in our elections and in local government.
We’ll work to pass a living wage and job training programs in West Hollywood, because whether you’re a bartender, an artist, a hotel worker, or an executive, you deserve to live and work in the city that you love.

There was a time when West Hollywood was a city of bold ideas and bold vision. A city where we weren’t afraid to to change the rules when the rules weren’t working for us. A time when we were content to not just manage the challenges we face, but truly address them.

Friends, I’m running because it’s that time again.

My name is Sepi Shyne. I’m proud to be endorsed by Congresswoman Katie Hill, the Stonewall Democratic Club, Equality California, the working people of Unite Here Local 11, and more than two dozen other local leaders and organizations. I’m proud of my friends and supporters, who have worked tirelessly over the past three months to contact more than 20,000 voters in West Hollywood without a single penny from big developers. I’m proud of my city, for coming together to support our grassroots, people-powered campaign.

I’m proud of us.

I’m asking for your vote tomorrow, March 5th. #ShyneBright, Weho.

To learn more, visit https://www.sepishyne.com/.

  1. I wish these opinion pieces were published before the mail-in ballots started to go out. A significant number of voters (including myself) vote by mail well before Election Day.

    While I have nothing against the incumbents, the decision to publish at the 11th hour makes unseating these individuals even more difficult

  2. Best of luck Sepi! Of all of the challengers you had the most credible approach to the challenges facing West Hollywood and a coherent vision for the future.

    West Hollywood would benefit from a feminist majority.

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