EDITOR’S NOTE: At each of its meetings, the West Hollywood City Council adjourns in memory of local residents or prominent national figures who have died. At Monday night’s meeting, Councilmember Lauren Meister waited until the Council members’ comments period to call for a different adjournment, in the memory of this country. Meister’s statement is posted below.
Frankly, I feel like we need to adjourn in memory of the United States of America — a country that had such hope, optimism and leadership under President Barack Obama.
Every time our current president or any of our institutions minimizes another black or brown life, every time racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia rears its ugly head, every time criminal opportunists take advantage of real pain and suffering, our country’s soul dies a little more.
For those who don’t know, the rate at which black Americans are killed by police is more than twice that of white Americans. Systemic racism has, for way too long, been a part of U.S. culture and is prevalent in long-standing institutions such as the justice system and education.
For Eric Garner and George Floyd, and all the black Americans who were killed before and in between, we need to commit to change. We all must be accountable.
So, perhaps, we can send the adjournment motion to the current president cowering in the White House with the lights off, and ask him to turn the lights on. Turn the lights on so that everyone can see the ugliness of racism and why Black Lives Matter is an important movement to move us all forward.
Please know that the actions we took today were for the health and safety of all of our residents as well as our business community. That is our top priority.