Marco Colantonio Is the 8th Confirmed Candidate in the Nov. 3 WeHo City Council Election

Marco Colantonio

Local real estate agent and property manager Marco Colantonio has announced that he will be in the running for one of two seats on the West Hollywood City Council in November. Those seat currently are occupied by John Duran and John Heilman, both of whom are running for re-election.

Colantonio has filed a statement of intent and must collect the signatures of 20 registered West Hollywood voters to be put on the ballot.

Other candidates in the race are Larry Block, owner of the Block Party store and chair of the city’s Public Facilities Commission; Jack Cline,  a nurse and drag performer who also goes by the name “Jackie Oh My Goodness”; John Erickson, a city Planning Commission who is director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and president of the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women; Sepi Shyne, an attorney and member of the city’s Business License Commission, and Noemi Torres, a real estate agent and a member of the city’s Public Facilities Commission.  Marquita Thomas,  who heads the Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Chamber of Commerce, has filed a statement of interest indicating she may run but hasn’t formally announced.

In an announcement of his candidacy, Colantonio said “I’d like to begin my campaign by having a conversation about what sort of city we want West Hollywood to be, and that requires ‘change,’ and change means a new narrative. Our current City Council is controlled by special interest groups, mostly real estate developers, unions and other big-money donors who heap massive amounts of cash into the coffers of campaign election funds and the pet projects of those members who seek to control the majority vote on City Council. I am running to serve West Hollywood to ensure the city equitably works to improve the quality of life for all residents, workers, and visitors. “

“It’s time to remember why we campaigned for ‘change,’ voted for ‘term limits,’ fought for sensible development, and advocated for saving cultural resources like Plummer Park’ s Great Hall/Long Hall. The conversation has been paused for too long and we need to press the reset button and return the focus to issues that affect our lives daily.

“We need independent leadership, an aggressive plan for small business recovery, improved public safety measures, and a moratorium on large-scale development as West Hollywood attempts to rebuild our community devastated by a pandemic and the struggle for social justice. Now is the time for grassroots activism and empathy, not elitism.

Colantonio said he intends to address the following topics:

  • A plan for senior and disabled community members to age and thrive in place.
  • An income-based cap to eliminate annual rent increases for rent stabilized housing units.
  • Affordable housing exclusively for West Hollywood residents.
  • Increasing the number of Sheriff’s deputies under contract.
  • Security Ambassador foot patrols.
  • Mandatory postings and annual inspections for rent stabilized multi-unit dwellings.
  • A small business recovery task force.
  • Increased traffic calming and ongoing pedestrian safety programs.
  • Enhanced street sanitation programs.
  • The immediate revitalization of Plummer Park and other neighborhood parks.

Colantonio moved to West Hollywood 15 years ago and has served on the city’s Disabilities Advisory Board and as founder and former publisher of WeHo Times.

To become a candidate for the 2020 election, you must receive 20 valid signatures (of registered West Hollywood voters) on a nomination form that will then be verified by the L.A. County Registrar Recorder. The nomination period begins July 13 and ends on Aug. 7. Those interesting in running can contact the City Clerk’s Office at (323) 848-6409 in mid-June 2020 to schedule an appointment to receive specific election information and official nomination papers.

1 1 vote
Article Rating

12 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joshua88
Joshua88
4 months ago

The more, the merrier. Experience counts, but you do not need to be an activist or hold a prior position before running for office in a city you live in, love, and feel needs change. That should be obvious. How easy is it to get on one of the recommended commissions? Appointed by a sitting member? Pshaw!

Jack Smith
Jack Smith
4 months ago

I agree with Rob. I believe you are well intentioned and articulate, Marco. But, it’s clear that you haven’t been involved in our city at any level. I think you should consider joining a few commissions before you try to represent our interests. Most new candidates from John Erickson to Sepi Shayne have spent years navigating our city and understand how to effectuate long term change. You should align yourself with one one (or both) of them and learn about our city (beyond being a resident). We went through the same thing with Lauren MEISTER’s lack of experience when she… Read more »

Marco Colantonio
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack Smith

Hi Jack, Thank you for taking the time to write and as you do, I also admire experience and will admit that I am not a professional politician, so I don’t bring along any political baggage or bias, nor have I curried the favor of special interests in accepting their donations. I am running for City Council to serve our residents, workers, and small business owners. At my core, I am a community activist, having advocated for renters’ rights, pedestrian safety issues, seniors, and community members living with disabilities for more than a decade. I proudly served as an “at-large… Read more »

Tia
Tia
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack Smith

Would like to correct for the records some things mentioned in Mr Smith’s comment above.   Most importantly, the majority of West Hollywood West has always been zoned as R1 single family or 2-unit structures, or as commercial, so there isn’t a lot of options to add additional affordable units.   However, in areas that a larger project is allowed, these proposed and permitted buildings in West Hollywood West, ALWAYS have low-income and very-low income units: Fiona at 375 N La Cienega Blvd – 11 apartments for very-low income folks 8899 Beverly Blvd – 15 apartments for low- and moderate-income… Read more »

Richard K.
Richard K.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack Smith

Mr. Smith’s comment reads like a hatchet job of both Colantonio and Councilmember Lauren Meister. To attack without knowing that West Hollywood West is overwhelmingly zoned R1 is irresponsible and could be construed as malicious. Many candidates, including sitting council members, campaigned against over-development and for responsible growth. Yet, Lauren Meister, since day one and often, has shown with her vote she is willing to stand up for residents over large outside money interests and developers when needed.
 

Rob Bergstein
Rob Bergstein
4 months ago

West Hollywood has a comprehensive “aging in place” program originated by staff, the Human Services Commission and public outreach; We have an active Disability Advisory Board that constantly works with staff to provide our disabled residents with the tools they need to live active, full lives; Changing our rent stabilized housing to “income based” would result in thousands of residents seeing their rents go to market rate. That’s not the way to increase affordable housing stock; The only way affordable housing can be restricted to West Hollywood residents is if The City pays for the entire cost of the buildings… Read more »

Marco Colantonio
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob Bergstein

Hi Rob, I respect and admire your service as well as all of our Council members, Commissioners, and Board members. We have much to be proud of, but can always do more to improve outreach and services and that’s why “Change” and fresh perspectives are a good thing. When we think we have done the best we can, it’s time to look for people who want to push boundaries further. That is one of the reasons I am running for City Council. When I speak of an “Income-Based Cap” on Rental Increases in Rent Stabilized units, I am specifically referring… Read more »

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
4 months ago

I support someone new…..with fresh eyes. The city must change and serve the homeowners/residents who live here today…..not 25 years ago.

Bridget Baker
Bridget Baker
4 months ago

Do you support the Coalition for Economic Survival? And if so, how?

Bridget Baker
Bridget Baker
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob Bergstein

Yes! As a longtime renter in West Hollywood, I say, “Bring on the mandatory inspections!” So many landlords/landladies get away with doing as little as possible to maintain a safe and healthy environment for their tenants.

carleton cronin
4 months ago

Breathlessly awaiting the pitter-patter of little – and big – feet as the growing ranks of candidates move to the stating line. Just love election time!

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
4 months ago

sounds he may be a change. lets hope.