Local Issues

The following is a list of the issues that matter most to me at this moment. Click each header to expand. If you have ideas or suggestions about how we can make West Hollywood even better, please visit the SURVEY page.

I believe transparency is fundamental to a successful democracy. People need to trust their elected officials, and elected officials must be held accountable for their actions. The only way this can happen is if the community is aware of all policy decisions that affect them. As a council member, I would propose mandatory RFP’s (requests for proposals) for all City contracts. When WeHo hires, for instance, a trash collector, there must be a fair, transparent bidding process for contracting those services. That’s not just transparency… that’s good business sense.
WeHo has a fantastic amount of public services and programs that provide support to marginalized groups. But we also rely on the City of Los Angeles and various non-profits to provide many of these services. I believe WeHo can do even more to help the homeless, at-risk LGBTQ youth, those fighting substance abuse, and other disadvantaged members of our community.
I am not against new development. I am, however, against special favors and ill-gotten variances that undercut the standards our community has set for maintaining our neighborhoods. I believe the zoning of the West Hollywood West Neighborhood Overlay District strikes a terrific balance between the needs of residents and developers.

I will propose that the City sponsor surveys in WeHo’s other neighborhoods to implement independent zoning requirements based on the input of residents in those areas. I also propose that council start appointing more qualified professionals to the Planning Commission, i.e architects, engineers, and designers.

Further, I suggest that council explore creative, legal opportunities to remove developer contributions from our local elections.

West Hollywood is in the process of improving pedestrian crossings along Santa Monica Blvd. I believe that more can be done to create safer, more efficient crosswalks and to alleviate needless traffic congestion. This includes:

  • a “scramble” crosswalk at the intersection of Robertson and SMB,
  • better bike lane visibility, i.e. more “colorful” lanes throughout WeHo, and
  • increased police presence during high traffic times of day.
As writer/performer and a small business owner with a design and production company, I was disappointed to learn that WeHo does not have a creative arts exemption for business license taxes, similar to the one the City of Los Angeles offers. Additionally, the home-based business exemption does not apply to home-based businesses that are incorporated. Why not?

We need to provide as many tax incentives as possible to artists, writers, actors, designers, and freelance creative professionals, whether they are incorporated or not.

This is “The Creative City.” Let’s make it easier for creative artists to do business here.

It’s time for West Hollywood to strengthen the public education provided in our area. As more same-sex couples begin to have kids (like my partner and I) it’s important that the schools in our area become another incentive for living here, not a deterrent. We have a unique opportunity to educate tomorrow’s leaders in a community that sets the standard for diversity and tolerance. It’s time we explore opportunities to improve the quality of our local schools.

I propose that WeHo create a Department or Division dedicated to education for the purpose of exploring options available to take more ownership of our local schools.

I support the City’s Green Building Ordinance and believe that it should be enforced without exception. I also propose that new zoning efforts (based on new neighborhood distinctions) should consider even newer green standards.

As the incoming Presidential administration and a Republican-led Congress attempt to dismantle EPA efforts and regulations in the coming months, we must strengthen our position and set the standard for sustainability for our State and the rest of the Country.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer… WeHo was founded by a diverse population that has long fought for equality. As more rights are won, it’s important to maintain focus on fostering a sense of inclusiveness for those who have traditionally felt like outsiders. For instance, this includes ensuring that the Pride carnival is an accessible and affordable event for EVERYONE who wants to celebrate… not just an expensive advertisement for commercial sponsors.

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