Horvath, Meister, Heilman for West Hollywood City Council, March 2015
February 19, 2015
I am endorsing, supporting, and encouraging others to vote for Lindsey Horvath,
Lauren Meister and John Heilman in our upcoming city election on March 3. Lindsey and Lauren, each with their different ways, have proven their commitment to the people of West Hollywood thereby earning your vote for city council. John Heilman has given his heart and soul to the city from its inception to now and he carries a profound institutional knowledge of West Hollywood. I know that many of you will agree with me on one, two, all three, or maybe none of the choices, but please indulge me as I share with you all how I arrived at my choices and why I believe that this is the best for all of West Hollywood.
Lindsey is the future of West Hollywood and the future is now. Lindsey has the ability and experience to look at the big picture and make critical decisions based on what is best for the city as a whole, not just for special interests, certain areas or pandering to do what might be popular. Lindsey also does the work. She shows up, she listens and she considers all viewpoints before making decisions. Lindsey is not a mean-spirited person. Lindsey understands that we all share a love for the city of West Hollywood but oftentimes have opposing views or interests. Lindsey and I have disagreed before on some issues, but we have always talked them through, understood where the other was coming from and didn’t allow our friendship and ability to work together to falter. Unfortunately, too many politicos are unable to do this. Lindsey is direct and forthcoming in her thoughts and ideas and will help restore honor to our council. Lindsey is a public servant and will bring that spirit to her work as a council member. We need Lindsey on our city council now.
Lauren has earned her seat on the council. Lauren fights to protect neighborhoods. Lauren fights to protect quality of life in our city. Lauren has served on the Public Safety and Planning Commissions and as the President of her Neighborhood Association. Lauren shows up at events, neighborhood watch gatherings and critical meetings on issues facing our city. Many have painted Lauren as a NIMBY and I get why they may feel that way. If that is all you have heard from Lauren, fighting against over-development or mansionization, then that is what you might think but they’re missing the other side of that. Lauren has taken the hits for those that didn’t participate and helped to bring attention to the sometimes-skewed development in our city. Don’t you want someone who will think about the impact on the neighborhood first? Mr. Duran seems to put the interest of developers first. Lauren will balance the playing field. There is a reason that some of the developers are scared of Lauren on council, which says a lot to me. How many environmental impact reports come back with “no negative declaration for traffic impacts” and yet all we hear over and over again is that traffic is horrible, especially at rush hour. For the record, I am for development that complies with our General Plan. But as I said during my campaign, for too long we allowed too many exceptions with no real community benefits. Lauren stood there for us all. Having worked with Lauren, I know that she will be a council member with honesty and integrity and be open to opposing views without snide comments and dismissive attitudes. Lauren has earned her seat on the council.
Honestly, I was conflicted about John Heilman at first and I shared this fact with him. So many things I like about him, so many wonderful things that have happened for this city under his guidance. Consequently, there are decisions he has made that I have adamantly disagreed with him. I am also a believer in developing new leadership and allowing new voices and views to have a chance to be heard. That being said, I find John extremely intelligent, thoughtful and his institutional memory is without peer. I always know where John is coming from and he explains his thought process on his critical decisions. At the end of the day, this city is a beacon of hope to many and a success story as activists with varying agendas came together 30 years ago to create a city that, for the most part, works well. A lot of that comes from the leadership and experience that John brings. Let's keep John on the council.
I firmly believe that West Hollywood will work better and be better with Horvath, Meister and Heilman on our City Council.
On the matter of developing and respecting new leadership, I have to give honorable mention to Duke Mason. I met Duke this past fall and found him to be smart, informed and willing to do the work. I have disagreed with people that have chimed in about his age and experience reminding them to first get to know Duke before making assumptions. I think Duke did better than many of the other candidates at the most recent forum. He has also run a campaign that is forward thinking, focused on the issues, and not at all mean-spirited. I think as he becomes more active around West Hollywood he will be a force to reckon with.
I hope that my commentary informs your voting decisions. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.