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Vote for Balance, Fairness & Integrity: Vote Heilman

Friends -

I wholeheartedly endorse and support John Heilman and am voting for him on Tuesday, June 2nd, in the West Hollywood Special Election. In many ways, I feel that the core values of our city are at risk if this election goes another way. I firmly believe in an openhearted and inclusive community that fights for and protects the underdog in words and deeds along with a balanced and fair approach to the needs of the community and strong fiscal management. If you’ll indulge me, like you did in March, allow me to share my thoughts. And remember, my choices in March were considered unconventional but I voted for balance and integrity with Horvath, Meister and Heilman.

A lot of misleading information has been made of Mr. Heilman’s record on development. As the saying goes, you are entitled to your opinion but not the facts. Below are just a few examples, but there are others, where John voted no and/or made changes to lessen the impact to the community.

Fact: Mr. Heilman voted No on the proposed project located at Sunset/Horn/Holloway (former Tower Records), because it was too large. In direct contrast, Mr. D’Amico said that he would have voted For the project, but saw that it did not have the votes so voted no.

Fact: On the Doheny/Sunset Hotel project Mr. Heilman specifically advocated for lowering the number of hotel rooms, raised his concern about the number of parking spots, expressed serious concern about the sale of alcohol and the hours of operation on the roof deck. In fact, he suggested having the deck completely enclosed. His goal was to Protect the neighborhood.

Fact: Mr. Heilman vote No on the proposed parking structure at the Iranian American Jewish Center on Crescent Heights Blvd. He knew that as proposed it would create significant negative impacts to the quality of life for the immediate neighbors.

John Heilman takes a case-by-case approach to each project with a focus on balancing benefits and impacts all within the context of the West Hollywood General Plan. Bottom line, John values fairness.

Fact: There may be folks with interest in developing projects in West Hollywood who are financially supporting John Heilman, but they have also supported Mr. D’Amico and Ms. Shink. But do these interests get to vote here? Overwhelming, No! It is the people of West Hollywood who have the power of the vote!

Ivy Bottini, a rock star champion for women, especially lesbians, and all LGBT people. Who is she endorsing?, Heilman.

Jimmy Palmieri, a rock star champion fighting to help people with addiction. Who is he endorsing?, Heilman.

Chris Clarkin, a rock star public safety commissioner and sheriff's volunteer on patrol. Again, Heilman.

Desiree Sol, Anny Semonco, Bernice Levin, Chad Blouin, Misti Cooper, Barbara Hamaker, Barbara Meltzer, Coco LaChine, Aaron Micu, Madeline Rackley, Manny Rodriguez, Sue Sexton, Amy Walia-Fazio, Marc Yeber (both, by the way, raising their children right here in West Hollywood), Dallas Dishman, Elena Goldenberg; all voting for Heilman.

All of the aforementioned people have invested their hearts and souls to ensure a West Hollywood for all. They are young, old, female, male, straight, lesbian, gay, trans, and these people, like me, share Mr. Heilman’s progressive values and appreciate the balanced and fair governance that Mr. Heilman has lead our city with. It’s our West Hollywood too!

There are residents on the east side arguing that the area has been over-developed but a lot of residents counter that it has been revitalized. Michael Dolan and Ruth Williams certainly feel that way. Remember when some fought against Target and the Gateway project? Now raise your hand if you shop there. Target has been a huge benefit to the community, and not just in the tax revenue that supports our vital social service programs, but also in their hiring practices. While our Transgender brothers and sisters have among the highest rate of unemployment, Target hires folks like WeHo resident Desiree Sol.

Fact: Who got many of those social service programs up and running, and made sure they were funded to protect and serve our most vulnerable residents? John Heilman. If you’re a senior, someone living with HIV/AIDS, addiction challenges, a young person, someone with a disability, someone living below the federal poverty line, there are many social service programs in West Hollywood here to help you. And those that have been supported by those programs know that John Heilman has supported them.

Yes, there are people who live in WeHo that are economically below the federal poverty line. Sadly, there is small vocal community of the entitled elite fighting to keep them out, but John Heilman is making sure that they have secure living opportunities with affordable housing and stocking the shelves at the very important Sova Food Pantry, a personal favorite of John’s.

Fact: The new residential building on La Brea across from the Ralph’s included 8 units for youth aging out of the LA County Foster Program. Now these young people have been embraced by the WeHo community with secure, safe housing. It was John Heilman who worked diligently with others to make sure that these young people have this opportunity.

Are there projects that might be too much for the city? Sure, but the small residential building project on Kings Road that includes affordable housing for those in need is not one of them. That is why I was disappointed by those, some who I call friend, who rallied in a frenzy to stop a project that was designed by a WeHo resident who took everything into consideration and followed all of WeHo’s zoning and planning rules. But now the haves don’t want anyone else to have. It was sad day in WeHo.

There has been outcry about traffic and parking and it is all blamed on Mr. Heilman. Seriously! Who moved here because there was no traffic and plenty of parking? No one. We moved here because it was safe. We moved here because it was idyllic. We moved here because it is centrally located and surrounded by a ginormous metropolis with tons of opportunity. We cannot close our borders. We can’t stop pass-through traffic. In fact, we need some of that pass-through traffic to support our local businesses. My friend Vince Jung, whose family has operated the historic Formosa Café for almost 70 years, is grateful that he didn’t have to close the Formosa. He sees new business, new residents, and a much safer area for he and his patrons. Who helped preserve the historic Formosa Café; it was John Heilman. John had the foresight and fortitude to create the necessary attention to revitalize the east side.

Fact: Mr. Heilman’s official campaign mailers include multiple residents that have formally endorsed him.

Fact: Both Ms. Shink and Mr. Ettman’s campaigns have sent materials misleading the public about who is endorsing them; just ask Jeff Prang, Abbe Land and Donna Saur. If Ms. Shink is so close to Mr. Prang, why didn’t she give him a heads up that this mailer was including him? Because she and her campaign operative knew he would not approve. Jeff said, “I am extremely disappointed that Heidi used me in a mailer in a matter that implies my endorsement. I was neither consulted nor did I or would I have authorized the use of my name and likeness on this mailer, and I have conveyed that to both Heidi and her campaign.”

Fact: John Heilman has a national reputation as a leader on LGBT rights and equality.

Fact: Ms. Shink broke the boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel just weeks after advocating for it.

Fact: Even though Ms. Shink is a Vice President on the Stonewall Democratic Club Steering Committee, it was John Heilman who they endorsed.

For the March election I wrote that at first I was conflicted about endorsing John, and I shared this fact with him. I like John and so many wonderful things have happened for this city under his guidance. Consequently, there are decisions he has made that I have disagreed with. But we all support leaders, local and global, with whom we disagree on some of their decisions. I am also a believer in developing new leadership and allowing new voices and views to have a chance to be heard. That is why I endorsed both Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister. I know that they have the maturity and professionalism to work together. They are not vindictive and divisive like Mr. D’Amico and, unfortunately, what it appears Ms. Shink will be like too if given the chance.

I find John Heilman 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 critical decisions. This city is a model for fiscal management. This city is a beacon of hope to many. This city is a success story as activists with varying agendas came together 30 years ago to create a city that, for the most part, works really well. A lot of that comes from the leadership and experience that John brings. Why else would 90% of respondents in the 2013 West Hollywood Community Study rate their quality of life as excellent or good?!

Again, I am about balance and integrity. I firmly believe that West Hollywood will work better and be better with John Heilman on our City Council. I hope that you join me in voting for John Heilman on Tuesday, June 2nd.

If you didn't send in your Vote By Mail ballot, you can drop it off at city hall or at your polling location. For polling locations and other election info, click here.

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