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Memorial for Rose Greene, lesbian checkbook activist, set for August 4

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The LGBT community often fetes its celebrity top-donors at black tie and gown galas to show gratitude for helping grow or keep an organization afloat. Less well-recognized are the cadre of volunteer board members, checkbook activists who are just as dedicated to serving the LGBT movement as any grassroots activist, but other than a line at the bottom of their LinkedIn profile, prefer to lead and work in the background to make things happen.

Rose Greene was such a leader. She served twice on the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Board of Directors from 1989-1995 and 2006-2011, critical times in the LA LGBT movement’s history. Only with her death on July 11 is the community learning the depth of her commitment and her contribution—which will no doubt be recounted at her memorial service on Sunday, August 4 at the Renberg Theatre at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 McCadden Place in Hollywood. The service, officiated by Rabbi Denise Eger, will begin at 1 pm.

Greene died of bone cancer, said Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. She was 72.

Rose Greene was an Angelino. Born in 1946 to a father who owned a cement company and a mother who died when she was 12, Greene attended Fairfax High School, graduated from Cal State Northridge in 1968 with a bachelor’s in fine arts, then briefly taught photography at Hamilton High School, according to an obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

In 1985, she graduated from the University of Southern California after studying personal financial planning. She subsequently founded her own business, Greene Group Financial, based in Santa Monica, which used a team approach to developing personalized plans for clients.  She also promoted Community on her webpage.

“Rose believes passionately that one must give back to their community and encourages all of her clients to do the same. To that end, when Rose is not in the office, you’ll find her advising non-profits on their endowments and capital campaigns,” says the outdated post. She also believed in walking the talk.

Rose Greene, Helena Ruffin, Cousin and Client Mark Samara (and Maggie and Gabriel of course) participate in the 32nd annual July 4th, 5k and 10K run/walk benefiting Will Rogers Park. Everyone crossed the finish line, Gabe and Maggie however needed a little escorting.

Greene came out in the 1960s, Jean told The Times. It was a time of significant political and cultural turmoil and change with protests against the war in Vietnam and the music revolution reflecting and fueling it from Frank Zappa; Jim Morrison and The Doors; Carole King; The Byrds; Buffalo Springfield; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Joni Mitchell and so many others centered in LA, West Hollywood and Laurel Canyon on and just off the Sunset Strip.

And yet homophobia and homo-hatred were still a constant during the “Make Love, Not War” generation. There were still violent gay bars raids such as at the Black Cat Tavern in 1967 and the very public murder of a gay nurse named Howard Efland by LAPD cops at the SRO Dover Hotel in downtown LA on March 9, 1969—a murder the Coroner called an “excusable homicide.” There were also organized public protests by such out gay leaders as Rev. Troy Perry and Morris Kight, captured on film by film activist Pat Rocco.

It was against this backdrop that Rose Greene developed her sense of community spirit. She was always forthright and honest. She wasn’t afraid to be herself, Jean told The Times.

Women’s Liberation movement was also developing at this time and Greene’s path was actually more lesbian-feminist focused than gay.

“I recruited Rose to work on our first women’s event — the June Swoon — almost as soon as I became executive director [of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center] in 1888 and onto the Board shortly thereafter,” longtime LGBT and political activist Torie Osborn tells the Los Angeles Blade. “I’d known her from around the lesbian community since the ’70s.  She was a passionate feminist who was highly skeptical that the Center could transform into a place welcoming lesbians, as well as gay men.

“I watched her become more and more of a leader, more and more of an advocate for the Center, and more and more outspoken and militant,” says Osborn.  “When we all hit the streets in October of 1991, in response to Gov. Pete Wilson’s veto of AB 101 [the gay civil rights bill he’d promised to sign], there was Rose, angry and loud, chanting and marching with the rest of us.  She served as female co-chair of the Board during my tenure and brought her terrific business acumen, great humor and common sense to us at a time we needed all of it.  She carried the hopes and dreams of the lesbian-feminist world into the Center with power, passion and purpose.  She was a key figure at a key time in Center history.”

LA Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center Board co-chairs Ed Gould and Rose Greene with Center Executive Director Torie Osborn at event for the historic Capital Campaign. (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

Greene and Board co-chair Ed Gould followed the hard work of Board stalwart Karen Siteman who, with Mason Sommers, kicked off and led the first-ever LGBT capital campaign to buy the 44,000-square-foot old IRS building on the Hollywood street later renamed for longtime Center supporter and Board member, Judge Rand Schrader. Ironically, the IRS declined to grant the Center non-profit status in 1972, but did grant it on appeal after then-Center executive director Don Kilhefner promised that the Center would not advocate for homosexuality, only gay consciousness raising.

Schrader, who announced he was HIV positive in November 1991, joined LA City Councilmember Mike Woo, Board co-chair Ed Gould, Center Board member Will Halm (partially obscured in this photo), LA County Supervisor Ed Edelman, Center Board co-chair Rose Green (a stand out in white), actress Judith Light, Executive Director Torie Osborn, and LA County Assessor Kenny Hahn for the ribbon cutting ceremony in November 1992 for what became the Center’s headquarters at the McDonald/Wright Building.

Unbeknownst to most caught up in the historic ceremony was that the Center’s incoming executive director, attorney and FEMA San Francisco-based director Lorri L. Jean, was in the audience.

“I’ll never forget that day in the summer of 1992 when my San Francisco office phone rang, and it was Rose whom I had never met. Her mission was to recruit me to apply for the job of Executive Director at the Center. Her passion was infectious. Her commitment impressive. She succeeded, and that pivotal moment changed my life,” Jean says. The success of that first-ever Capitol Campaign “inspired others throughout the nation, among them the New York LGBT Center and the Human Rights Campaign.”

It inspired Greene, too, deciding to mount a second capital campaign to raise $15 million to purchase a $6.7-million Hollywood complex at 1125 N. McCadden Place and renovate it.

On June 21, 1998, it opened as The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, along with a $10-million endowment fund. Additionally, in 1993, Greene helped lead the Center in opening the Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic, which expanded free and comprehensive early intervention HIV and AIDS medical care when AIDS was still crashing all around LA in the second wave of AIDS, according to Jean.

Perhaps Greene’s greatest legacy – that few know about – is her central significance in creating and developing the first California AIDS Ride in 1994. The 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, now known as the popular AIDS/LifeCycle, has raised more than $280 million for HIV/AIDS- related services at the Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

But it took Rose Greene to trigger the launch.

In an email to friends and supporters, Dan Pallotta, now leader in “transformation technologies,” writes about how he “originally developed the concept of the AIDSRide — an epic, multi-day, 4-figure pledge journey — for Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, but they didn’t feel it was for them at the time. It sat on the shelf for a year or so until Torie Osborn hired me to help with the fundraising for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center.” Then, in January of 1993, he saw the movie, “Alive” and his life changed.

“It reminded me of the power of doing the impossible. Of the human hunger to go after the unreasonable result,” Pallotta writes. I decided immediately that it was time to make the AIDSRide happen and the next Monday my team and I began researching how to move, feed, house, shower and otherwise care for hundreds or thousands of people in the outdoors over the course of a week. And how to get them to agree to do it in the first place.”

New director Lorri Jean was looking for a signature event and the young event planner brought the idea to Jean and Development Director Joel Safranek.

“We had a deck for the concept, the cover of which read, ‘The road from San Francisco to Los Angeles is paved with $600,000,’ which was what we thought it could net the first time around,” Pallotta writes. “When the idea was ready, I asked myself, ‘Who will have the vision to really get this?’ That’s where Rose Greene came in — a woman diminutive in inches and enormous in spirit — an investment manager who sat on the board of the Center and with whom I had become friends while we were raising money for the Center’s capital campaign together.

“I took her out for lunch in Hollywood and explained the idea to her,” Pallotta writes. “She got it and she and Ed Gould, the board chair at the time, helped to shepherd it through board approval to get the $50,000 in risk capital we needed to launch it.”

Approval did not come easily. Greene had to convince one board member, in particular, who wanted to studying the proposal first before making any commitment.

“You know the type,” Pallotta writes his friends. “Makes covering your ass sound like absolute saintly virtue and integrity. But Rose had a strong entrepreneurial business sense about her. And she knew that the way you study something that has never been done before is singular and simple: you do it.”

Pallotta says that his idea for a multi-day pledge event “that I showed to Rose that day in the late winter of 1993, has raised in excess of $2 billion for causes from AIDS to breast cancer to pediatric cancer, suicide prevention and more.”

Dan Pallotta with actress Judith Light and her manager Herb Hamsher who rode the last portion of the first AIDS Ride (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

West Hollywood receives thousands of first AIDS Riders and their supporters. (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

“If Rose Green had not been there, I’m not sure it ever would have happened, at least not at that moment or for that organization. She understood the importance of taking a risk, and the rest of the board took comfort in her confidence,” he writes.

Greene’s courage and confidence in taking a risk when necessary to bring about change should serve as a model for others, Pallotta says.

“For all of the thought leadership that has been proffered about social change and risk since 1993, not too much has changed. Peoples’ attitudes toward risk is mostly still, ‘Sure, I’ll take a risk, so long as I know it’s all going to work out.’ But that is not the nature of risk. Rose Greene understood that, before the term ‘social enterprise’ ever even really existed. She was a mensch. A kindred spirit. Authentic. Full of real integrity and a sense of possibility. She loved life and living,” Pallotta writes.

“And damned if she didn’t actually ride the whole 575 miles with us in that very first AIDSRide. By the way, it didn’t net the $600,000 we had projected. It netted $1,013,000,” Pallotta writes. “The world needs more Rose Greenes.”

Greene continued to believe in the power of informed risk-taking. In January, she posted on her Rose Green Cfp Facebook page: “An important, exceptional excerpt about risk from the Behavioral Investor by Daniel Crosby. Remember this paragraph when thinking about investing for the long term (because thinking short term, reacting to negative moves in the market, will easily ruin your chances of success).”

Greene left the Center Board in 1995, but returned 11 years later in 2006, serving until 2011. During that time, California wrestled with marriage equality and then the war over Prop 8 in 2008.

Greene married Helena Ruffin on June 17, 2008, the day after same-sex marriage was officially legalized in California, before Prop 8 was put on the November 2008 ballot.

“Rose taught me to live my authentic life,” Ruffin told The Times, crediting Greene with helping her come out.

“Rose would tell me: ‘The more we tell people who we are, the easier it will be for us to be accepted,’” Ruffin said. For Greene, “it was always about advocacy and always finding places for people who were cast out, and making sure they could find a home and place to be… she fought for people to be treated as equals.”

That sense of equality extended to family. She and Ruffin broke up about 10 years ago but never got divorced and remained very close friends, including with Ruffin’s partner, Shari Robins.

“It’s been a difficult few months to say the least. As many of you know my partner Helena was brutally attacked on March 2nd in an attempted carjacking. The first person I called was Rose Greene, a women who had become my dear friend, and was the wife of, you guessed it Helena. It was complicated, but never for us. Rose was a 4 time cancer survivor and the first time we met, Helena and I promised her we would always take care of her,” Robins wrote on her Facebook page after Greene passed away, detailing how often they all stayed and traveled together.

“We had a really good thing going the 3 of us. When she discovered she had developed a type of bone leukemia, related to all the chemo she had endured, she vowed to do what was needed to make a 5th defense of this insipid disease. She was a fighter,” she wrote. Sadly things did not improve and Rose had really had enough. She agreed to give treatment one more week…. On Monday Helena got a call that things had gone south, Rose’s kidneys were failing. Tuesday Helen said I had to get to LA and I managed to get an earlier flight on Thursday AM Rose was hanging on. I got the COH at 7. O’clock in the car I ordered Din Tai Fung, our special comfort food, to arrive at the hospital when I arrived. Rose was still with us. Helena was telling Rose all day that I was coming and she held on.

“Helen and I and Bernadette, our caregiver, held Rose’s hand and prayed in 3 religions, me Jewish, Helena AntiochIan Orthodox and Bernadette Christian. We let her know she was good to go and that she had fought so admirably hard. She passed peacefully at 9:23 pm on July 11th.

“Our hearts are broken she will be dearly missed. I love you Rosie. Hope you are enjoying that Med Men and Tequila in the sky. Xo Rest In Peace Hon.”

Rose Greene; Helena Ruffin; Lorri L. Jean; Lillene Fifield; and Margaret Marshall (Photo courtesy Los Angeles LGBT Center) 

“Rose left this Earth way too early at the age of 72. But she went out fighting following a stem cell transplant in her quest to defeat bone cancer,” Jean says. “The Center is what it is today, thanks in part to Rose’s leadership and vision….Today the Center lauds this tireless champion of the oppressed, this extraordinary, amazing, powerful, hilarious, and loving woman. May she rest in peace.”

Peace and happiness may be what she sought most for herself, her friends, family and clients to enjoy. Last February 27, she posted this on her Facebook business page:

“Our desire for happiness is something we all have in common.

As advisors we have the remarkable connections, intelligence, experience and technology, among other things, to help you plan for the future and invest for retirement but it is compassion that is our most important trait. Our concern for others’ well-being, our clients, whom are our family.

 

“Cooperation comes from friendship, friendship comes from trust, and trust comes from kindheartedness. Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying, or exploitation; instead, you can be honest, truthful, and transparent in your conduct. Be compassionate.” -Dalai Lama”

Five days earlier, she posted this photo, seeing herself and life in perspective: “It’s Friday! There’s a crisp chill in the air but skies are clear and blue. We can see the Hollywood sign all the way from Santa Monica. Though it really isn’t that far away when you look at the actual distance….”

Please note: this article was corrected to indicate that it was Karen Siteman, with Mason Sommers, who launched and did much of the hard work purchasing the old IRS building. 

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100+ confirmed cases of monkeypox in 12 countries & spreading

A notable proportion of cases in the UK and across Europe have been found in gay & bisexual men health officials say

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Biden talks to reporters on Monkeypox as he leaves South Korea (Screenshot/CNN)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, the Regional Director of Europe for the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning that confirmed cases of monkeypox, which is most often seen in West and Central Africa, has escalated in Europe and elsewhere globally.

The United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden – as well as the U.S., Canada and Australia are all reporting cases

“The situation is evolving and WHO expects there will be more cases of monkeypox identified as surveillance expands in non-endemic countries,”  Kluge said.

In Britain, the UK Health Security Agency’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Susan Hopkins noted in a statement released this past weekend:

“We anticipated that further cases would be detected through our active case finding with NHS services and heightened vigilance among healthcare professionals. We expect this increase to continue in the coming days and for more cases to be identified in the wider community. Alongside this we are receiving reports of further cases being identified in other countries globally. 

Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact National Health Service or a sexual health service if they have any concerns.  Please contact clinics ahead of your visit and avoid close contact with others until you have been seen by a clinician.

A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging them to be alert to the symptoms and seek help if concerned.

Clinicians should be alert to any individual presenting with unusual rashes without a clear alternative diagnosis and should contact specialist services for advice,” she added.

Monkeypox, which can be transmitted by droplets and by close contact with infected skin lesions or contaminated materials, usually incubates in people for 6 to 13 days before symptoms appear.

UKHSA notes that this rare virus, in the same family as smallpox, has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, but it it can be passed on through very close human contact, such as touching blood or body fluids or prolonged exposure to the respiratory droplets of an infected person. It can also been transmitted with clothing or linens used by an infected person.

In Washington D.C., Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, told ABC he wouldn’t be surprised if the US saw “a few more” cases of monkeypox in the coming days.

“But I feel like this is a virus we understand, we have vaccines against it, we have treatments against it, and it’s spread very differently than SARS-CoV-2” — the virus that causes Covid-19, Jha told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on Sunday.

Traveling in Asia, President Joe Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins as he was preparing board Air Force One to depart South Korea on Sunday; “They haven’t told me the level of exposure yet, but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,” he said.

“We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine, if any, might be available for it. It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential. That’s all they told me,” the president added.

CNN reported that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is evaluating whether a smallpox vaccine should be offered to health care workers treating monkeypox patients and other people who may be at “high risk” for exposure to monkeypox.

UK Health Security Agency’s Hopkins cautions that people should be aware of monkeypox — but that the risk to the general population “remains extremely low at the moment.”

“I think people need to be alert to it,” said Hopkins. “We really want clinicians to be alert to it and send the test if they’re concerned.”

Hopkins also said based on reports from Africa, the UKHSA knows certain people are “much more at risk of severe disease, particularly immunosuppressed individuals or young children.

“While there is “no direct vaccine for monkeypox,” she said, “we are using a form of smallpox vaccine or third-generation smallpox vaccine that’s safe on individuals who are contacts of cases.”

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages, and can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab, which later falls off.

“A feature that distinguishes infection with monkeypox from that of smallpox is the development of swollen lymph nodes,” the CDC said.

Biden Comments On Monkeypox As He Leaves South Korea:

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Maine

High school students in Maine rescue Pride parade & festival

Maine’s motto is “Dirigo” Latin for “I Lead.” In keeping with that spirit a group of teens stepped up to make sure Pride happens this year

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Belfast Area High School/Facebook

BELFAST, Me. – Located at the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River estuary on Belfast Bay and Penobscot Bay, Belfast is a coastal city of 6,938 people and county seat for Waldo County, 51 miles Southwest of Bangor.

The city is known for being a significant tourist destination in the region over the years due to its antique buildings, historic districts, theater and arts, delicious food, and opportunities to get out into nature.

This year it will be a destination for LGBTQ+ Mainers to celebrate Pride- thanks to some dedicated high schoolers.

The state motto of Maine is “Dirigo” which is Latin for “I Direct” or “I Lead.”  In keeping with that spirit, The Bangor Daily News reported that when no adults would revive the community Pride parade in Belfast, a group of motivated Belfast Area High School students stepped up to make sure that the event — which has been on a pandemic hiatus — happens this year.

The city’s first-ever Pride parade and festival took place in 2016, and became an annual tradition. But no adult organizers had come forward this year to keep the tradition going, the paper reported.

Enter members of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, which formed at Belfast Area High School eight years ago. According to the Daily News, Willa Bywater, 17-year-old president of the school’s GSA decided that keeping Pride alive, especially after the lock-downs and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic, was a critical need not just only for Belfast’s LGBTQ+ community but others as well.

Bywater and her fellow 20 club members secured a permit from the city of Belfast, found sponsors, raised money for banners, flags and other expenses and grappled with the procuring of liability insurance. Ultimately, the high school agreed to cover the event under the school’s policy, a move that surprised and pleased the teens, Annie Gray, the club’s co-advisor told the Daily News.

Bywater noted that it has been a lot of work to organize the parade — but it’s well worth it.

“I think that this is the Pride parade for Waldo County, and it feels really important,” she said. “After all these years of COVID, it’s important to remind ourselves that we’re all still here and still going.”

The students found support from local businesses the Daily News also reported.

Seth Thayer, a local businessman who was delighted that the high school students have taken the initiative to organize the event and that it will happen again this year. There’s something special about the way that rainbow flags fly from homes and businesses all over the city during Pride, he told the paper.

“The thing I love about Pride is that the whole town is involved,” he said. “It’s such an isolating feeling, to have to hide yourself. And just to see that visual support from people that you don’t know, just seeing the Pride flag, it’s a powerful thing. I’m excited that it’s going to happen.”

Thayer said he was glad to make a financial contribution to the students, who have been canvassing for donations.

“I’m really happy that the high schoolers took it over,” he said. “I think they’ll do a good job. Kids always bring a new energy to things.”

Those interested in participating in the Belfast Pride parade are asked to meet at Belfast Area High School at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4, and the parade will begin at 11 a.m. The parade will end just before the Public Landing and Heritage Park.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

The City of West Hollywood’s first annual Pet Week, City also to Re-Open Applications for Guaranteed Income Pilot Project Testing

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Photo by Uriel Malak Brewer/Facebook

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is pawsitively pumped to host its inaugural Pet Week. Pet Week is an initiative to highlight animal companions and celebrate the joy they bring into our lives.

“I am so excited for the City of West Hollywood’s first annual Pet Week, featuring pet-friendly businesses and pet-centered events, like World Dog Day,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “Pet Week is an opportunity for us to show our appreciation and love for our companion animals. My dogs, Suki and Sammy, approve!”

“West Hollywood is one of the most pet friendly cities in America,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. “Many of our residents have beloved animal companions. I am so delighted to have brought forward the initiative with Mayor Meister to create Pet Week dedicated to our beloved companions, which includes an entire day dedicated to felines. My hope is that we as a community learn more about how to care for our companions, celebrate them, and make West Hollywood a destination for visitors who have pets as well.”

As part of the Pet Week celebration, the City’s Recreation Services Division will be highlighting community members’ pets on social media. To join the paw-ty, submit a pet picture and description to [email protected], including a fun fact about them and what they mean to you! Pets of all species, shapes, and sizes are welcome to participate. One day will be designated as “Feline Day” to specifically highlight our feline friends! Follow along @wehorec on Instagram and @westhollywoodrec on Facebook. 

As part of Pet Week, the City will be hosting a virtual Pet Week Panel Discussion focused on holistic veterinary care and alternative remedies featuring Dr. Heather Oxford, DVM, MPH, CCRT, CVA and Dr. Lindsey Wendt, DVM, CVA, CVFT on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Register at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QWBpx4GgRj-Zw0NyiyCiTQ.

Dr. Oxford is an acupuncture and rehabilitation veterinarian focused on mobile integrative holistic veterinary medicine to improve health, optimize performance, and accelerate healing for small animals. Dr. Wendt is the owner and creator of Crystal Lotus Veterinary Care, which focuses on providing individually focused holistic health care to pets in the comfort of their homes.

Dr. Oxford and Dr. Wendt will be in conversation with City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister and Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne where they will discuss several topics, including health and wellness of pets; and holistic care and alternative remedies such as acupuncture, laser therapy, food therapy, integrative medicine, and dealing with separation distress and anxiety. 

The City of West Hollywood is also excited to co-sponsor The Vanderpump Dog Foundation’s 6th annual World Dog Day on Saturday, May 28, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

“Ruff ruff. Ruff-ruff ruff ruff ruff-ruff Saturday May 28, West Hollywood Park, ruff ruff woof-woof ruff ruff,” interpreted Councilmember John D’Amico. “Meow? Grrrrrr. Ruff ruff ruff.”

World Dog Day brings together hundreds of people and their furry friends to celebrate dogs for a day of fun and entertainment and takes place during the City of West Hollywood’s first ever Pet Week. Admission is free and open to the public; canine companions must attend on a leash. All activities will be outside and socially distanced; masks will be encouraged.

Started in 2016, this family-friendly event will include live performances and DJs; an Adoption Area with adoptable rescue dogs; an Animal Education area; a dog water park; a doggy fashion show featuring past Adopted Rescue Dogs and celebrity judges; a doggy pie eating contest; an amazing raffle with incredible prizes; dozens of exhibitors featuring pet-friendly products and services; plus an array of food trucks for all to enjoy – even celebrity guests!

World Dog Day will be a memorable day of celebrating dogs while raising awareness about global dog abuse, including the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The Vanderpump Dog Foundation has rescued and adopted more than 2,300 dogs to their forever homes domestically, and hundreds more internationally. For additional information about World Dog Day, please visit www.vanderpumpdogs.org/world-dog-day.  

The City of West Hollywood invites canine members of the community and their humans to sniff out a spot and romp around at the City’s two dog parks at West Hollywood Park. A small dog park and large dog park are located on each side of the park’s basketball courts and each area features expanses of open space with shade trees, small mounds and turf terraces, and water stations. In addition, the City operates the William S. Hart Park and Off-Leash Dog Park located at 8341 De Longpre Avenue.

The City of West Hollywood is often recognized as one of the most animal-friendly cities in the nation and has a long history of supporting measures that promote the protection of animal rights and animal welfare. In April 2003, the City became the first municipality in the nation to prohibit cat declawing. In February 2010, the City passed an Ordinance to address the inhumane conditions endured by “puppy mill” animals by prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in companion animal stores. In September 2013, the City’s Fur Ordinance went into effect, which prohibits retail establishments from selling, trading, distributing, importing, or exporting any fur product.

For more information about upcoming dog events in the City of West Hollywood, please call (323) 848-6460. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood to Re-Open Applications for Guaranteed Income Pilot Project Testing the Impact of Cash Payments on the Financial Stability of Older Adults on June 17

The City of West Hollywood, in collaboration with nonprofit partner, National Council of Jewish Women/LA, will re-open applications for the pilot project for guaranteed income aimed at evaluating the impact of cash payments on the financial stability and quality of life of older adults. Guaranteed income is a direct and regular cash payment – no strings attached – provided to a specific group of people for a designated time.

In January 2021, the West Hollywood City Council approved an item for the City of West Hollywood to join the Mayors for Guaranteed Income (MGI) network and directed staff to develop a guaranteed income pilot program for West Hollywood, including identification of research, funding, community implementation, and evaluation partners.

There are numerous cities, counties, and private guaranteed income pilots happening throughout the nation. Guaranteed income pilots are a way to test the impact of cash payments, while also providing a service to help financially stabilize community members and learn information to help create future, evidence-based policies and programs.

Beginning June 1, 2022, community members may access www.ncjwla.org/whpgi to learn more. The application will open on the website beginning Friday, June 17, 2022, and will close on Sunday, June 26, 2022.

Applicants Must Reside in City of West Hollywood and: Must be 50 Years or Older; and Must Meet Criteria for Individual Yearly Income of $41,400 or Less

Community members who are interested in applying for the West Hollywood Pilot for Guaranteed Income must reside in the City of West Hollywood, be 50 years or older, and have an individual income of $41,400 or less. The program will be facilitated by the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles. People who need assistance applying may call (323) 852-8500, ext. 650, or may send an email message to [email protected].

A total of 25 qualifying participants will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible applicants to receive unconditional monthly $1,000 payments from September 2022 through February 2024. 

The move to re-open applications for the pilot project for guaranteed income follows a shift in March 2022 when the City became aware that the pilot, because it was created and supported by a government entity, was susceptible to legal challenges due to the inclusion of LGBTQIA criteria as an eligibility requirement to participate.

The City, with the help of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) and the Center for Guaranteed Income at the University of Pennsylvania (CGIR) had originally developed a data-driven guaranteed income pilot that was set to launch in April 2022 and would have been the first LGBTQIA-focused pilot and the first older adult-focused pilot in the nation.

Protecting the rights of LGBTQ community members has been a long-standing mission of the City, and the City has worked tirelessly to identify and address inequities. For years, the City – along with LGBTQ advocates nationwide – has fought for equal civil rights, including the right to marry, the ability to obtain access to spousal protections and benefits including healthcare and pensions, and efforts to reduce/eliminate discrimination in housing and employment.

These hard-earned rights and protections come with other legal consequences as well. Although the City could engage in a legal battle over the contested eligibility requirement, the implications of litigating such a challenge had to be considered. Having LGBTQIA identification as an eligibility requirement for the pilot could potentially violate the California Constitution as sexual orientation is a protected suspect class in the state.

Therefore, the City Attorney, City staff, and pilot partners recommended that the City Council of the City of West Hollywood revise the pilot to include three of the four original criteria (residency, age, and income level) in order to satisfy the legal obligations, protect potential participants, and move forward with a program that serves community members in need of financial support and stability. All applicants from the first iteration of the pilot will be automatically entered into the pool of applicants for the revised pilot.

The City of West Hollywood seeks to test the emerging promise of guaranteed income to help prevent homelessness, support community members as they age in place, and to reduce the stressors of poverty and financial insecurity.  In addition, the West Hollywood Pilot for Guaranteed Income seeks to examine impact in the following areas: 

  • Quantitative data to evaluate the collective impact of guaranteed income on different populations;
  • Capture unique qualitative narrative information to provide greater understanding into the income challenges faced by older adults in West Hollywood and inform the creation of evidence-based policies and programs to better support the health and well-being of older adults; and
  • Test the concept of guaranteed income to evaluate whether to expand the initial pilot or create new/additional pilots in the City.

The City will engage two nonprofit partners in the pilot. The first is the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at University of Pennsylvania as the research and evaluation partner responsible for creating and administering the research instruments, conducting the randomized selection of eligible applicants to participate in the pilot, collecting/processing/analyzing the data, and providing a report on the findings. 

The City’s second partner in the pilot is the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles (NCJW|LA) as the nonprofit administrator implementing the pilot. NCJW was selected for its knowledge, experience, and understanding of the nuances of guaranteed income. NCJW will be responsible for conducting outreach to the community about the pilot, assisting community members to complete applications, verifying that West Hollywood residency and other pilot criteria are met to ensure the eligibility of each applicant, submitting the completed and verified applications to CGIR for the randomized selection of participants, and notifying the participants selected by CGIR.

25 Randomly Selected Participants will be Chosen from a Pool of Eligible Applicants to Receive 18 Unconditional Monthly $1,000 Payments

They will also conduct onboarding and provide individualized benefits counseling for each participant, manage a storytelling cohort and storytelling activities that complement the research component of the pilot and provide the participants an opportunity to share their experiences in their own voices. In addition, the nonprofit administrator will subcontract and coordinate services with a nonprofit financial distributor (utilizing debit card services) to ensure that funds are distributed to participants in a timely, predictable, and seamless fashion.

Additional information about research and evaluation, as well as pilot partners and pilot funding is available in the May 2022 City Council staff report at https://weho.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=1357&meta_id=228362.

For more information, please contact Diane Kahn-Epstein, the City of West Hollywood’s Strategic Initiatives Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6548 or at [email protected].

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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