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City of West Hollywood celebrates Transgender Awareness Month

More than 40 percent of residents in the City of West Hollywood identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender

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U.S. Navy Vet, Trans artist & activist Monica Helms, creator of the Trans flag at Atlanta Pride, 2004 (Photo courtesy of Monica Helms)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood and the City’s Transgender Advisory Board recognize November as Transgender Awareness Month. Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has led the region in the pursuit and implementation of progressive policies that foster an environment of acceptance in which diversity is celebrated.

During Transgender Awareness Month, the West Hollywood community looks toward the future and recommits to ending discrimination and transphobia by amplifying the visibility and voices of people in the transgender community.

The City of West Hollywood will fly the transgender flag over West Hollywood City Hall through Tuesday, November 30, 2021. The flag will be flown at half-mast on November 20, which is Transgender Day of Remembrance, in honor of transgender individuals who have been murdered.

City Hall will be awash in blue, pink, and white lighting throughout the month. From Wednesday, November 10, 2021 through Sunday, November 21, 2021, the globe lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard between N. Robertson Boulevard and Hancock Avenue will glow in blue, pink, and white. Transgender flags will be flown on the City’s medians where flags are currently displayed.

The City of West Hollywood is a co-sponsor of the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) TransGiving Dinner on Friday, November 19, 2021. This annual event provides a traditional full-course holiday dinner and creates a safe social environment among Trans-identified community members, allies, and their loved ones. In 2019, more than 200 people attended, and in 2020, UWC organized TransGiving Dinner to-go due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

TransGiving Dinner is a cherished tradition for Trans people, nonbinary people, and gender non-conforming people who may feel disenfranchised from their families. The evening features live entertainment, access to resources, and of course, community and allies. UWC is dedicated to being a collective voice centering on the narratives and needs of Black Trans culture and is committed to fostering the next generation of black trans leadership from within the community through mentorship, scholarship, and community care engagement work.

For information about TransGiving Dinner, visit the Eventbrite page: www.eventbrite.com/e/transgiving-dinner-los-angeles-tickets-202122302247.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is part of the City of West Hollywood’s annual recognition of Transgender Awareness Month. Transgender Day of Remembrance was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorates transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death and has become an important annual tradition.

This year, the Transgender Advisory Board of the City of West Hollywood will present a virtual Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 6 p.m. featuring a reading of names to memorialize people who have been murdered as a result of anti-transgender violence.

The program will be hosted by transgender leader and advocate Sabel Samone-Loreca and will include guest speakers and tributes by musical artist LZ Love and the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, TCLA. For information about the Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony, visit www.weho.org/lgbtq. The City encourages every community member to honor these lives and memories and to take the opportunity to reflect on the work that remains to be done.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) tracks annual statistics of violence against the people in the transgender community. In the latest statistics currently available, HRC has reported that in 2021 there have been at least 43 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the United States. A disproportionately high number of victims are Black and Latinx transgender women.

The 2021 report follows reports of 44 deaths in 2020; 27 deaths in 2019; 26 deaths in 2018; 29 deaths in 2017; and 23 deaths in 2016. According to HRC: “it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and unchecked access to guns conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare, and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.”

This wave of violence has been declared an epidemic by the American Medical Association. Rates of actual violence or deaths may, in fact, be higher but anti-transgender violence can be difficult to accurately measure, as victims are sometimes misgendered in reports, which can delay awareness of deadly incidents.

The City of West Hollywood has been one of the most outspoken cities in the nation in advocating for the legal rights of LGBTQ people. More than 40 percent of residents in the City of West Hollywood identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Transgender Advisory Board, which addresses matters of advocacy on behalf of transgender people in the areas of education, community awareness, and empowerment, and makes recommendations to the West Hollywood City Council.

Through the Transgender Advisory Board, the City of West Hollywood regularly co-sponsors programming and recognizes Transgender Awareness Month and Transgender Day of Remembrance each November and the Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Awareness Month activities and resources, visit www.weho.org/lgbtq

As part of its support of the transgender community, the City of West Hollywood has a Transgender Resource Guide available on the City’s website, which provides information about a variety of resources including legal, health, and social services, available in the Greater Los Angeles area to enhance and improve the well-being of transgender people.

For more information about Transgender Awareness Month, please contact City of West Hollywood Community Programs Coordinator Larissa Fooks at (323) 848-6413 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

West Hollywood

WeHo hosts public hearing on PrEP & PEP February 23 at City Hall

Access to PrEP & PEP & adherence to recommended treatment are just 2 necessary steps in the efforts to reducing community transmission of HIV

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Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) pills (Photo Credit: San Francisco AIDS Foundation)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will host a public hearing to gather input from community members about whether individuals at high risk for HIV transmission are able to effectively access medications approved as part of FDA-approved protocols for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis(PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

City staff and officials have become aware from anecdotal information in the community that there may be barriers to easily accessing PrEP and PEP at pharmacies in Los Angeles County and other regions of the state.

While statewide legislation, SB 159, authorizes pharmacists to furnish PrEP and PEP without a physician prescription and prohibits insurance companies from requiring prior authorizations to obtain PrEP coverage, there is concern that national pharmacy chains and local pharmacies may not be participating in ways the legislation intended.

City outreach to local pharmacists indicates that many local pharmacists have not taken the California State Board of Pharmacy (CSBP) training to dispense PrEP and PEP, and may not have been aware of the training at all.

The City’s aim in hosting a public hearing is to gather input from impacted residents and community stakeholders; findings will then be relayed to legislators and other key decision makers.

The public hearing is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Limited validated parking will be available in the adjacent West Hollywood Park five-Story structure.

Community members may view the public hearing live on WeHoTV on Spectrum Channel 10 within West Hollywood; by clicking on the ‘Watch Live’ link on the City’s WeHoTV website page www.weho.org/wehotv; or through City’s WeHo YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.

It will also be live-streamed on streaming services such as AndroidTV, AppleTV, FireTV, and Roku. Digital streaming platform viewers can find programming by searching for “WeHoTV.”

Individuals who would like to provide comments but are unable to attend the hearing, or who would prefer to share their experience directly, can send their comments by email to Hernán Molina, the City of West Hollywood’s Governmental Affairs Liaison, at [email protected].

In January 2019, Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco introduced SB 159 HIV: preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis. The bill, which was signed by Governor Newsom into law on October 7, 2019, seeks to make PrEP and PEP more readily available to HIV negative individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection. SB 159 does so, among other things, by:

  • Authorizing a pharmacist to furnish PrEP and PEP in specified amounts and requires a pharmacist to furnish those drugs if certain conditions are met, including that the pharmacist determines the patient meets the clinical criteria for PrEP and PEP consistent with federal guidelines; and
  • Requiring a pharmacist, before furnishing PrEP and PEP, to complete a training program approved by the California State Board of Pharmacy.

Having easy access to PrEP and PEP and proper adherence to the recommended treatment are just two necessary steps in the efforts to reducing community transmission of HIV. PrEP is a key prevention strategy for ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports fewer than 25% of the approximately 1-million Americans who could benefit from PrEP are using this preventative medication. One of the goals of the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative is to have 50% of people who could benefit from PrEP using it by 2025.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a significant impact on the City of West Hollywood. The disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men caused a devastatingly high number of deaths in the City in the era following the City’s founding in 1984.

The City of West Hollywood was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local AIDS and HIV organizations. The City sponsored one of the first AIDS awareness campaigns in the country in October 1985 and the City’s response to the AIDS crisis has been recognized as a model for other cities, nationally and globally.

In 2015, the City of West Hollywood City Council adopted the HIV Zero Strategic Plan. The City Council directed staff to work with social service providers, community clinics, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and other governmental agencies to develop a strategic plan aimed at reducing the rates of transmission and slowing disease progression.

The City’s HIV Zero Initiative embraces a vision to “Get to Zero” on many fronts: Zero new infections. Zero progression of HIV to AIDS. Zero discrimination. Zero stigma. The City currently contracts with APLA Health, Healthcare in Action, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Men’s Health Foundation, and Planned Parenthood to provide biomedical interventions, such as PrEP and PEP to community members at risk of acquiring HIV.

For more information, please contact Hernán Molina, the City of West Hollywood’s Governmental Affairs Liaison, at (323) 848-6364 or at [email protected].

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

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WeHo to consider making restaurant OutZones permanent

The Chamber of Commerce says businesses expressed concern over the limited applicability of using on-street parking spaces for outdoor dining

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Outzone in front of Stache (Photo Credit: WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The West Hollywood City Council will discuss and debate the process, guidelines, and policies regarding making the restaurant OutZones permanent in the city.

Its Agenda Item 5.A. will be under review and is slated to be taken up at the regular city council meeting scheduled for Monday, February 6, starting at 6pm.

City Staff is recommending the City Council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 11.28 regarding outdoor dining in the public right of way, authorizing the Director of Finance & Technology Services to allocate $25,000 from unallocated reserves in General Fund for the development of the Outdoor Dining Eligibility and Site Design Guide and related costs.

City Staff will provide any feedback, if necessary, on the proposed updates, including the eligibility criteria and design standard.

Restaurant OutZones 2020-2021 WEHO TIMES
Restaurant OutZones as of January 2023 – WEHO TIMES
OutZone at Larrabee Street – WEHO TIMES
Abbey Road Outzone 2020
Abbey Road Outzone 2023 – WEHO TIMES
Abbey Road Outzone 2023 – WEHO TIMES

According to the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, City Commissions, Boards, and Staff met with the Chamber numerous times and then attended a number of the chamber’s standing meetings with business leaders. Overall, there was support for developing new standards to convert the temporary OUTZones into permanent outdoor dining.

An email from the The Chamber states that businesses expressed concern over the limited applicability of using on-street parking spaces for outdoor dining. As outlined in the report, the use of on-street parking for outdoor dining would only apply to businesses fronting a narrow sidewalk condition.

There were also concerns around the inability for a business with a limited frontage to expand dining areas in front of neighboring businesses. Because this item is addressing outdoor dining on the public-right-of-way and not outdoor dining on private property, the current proposal does not allow the business to establish separate arrangements with neighboring businesses for use of their adjacent public right-of-way.

“We are grateful to the Staff and Council for moving this issue forward, allowing us to keep this critical element for our restaurants and bars to continue to recover and help us to thrive,” reads a statement by WeHo Chamber CEO Genevieve Morrill.

OutZones 2020 – WEHO TIMES

In July 2020, the City began its Temporary Outdoor Expansion Permit (TOEP) program by offering streamlined approval for businesses to use sidewalks, on-street parking spaces, and private parking lots as areas to expand operations.

In August 25, 2020, the city had a soft opening for the first phase of the new OUT Zones program.

On August 31, 2020, the installation of protective k-rail barriers were completed in time for National Eat Outside Day, which is a day when people are encouraged to enjoy a meal, picnic, or snack in the outdoors.

Community members and business owners are encouraged to make comments, express concerns, and provide suggestions.

Editor’s Note: To participate by public comment via phone:

1. You are strongly encouraged to e-mail the City Clerk at [email protected] no later than 2:00 p.m. on the City Council meeting day, to be added to the Zoom Public Speaker List for the meeting. Please include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling, and which item you would like to speak on.

2. Dial-in 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (the meeting begins at 6:00 p.m.)
• Dial-in #: 669-900-6833
• Meeting I.D.: 847 9061 1250, then the pound # key

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Celebrating Black History Month in February, Implementing a New Organics Collection Program, ‘WeHo Reads’ Launches on February 8 plus more

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West Hollywood City Hall (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott)

City Celebrates Black History Month in February

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood celebrates Black History Month with events held throughout the month. Black History Month recognizes, celebrates, and honors the rich and diverse history and important contributions and achievements of African Americans, and is observed annually during the month of February.

On Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 9 a.m., the community is encouraged to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event (previously postponed due to weather) at West Hollywood Elementary School, located at 970 N. Hammond Street. Residents, visitors, and community members are invited to take part in this day of service where volunteers will be helping to perform various landscaping, clean-up, painting, and other beautifying tasks at the school. Volunteers must be 13 years of age or older to participate.

To sign-up as a volunteer, please register on the City’s volunteer portal at https://volunteer.weho.org/.  For more information or questions about the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event, please contact the City’s Community Programs Coordinator, Larissa Fooks at (323) 848-6413 or [email protected].  

On Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit the Black Women Lead Pop-Up Market. This free, open-air event will feature Black vendors, panelists, and performers, providing the community with the opportunity to celebrate Black History Month in West Hollywood. This event will take place at the West Hollywood Park Great Lawn, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Event updates will be provided on the City’s website calendar at www.weho.org/calendar.  For information, please contact City of West Hollywood Community Programs Coordinator Jasmine Duckworth at (323) 848-6559 or [email protected].

Additional programming during the month of February includes:

The City of West Hollywood presents WeHo Reads: Writing Paths Toward Justice: an exploration and panel discussion with authors who examine what happens when the social contract fractures along the journey towards justice will take place online at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated writers with over 50 published books. His recently published novel, Every Man a King, is the second installment in his Joe “King” Oliver series.

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy.

Kellye Garrett is an Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty award-winning author whose most recent suspense novel, Like a Sister, is about the death of a disgraced reality TV star. 

Joe Ide is the author of the award-winning IQ series, including the most recent installment, Smoke

Jordan Harper has been a music journalist, film critic, and TV writer. His most recent novel, Everybody Knows, is a crime thriller about a publicist who works for the corrupt and depraved elite in Southern California.

More information and an RSVP link is available at www.weho.org/wehoreads. For more information about WeHo Reads, contact City of West Hollywood Arts Coordinator Mike Che at (323) 848-6377 or [email protected]. For information, please contact City of West Hollywood Community Programs Coordinator Jasmine Duckworth at (323) 848-6559 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City Encourages Community Members to Participate in American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Training

When an emergency happens, would you know what to do? Get certified in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid, and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to give you the confidence you need to respond in an emergency.

The City of West Hollywood is offering a free American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Certification Training on Saturday, February 4, 2023. The training will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center, located at 8750 El Tovar Place in the San Vicente/La Cienega Meeting Room. The training schedule will include a meal break. Parking will be available at the West Hollywood Park 5-Story parking structure, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

This American Red Cross Certification Training will cover adult and pediatric CPR/First Aid/AED topics and participants will learn how to respond to medical emergencies. Prior to meeting in-person, participants will be enrolled in an online learning session that takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete. There will be in-person section reviews and tests that will take approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per section for participants to receive certification. The online learning session link will be sent out seven days prior to the in-person training session. All online coursework must be completed before the in-person training session.

Space is limited and is anticipated to reach capacity quickly. Enroll using the City of West Hollywood’s “ActiveNet” online reservations portal. RSVPs require ActiveNet registration, which takes just a minute to complete.

Once capacity reaches limits, community members who are interested are encouraged to join a waitlist. The City will host additional American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Certification Trainings during the 2023 calendar year. To join this waitlist, please contact Cortez Jordan, in the City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division, at (323) 848-6585 and the City will reach out as future trainings are scheduled.

Knowledge in first aid has multiple benefits. Accidents are inevitable, and there is no guarantee that people are safe from any physical injury, illness, or trauma. The best thing that people can do is to be prepared when and if any accidents, mishaps, and occurrences happen. Every year, millions of people are hurt or killed from injuries due to inadequate response or lack of timely assistance.

The biggest difference between victims who survive and those who do not is a bystander’s willingness to help. Performing any sort of basic life support on victims while an ambulance is on the way doubles a person’s chance of survival.

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s free American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Certification Training, please email [email protected] or call (323) 848-6538. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

West Hollywood’s 2023 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series ‘Mindful Journeys’ Launches on February 8, 2023

The City of West Hollywood is launching its 2023 WeHo Reads literary series with a reception, readings, and the launch of a new photographic exhibition. Community members are invited to celebrate art, literature, poets, and authors. 

The kick-off event will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. 

At 6 p.m., there will be a reception for an exhibition of photographs from a contest that was held around the theme of the 2022 WeHo Reads series about creating joy in times of sorrow. The contest was held in the fall of 2022 and was juried by writers/photographers Lynell George and Marisela Norte. Photographers featured in this exhibition include: Natalia Affonso, Nadia Alamah, Rick Castro, Arpan Basu Chowdhury (who had the first-place winning submission), Gabriella Maria dos Santos Silva, Victoria Goring, Haro Istamboulian, Louis Jacinto, Alessia Piscopo, Mateo Salas, and Don Tinling.

At 7 p.m., there will be readings by authors featured in WeHo Reads including: bridgette bianca, Shonda Buchanan, Jen Cheng, Lisbeth Coiman, Flint, Charles Flowers, Peter J. Harris, Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett, Lester Graves Lennon, Malia Márquez, Thea Pueschel, Luivette Resto, Carla Sameth, Sehba Sarwar, Lynne Thompson, and Hazel Kight Witham.

RSVPs are required to attend this event at www.weho.org/wehoreads.    

This year’s theme for WeHo Reads is Mindful Journeys, and the events will feature writers who are seeking to navigate joy in the midst of sorrow and craft mindful journeys toward better futures, whether through fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.

WeHo Reads is presented by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and produced by BookSwell, LLC. Additional support for WeHo Reads is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers as well as media partnerships with Bookshop.org, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

Additional WeHo Reads 2023 series events will follow:

  • WeHo Reads: Writing Paths Toward Justice on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 6 p.m. (online).

This discussion will explore what can we learn about human nature from imagining the paths taken by criminals and outcasts. Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated writers with over 50 published books. His recently published novel, Every Man a King, is the second installment in his Joe “King” Oliver series. Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. Kellye Garrett is an Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty award-winning author whose most recent suspense novel, Like a Sister, is about the death of a disgraced reality TV star.  Joe Ide is the author of the award-winning IQ series, including the most recent installment, Smoke. Jordan Harper has been a music journalist, film critic, and TV writer. His most recent novel, Everybody Knows, is a crime thriller about a publicist who works for the corrupt and depraved elite in Southern California. This online event will take place on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts. Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehoreads.

  • WeHo Reads: Crafting Literary Legacies on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. (online).
    During Women’s History Month, we speak with authors creating new truths through storytelling and putting women at the center of literature. Natashia Deón is a two-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literature, Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award Nominee in Fiction, a practicing criminal attorney, and author of the critically acclaimed and widely reviewed novels, The Perishing and GRACE. Toni Ann Johnson is the winner of the 2021 Flannery O’Connor Award for short fiction with her linked collection Light Skin Gone to Waste. Malia Márquez is a teacher and author of work that has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Hobart, Coffin Bell Journal, and elsewhere and of her award-winning first novel, This Fierce Blood. Laura Warrell is a writer and teacher whose work has appeared in HuffPost, The Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. Her first novel is Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm. This online event will take place on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts. Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehoreads.
  • WeHo Reads: Lounging with Poets on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ‘spa day’, 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. program (in-person).
    Self-care is a radical act. Come lounge with a poet at our inaugural Poetry Spa Day at the respite deck of the new West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., guests will receive a menu of services and tokens to have individual, one-on-one experiences with former West Hollywood Poet Laureates and special guests, ranging from cucumber poetry facials to poetry speed dating. At 7:30 p.m., we gather at the steps at sunset to hear all the poets share their words in a ritual closing and celebration of National Poetry Month. City of West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace emcees this event, and will be joined by Jen Cheng, Kim Dower, Charles Flowers, Linda Ravenswood, and Steven Reigns. This in-person event takes place at the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC), located at 8750 El Tovar Place, next to the West Hollywood Library. RSVPs are requested ay www.weho.org/wehoreads
  • WeHo Reads: Shaping Motherhood online on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 7 p.m. (online).
    We consider motherhood–joys, hardships, challenges, graces–and the role they play in shaping ourselves and future generations. Amber Flame is an interdisciplinary creative, activist and educator whose work has garnered residencies with Hedgebrook, Vermont Studio Center, and more. Gerda Govine Ituarte, Ed.D., poet, art curator, columnist, and CEO of G. Govine Consulting, was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and emigrated to New York City in the mid 50’s and California in the early ’80s. Luivette Resto is a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fan who was born in Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. Carla Sameth, 2022-2024 Altadena co-poet laureate, is the author of the memoir One Day on the Gold Line and the poetry chapbook, What Is Left, and teaches creative writing to a variety of ages. Colette Sartor’s linked short story collection, Once Removed, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, the NYC Big Book Award for Short Story Collections, and the Juror’s Choice Award, and the Short Stories Award from the National Indie Excellence Awards. This online event will take place on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts. Members of the public can RSVP and be sent a direct link to view the event by visiting the WeHo Reads webpage on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehoreads.

All events are free to attend. For additional information about these events and to RSVP, visit www.weho.org/wehoreads

WeHo Reads is the City of West Hollywood’s literary series presenting authors of interest to the West Hollywood community since 2013. Past participants have included: André Aciman, Andrew Rannells, Arlene and Alan Alda, Armistead Maupin, Bianca Del Rio, Bryan Fuller, Carrie Brownstein, Charles Phoenix, Charles Yu, Chris Kraus, Danez Smith, Dasha Kelly Hamilton, David Ulin, Eileen Myles, Eloise Klein Healy, Emma Donoghue, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Rollins, Imani Tolliver, Jacob Tobia, James Sie, Lester Graves Lennon, Josephine Giles, LeVar Burton, Lillian Faderman, Lloyd Schwartz, Lorna Luft, Luis J. Rodriguez, Lynell George, Lynne Thompson, Michael York, Michelle Visage, Myriam Gurba, Natalie Goldberg, Natasha Deón, Nina Revoyr, Patrisse Cullors, Patt Morrison, Peter J. Harris, Randa Jarrar, Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Ryan Gosling, Ryka Aoki, Sarah Silverman, Seymour Stein, Shonda Buchanan, Stephen Chbosky, Tananarive Due, and Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

BookSwell, a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities, is producing the WeHo Reads 2023 season. BookSwell was founded in 2017 by Cody Sisco.

For more information about WeHo Reads, please contact Mike Che, City of West Hollywood Arts Coordinator, at (323) 848-6377 or at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

As Part of the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series, The City of West Hollywood Presents: Kassaram (Adapted) by Artist Thania Petersen and Reverse Women by Artist Sarah Rara On the Sunset Strip from February 1 through May 31

The City of West Hollywood announces the debuts of the next exhibitions in the Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program. MIMA is an ongoing exhibition series of moving image media artworks on multiple digital billboards at various locations along Sunset Boulevard. The goals of the MIMA Program are to foster cultural equity, expand accessibility, inspire communication, create public space, and enhance the human experience of the Sunset Strip. 

Kassaram (Adapted), a short film from artist Thania Petersen, will debut at the Streamlined Arbor billboard, located at 9157 Sunset Boulevard, and will air at the top of every hour for 10-and-a-half minutes. Reverse Women, a short film from artist Sarah Rara, will debut at the Invisible Frame billboard, located at 8743 Sunset Boulevard, and will air at the top of every hour and 30 minutes past each hour. Both works will be on exhibition from Wednesday, February 1, 2023 through Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

About Kassaram (Adapted)The historically significant building that sits at the base of the Streamlined Arbor inspires artwork as an authentic reexamination of cultural identity, by amplifying the voices of those silenced and marginalized. Thania Petersen’s vivid and layered work, Kassaram (Adapted) examines how embedded clichés devalue culture and provide the framework for the permission of subjugation. Across a timeline of slurs and stereotypes, nuanced imagery devolves into more familiar scenes of chaos. Petersen subverts the narrative by illustrating how structural racism serves to further isolate, diminish, and dehumanize. 

Thania Petersen is a South African multidisciplinary artist who addresses the intricacies and complexities of identity. Petersen’s work has been presented at such institutions as Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), Whitechapel, Istanbul Modern, Ballroom Marfa, Alte Kelter Fellbach, and Jeffrey Deitch. Her work is collected by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.; Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town; IZIKO South African Museum, Cape Town; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; and many others.

About Reverse WomenImages of running women advance backwards in slow motion, as if the ground is being pulled out from under them, evoking unsettling allegories of agency, power, and progress. In Reverse Women the gesture of running is pivotal and intentionally ambiguous, seen both as a sign of practiced liberation, wellness, resilience; yet infused with suspense by the discomfort of watching someone struggle to escape. Reverse Women ultimately illustrates the disorientation of our unreliable and faltering constitutional protections. 

Sarah Rara’s multi-disciplinary practice explores the position of witness within fragile systemsRara is a contributing member of the ongoing project Lucky Dragons (with Luke Fischbeck). Their work, solo and in collaboration, has been presented at such institutions as the Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Walker Art Center, London’s Institute for Contemporary Art, PS1 in New York, REDCAT, LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles, among others. Rara is a 2018 recipient of the LACMA Art + Technology fellowship and holds an Assistant Professor of Moving Image at Williams College.

The Moving Image Media Art Program (MIMA) is a City of West Hollywood exhibition series administered by the City’s Arts Division, as part of its Art on the Outside Program, and is presented with the Sunset Arts and Advertising Program. MIMA offers artists the opportunity, and the funding, to create immediate, remarkable, and ambitious works of art that engage with the unique visual landscape of the world-famous Sunset Strip, and experiment with the state-of-the-art technology of high-definition digital signage.  

MIMA enables artists to occupy, contest, and play with the boundaries and uses of public space and manifest moments of connection and awe. Artists exhibited in the program are selected from the MIMA Prequalified List, a rolling, open-call for moving image media artists, curators, and non-profit arts organizations, with applications reviewed bi-annually by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, in May and November. The MIMA Prequalified List includes a diverse list of artists of all career levels; from emerging to internationally recognized: www.weho.org/community/arts-and-culture/visual-arts/mima  

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division delivers a broad array of arts programs including Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Arts Grants, City Poet Laureate, Free Theatre in the Parks, Human Rights Speaker Series, Library Exhibits, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, Summer Sounds + Winter Sounds, Urban Art (permanent public art), and WeHo Reads. For more information about City of West Hollywood arts programming, please visit www.weho.org/arts. 

For more information about MIMA, please contact Rebecca Ehemann, City of West Hollywood Arts Manager at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6846. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City is Implementing a New Organics Collection Program in Compliance with SB 1383, a Statewide Effort to Reduce Emissions of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

The City of West Hollywood is implementing a new organics collection program in compliance with SB 1383, a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) by reducing organic waste disposal.

Under SB 1383, community members throughout California will be required to place all food scraps, food-soiled paper (100% fiber-based), and landscaping waste into a green waste container. Athens Services, which provides waste collection and recycling services for the City of West Hollywood, is implementing food scrap collection, which applies to all customers including single-family-home residents, multifamily buildings, and commercial customers in West Hollywood.

To assist community members in collection of food scraps, the City of West Hollywood and Athens Services will be hosting two events on Saturday, January 28, 2023 to provide free kitchen pails. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., there will be a Kitchen Pail Giveaway at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a Kitchen Pail Giveaway at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. West Hollywood community members are eligible for one free kitchen pail, limited to one per household or commercial customer.

“West Hollywood has long been a leader in green policies and practices. I’m excited to see our city develop this new program in adherence to SB 1383 to help collect organic waste and, ultimately, turn food scraps into soil compost,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. “Community-based efforts to reduce waste and emissions are essential in our greater efforts in combating climate change.”

West Hollywood residents in single-family homes and multifamily buildings must, under SB 1383, separate food scraps, food-soiled paper (100% fiber-based), and landscaping waste into green waste containers. SB 1383 establishes statewide targets to achieve a 75% reduction of organic waste disposal from 2014 levels by the year 2025.

With its new organics collection program, Athens Services will accept all types of food scraps. Its American Organics compost facility converts organics waste into nutrient-rich soil amendment. The resulting compost is used by commercial farmers, projects, garden shops, landscapers, and residents.

The Athens Services outreach team is currently in West Hollywood visiting customers, including those in multifamily and commercial buildings, to ensure they are set-up for the new organics recycling program. Many buildings in West Hollywood already have a green Athens organics bin and in such cases the Athens Services outreach team is educating and informing building management that food scraps must now be put in those bins.

For Athens Services customers who do not yet have a green bin, the Athens Services outreach team is working to get them set-up. Additionally, Athens Services will provide a kitchen pail to any customer in West Hollywood who requests one. The outreach team has found that for residents of multifamily buildings, kitchen pails make it much easier to collect food scraps and then empty them into green Athens bins situated at their property.

To contact Athens Services to make a request, or for community members who may have questions about the new organics collection program, please contact the Athens Customer Care Center at (888) 336-6100 or visit www.athensservices.com/sb-1383

To learn more about acceptable items for organics collection, including types of green waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper that Athens Services collects, visit www.athensservices.com/in-the-news/food-waste-recycling. For a complete recycling guide, visit www.athensservices.com/recycling-guide. For more information about SB 1383, visit www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp.

In the spirit of “think globally, act locally,” the City of West Hollywood aims to inspire sustainability and eco-conscious programs, projects, and policies. In December 2021, the City adopted its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) to guide the implementation of the climate measures and actions and will help to ensure that West Hollywood is a sustainable, vibrant, livable, and equitable city for current and future generations. To find out more, visit www.weho.org/climateaction. For additional information about the City’s ongoing sustainability efforts, visit www.weho.org/gogreen.

For more information, please contact Matt Magener, City of West Hollywood Environmental Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6894 or at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Offices at (323) 848-6460. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar.

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A Sip of Coffee with WeHo Mayor Sepi Shyne

Sips with Sepi is a monthly event that takes place at various coffee shops throughout the City of West Hollywood

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West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne and others gather for coffee (Photo Credit: WeHo Times)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Outgoing West Hollywood Rent Stabilization Commissioners, Richard Maggio and Historic Preservation Commissioner Lola Davidson hosted this month’s Sips with Sepi, as part of a monthly meet and greet with West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne.

The event took place in WeHo’s eastside, at the Domain’s lobby, located at 4171 Santa Monica Boulevard this past Saturday.

Breakfast Republic provided pastry treats and the coffee came from the local Starbucks nearby in the West Hollywood Gateway.

Community members and residents of The Domain had an opportunity to chat with the Mayor and ask questions, or raise concerns about issues important to them in the city.

Outgoing West Hollywood Rent Stabilization Commissioners, Richard Maggio and Historic Preservation Commissioner Lola Davidson hosted this month’s Sips with Sepi, as part of a monthly meet and greet with West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. The event took place in WeHo’s eastside, at the Domain’s lobby, located at 4171 Santa Monica Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Breakfast Republic provided pastry treats and the coffee came from the local Starbucks nearby in the West Hollywood Gateway.

Community members and residents of The Domain had an opportunity to chat with the Mayor and ask questions, or raise concerns about issues important to them in the city.

Photo Credit: WeHo Times
Photo Credit: WeHo Times
Photo Credit: WeHo Times
Photo Credit: WeHo Times

Captain Moulder of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station was in attendance, along with Danny Rivas, the City of West Hollywood’s Director of Community Safety, and Shae Gibson the Block by Block Operations Manager. Various members of boards and West Hollywood Commissions also attended the meet and greet over sips with Sepi.

Maggio and Davidson were both appointed by former West Hollywood council member and Mayor John D’Amico. They finish their terms as West Hollywood commissioners on January 28, 2023.

Photo Credit: WeHo Times

Sips with Sepi is a monthly event that takes place at various coffee shops throughout the City of West Hollywood. This is an effort for the Mayor to be accessible and transparent to the community she serves with the hopes to engage West Hollywood residents with the Mayor and City Staff.

Mayor Pro Tempore John Erickson hosted a similar event that Saturday at Plummer Park. “Have an issue?” Reads his events invite on social media. “Need to get connected to services? Just want to chat with your Councilmember? This is our eighteenth event in Plummer Park and I’m looking forward to you all joining us! Bring a chair, a reusable cup for some coffee, and your dog (or cat), and let’s talk! Come out to the Great Lawn (along Vista St.) at Plummer Park and meet and speak with West Hollywood Councilmember John M. Erickson. Can’t make this event? Email John at [email protected]

Mayor Shyne can be found on Instagram under the handle @sepishyine.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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Photos: Sepi Shyne, John Erickson sworn in as WeHo Mayor & Mayor Pro Tempore

Mayor Shyne was reelected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 2022. She made history as the first Iranian American to serve on the Council

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Photo by Paulo Murillo

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – At the city of West Hollywood’s annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting on Monday, January 9, 2023, the City swore-in Sepi Shyne as Mayor and John M. Erickson as Mayor Pro Tempore.

Mayor Shyne’s Oath of Office was administered by Lindsey P. Horvath, 3rd District Supervisor for Los Angeles County and former City of West Hollywood Mayor and Councilmember. Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson’s Oath of Office was administered by Abbe Land, former City of West Hollywood Mayor and Councilmember.

Mayor Shyne was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 2022. She made history as the first Iranian American to serve on the Council, the first woman of color to serve, and the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected to public office in the world.

It was a packed house at the West Hollywood council chambers despite pouring rain and flash flood warnings throughout Los Angeles County. Richard Maggio, a West Hollywood resident who served as a rent WeHo stabilization commissioner for 33 years, was the emcee for the ceremony before the Reorganization and Installation meeting. The pre-ceremony invited several friends, supporters, community leader and members of her family to speak and give some words of encouragement to the new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.

The Mayor’s mother opened the ceremony with comments in her native Fārsī language. There were performances by the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and singer, song writer Mikalah Gordon. And she received interfaith invocations by spiritual leaders and supporters, including her sister.

Mayor Meister called the Regular City meeting to order. Following the City’s Land Acknowledgement, she introduced Tina Calderón, a Gabrieliño Tongva / Chumash Culture Bearer who helped draft the City’s Land Acknowledgement. She performed a song that her culture offers all of their women when they achieve something tremendous. The song sent a message stating “We are women. We Are strong.”

Mayor Pro Tem Erickson thank everyone who showed up to the ceremony, despite the rain, calling the event “a moment in our city’s history with the first ever woman of color to be sworn in as mayor.”

Additional photos available here: (Link)

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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WeHo to swear-in Shyne, Mayor & Erickson, Mayor Pro Tempore

The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

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Graphic via City of West Hollywood

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will Swear-In Sepi Shyne as Mayor and John M. Erickson as Mayor Pro Tempore on January 9, 2022 as part of of the City Council Reorganization and Installation Meeting and Oath of Office Ceremony.

The event will take place at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. [Click Here for Digital Invitation]

At its regular meeting on Monday, December 19, 2022, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood voted upon selection of the City’s next Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore: Sepi Shyne will become the next Mayor and John M. Erickson will become the next Mayor Pro Tempore.

Incoming Mayor Shyne and Incoming Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson will be sworn-in at the City of West Hollywood’s annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting and oath of office ceremony, which will take place on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. A reception will immediately follow at the Pacific Design Center, located at 8687 Melrose Avenue.

The meeting, ceremony, and reception are free and open to the public. Limited validated parking will be available at the West Hollywood Park five-story structure; additional validated overflow parking will be available at the Pacific Design Center.

The meeting and ceremony will be live-broadcast and streamed as part of the regular City Council meeting and will be available by tuning into Channel 10 on Spectrum within West Hollywood, by visiting the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv, or by visiting the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.

In addition, City Council meetings can also be viewed on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku streaming platforms by searching “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services.

Biographical:

Sepi Shyne made history in November 2020 when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She became the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected anywhere globally and locally became the first woman of color elected to the West Hollywood City Council. Her election also ushered in West Hollywood’s first female-majority City Council. Shyne’s priorities include advocating for affordable housing, protecting renters and social service programs, social justice, small business revival, and bringing the people’s voices to West Hollywood City Hall.

Shyne received her Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University with a double concentration in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a Minor in Drama with an emphasis in Directing. She received her Juris Doctorate with a specialization certificate in litigation from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

As an LGBTQ+ and civil rights leader for more than 20 years, her leadership has helped secure equal rights for all. Before her election to the West Hollywood City Council, Shyne served on the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (now LGBTQ+ Advisory Board), on the City of West Hollywood’s Business License Commission, and on the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Advisory Council, on which she continues to serve. Additionally, she has led many boards and organizations, including the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and as a Board of Governor and Steering Committee leader with the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles.

Shyne is a Co-Organizer of WeHo Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a community group created during the pandemic to help get resources to seniors, people with disabilities, and people in immunosuppressed households via social media and volunteer check-in calls. In every board and organization she has led, she has recruited and elevated women and people of color to leadership positions to create more diversity, inclusion, and equity.

John M. Erickson was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 3, 2020 with the commitment to uphold the city’s founding vision for a forward-thinking, diverse, and tolerant community.

Erickson first planted roots in West Hollywood in 2010 when he was selected to intern for the West Hollywood City Council. The internship set him on a path that connected his work for social and economic justice with his passion for public service. He went on to become Council Deputy to former Mayor Abbe Land and then served as a staff member at West Hollywood City Hall working to advance policies, initiate programs, and increase awareness around LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, the environment, and civic engagement.

After leaving City Hall, Erickson served as a Legislative Representative at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and is currently the Interim Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications, and Marketing at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

The immediate past Vice Chair of the City’s Planning Commission, Erickson’s priorities on the City Council include overcoming COVID-19 through sensible health practices and economic recovery; creating more affordable housing and protecting renters’ rights; reducing traffic through alternative transportation strategies, fighting climate change and making our city more sustainable; and implementing policies that make the city truly free of prejudice and welcoming to all.

Erickson has earned a reputation as a fearless, tenacious, and effective voice for those who need one. His advocacy work includes serving as a National Board Member of the National Organization for Women and President of the ACLU Southern California. In 2017, he became Governor Brown’s appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and served as an organizer for both the Resist March and the historic Women’s March Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation. Erickson was part of the End Statute of Limitation on Rape (ERSOL) Campaign, which overturned California’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in 2016.

Erickson received his Ph.D. in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University and a Dual-Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies.

Parisa Parnian was selected by incoming Mayor Sepi Shyne to provide an original artwork for the City of West Hollywood’s 2023 City Council Reorganization and Installation event invitation.

“The Phoenix bird represents incoming Mayor Sepi Shyne both as a symbol of her ‘rising out of the ashes’ and taking flight, as well as a nod to her Iranian heritage: the Phoenix bird is part of Persian mythology. The background of sparkly palm trees silhouetted by the sun references the iconic West Hollywood skyline. And the collective of raised fists represents not only the City of West Hollywood’s history of inclusivity and progressiveness, but also incoming Mayor Shyne’s commitment to equity and advocacy for the community she serves,” Parnian said in a statement.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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WeHo Chamber of Commerce: Celebrate New Year’s 2023!

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of things to do and places to be to celebrate this year’s New Year’s Eve

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Disco Balls from Micky's WeHo - WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of things to do and places to be to celebrate this year’s New Year’s Eve in West Hollywood. Check the list and click on the links for more info:

THE 1 HOTEL- HARRIET’S ROOFTOP

West Hollywood hasn’t seen a sky-high lounge like Harriet’s Rooftop at the 1 Hotel West Hollywood. Its panoramic view is the star of the show; and this New Year’s Eve we take it to the next level with a live DJ spinning dynamic mashups. With the shimmering backdrop of the Los Angeles skyline as the backdrop, the city’s glitterati will dance and mingle, helping themselves to a five-hour premium open bar. Pick up a VIP package for luxuries such as bottle service and reserved seating. From the extensive greenery that fills the penthouse to the shimmering string lights, Harriet’s Rooftop is nothing less than majestic! Join us this NYE to countdown the clock to 2023 and set the new year ablaze

jbpnye.cravetickets.com

NYE 2023 WITH TY$ AT NIGHTINGALE PLAZA

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in West Hollywood with DJ Orator and Dre Sinatra plus Hip-Hop superstar Ty Dolla $ign at Nightingale Plaza. This NYE, experience the best Hip-Hop party in L.A. at this trendy nightspot with both cash bar and open bar, luxe decor, and a gorgeous, fashionable 21+ crowd. Come dressed to kill as you leave 2022 behind and enter the new year surrounded by a gorgeous crowd in West Hollywood’s luxe party epicenter.

2023 BOOTSY BELLOWS NYE

Offering up one of the best New Year’s Eve events on the infamous Sunset Strip is Bootsy Bellows. No matter the night, Bootsy is always populated by chic partygoers, influencers, and, of course, celebrities A-Z. And this NYE will be no different. The West Hollywood super-hot night spot is putting on a party to remember; brimming with amenities like a 5hr premium open bar, complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and a special live DJ spinning the hottest Top 40, Hip-Hop, House, and Mash-Up tracks to keep the party charged well into the new year. For a taste of LA’s premier celeb-studded nightlife action, look no further than Bootsy Bellows — Hollywood’s hottest ticket to the good life. It’s going to be a wild NYE at this cherry LA party pad.

jbpnye.cravetickets.com

2023 DRAGONFLY HOLLYWOOD NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY

Join the city’s in-the-know party people at super-hot L.A Hip-Hop nightlife spot, Dragonfly Hollywood, for an electrifying NYE party. A fired-hour premium bar keeps the party fueled and a special live DJ- with the help of the state-of-the-art sound system- presides over the dance floor with sizzling sets of Hip-Hop, Top 40, Reggaeton, and everything in between. When 12 o’clock rolls around, grab a complimentary champagne and join the ‘in-crowd’ for a live DJ-led countdown. For a taste of the high life, opt for a VIP package with exclusive table and bottle service, reserved seating, and expedited entry

jbpnye.cravetickets.com

POPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY 2023

Poppy opens its exclusive doors this New Year’s Eve for a megawatt celebration that LA will be buzzing about. The NYE party at Poppy gains momentum from a 5-hour premium open bar pouring up hand-crafted cocktails, bubbles, and brews. Guests can dance all night to live DJs spinning the hottest open format top 40, hip-hop, and house music. Before the stroke of midnight, raise a glass of complimentary champagne and join the DJ in a live countdown to the new year. To party like Hollywood royalty, choose from a selection of VIP packages offering priority entry, reserved seating, and bottle service.

jbpnye.cravetickets.com

THE DEN ON SUNSET

It’s that time of year again! Come pop bottles all night long on NYE at The Den. ⁠⁠DJ Space will be spinning and The Den has all kinds of tables to reserve, including some very luxe options. Dinner specials will run late, champagne will be flowing, and the dance floor will be a party. ⁠⁠

Tickets available on their website.

NYE 2023 Tickets | The Den On Sunset | American Restaurant & Bar in West Hollywood, CA

LA BOHEME

Celebrate an unforgettable night at La Boheme x French Tuesdays official NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY! Featuring live performances with aerialists, burlesque dancers, DJs, and more! We will be offering a special NYE dinner for $85 per person.

New Year’s Eve Cabaret by French Tuesdays (General Admission Tickets) Tickets, Sat, Dec 31, 2022 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite

BOA STEAKHOUSE & KATANA

Let the countdown begin! BOA and Katana have created a special Prix Fixe Menu to ring in the new year paired with live music, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Home | IDG (innovativedining.com)

EMPLOYEES ONLY

Dance the night away this New Year’s Eve at Employees Only featuring sounds by DJ Veggi Beats🍸💎 Join Employees Only + ring in 2023 EO style with a 5 hour premium open bar, tray passed hors d’oeuvres, photo booth, and a midnight toast.

SOULMATE

Ring in the new year with Soulmate’s Tapas & Speakeasy! Early and late seatings include a handcrafted, 4-5 course tapas menu with some of Soulmate’s most popular dishes and some new and exciting things to try. Later seatings also include a champagne toast, live DJs spinning some great music, and a balloon drop at midnight. Experience our extensive cocktail list with choices for every palate, or indulge in a bottle of bubbly to say goodbye to 2022!

NYE 2022 | My Site (soulmateweho.com)

THE ABBEY

Ring in the new year properly! Book your tables today for The Abbey’s Black & Gold Midnight Soiré!

Gay Bar | The Abbey Food & Bar – West Hollywood | West Hollywood (theabbeyweho.com)

E.P & L.P.

E.P. & L.P. invites you to join them for their two-level New Year’s Eve Discotheque, which will take over both levels of E.P. & L.P. for the very first time.

All-inclusive tickets are $75 per person, which includes two hours of open bar and passed appetizers between 8-10 PM. DJ’s will be playing all night to bring in the new year with bottle service packages available for groups. Come dance all the way into 2023.

NEW YEARS EVE DISCOTHEQUE Tickets at E.P. & L.P. in West Hollywood by E.P. & L.P. | Tixr

SKYBAR AT MONDRIAN

Join Sky Bar as they elegantly ring in 2023 in extravagant fashion. Wear your classiest cocktail attire and come celebrate the new year over delectable cocktails, the taste-making sounds of DJ Eric Sharp, original art installations, and of course, the breathtaking backdrop of one of Los Angeles’ premier venues.

NYE 2023 at Skybar at Mondrian [4-Hour Premium Open Bar] Tickets, Sat, Dec 31, 2022 at 8:00 PM | Eventbrite

PETIT ERMITAGE

Ring in the new year at Petit Ermitage. Book a suite through the weekend to enjoy dinner and drinks for two on New Year’s Eve. Starting over feels good.

Petit Ermitage | Holidays in Los Angeles

MICKY’S

Welcome the new year at Micky’s Weho! Get Ready for a festive Eve on Saturday December 31st, where we’ll dance the night away till 4 AM on two floors! Featuring: 2 Dance Floors | 2 Live DJ Sets | Go Go Dancers | Party till 4 AM.

Micky’s NYE – Saturday Dec 31st – Micky’s West Hollywood (mickys.com).

ARTLOUNGE COLLECTIVE

Our New Years Eve party, highlight ‘23, is an all-inclusive night of performance, music, and art at our La Brea location. Tickets include all-night access to the event with live performances from local poets hosted by City of West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace, a comedy hour with headliner Jamie Loftus, featuring Audrey Stewart and host Valerie Tosi, a live musical performance from Long Beach indie-pop band Tetra Collective, and Vinyl DJ, Fernando Aguilar.

Artlounge Collective

THE WEST HOLLYWOOD EDITION ROOFTOP

Perched on the 14th floor of The West Hollywood EDITION, The Roof offers sprawling views of the city skyline; a perfect backdrop as the sky lights up with fireworks at the stroke of midnight.

All guests will enjoy a selection of passed canapés by Michelin-starred Chef John Fraser, a decadent dessert station, an open bar, a DJ set, and a champagne toast at midnight.

New Year’s Eve at The Roof – Reception – The West Hollywood EDITION – West Hollywood, CA | Tock | Tock (exploretock.com).

STACHE WEST HOLLYWOOD

Let’s ELEVATE our minds, our hearts, and our lives in 2023! Looking for something different to do in Weho this New Year’s Eve? Join us for an elevated Stache experience. Champagne for the table, followed by a curated NYE Stache dinner where you choose your starter and your main course from a prix fixe menu. Add on indulgences like dessert and an absinthe ritual to complete your dining experience.

Live immersive entertainment elements throughout the night will lead the crowd to an uproarious live countdown and toast to the new year with a complimentary glass of champagne and party favors. Dance the night away with a live DJ playing an open format of pop remixes and top 40 hip-hop hits.

ELEVATE | Stache West Hollywood New Years Eve 2023 Tickets, Sat, Dec 31, 2022 at 8:00 PM | Eventbrite

MEROIS

Join Merois for New Year’s Eve with a special Prefix Menu and celebrate with a Toast at Midnight and Live Music! This event will be $350 per person and bottle service will be available.

The $350 cost is paid at time of booking, includes tax but not gratuity or beverages. Merois does not offer refunds for special events.

Merois | Offers (sevenrooms.com)

CONSERVATORY

For NYE, Conservatory will be hosting a Great Gatsby themed soirée for $125 per person, guests will enjoy a DJ, Cabaret Dancers, a bubbly toast at midnight, interactive food and beverage stations, a champagne room in Society Room and many more surprises. From 8pm to 1am, cocktail or Great Gatsby attire is requested. And don’t forget about New Year’s Day hangover brunch!

Book Your NYE Gatsby Soiree! Event With Conservatory on Resy

THE CLASSIC CAT

Celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE 2023 at The Classic Cat! Join them for their NYE Dinner, Nightlife and Midnight Champagne Toast!

Enjoy the chef curated New Year’s Eve 4-course dinner and ring in the New Year with Bottle Service!

For Reservations email: [email protected]

The Classic Cat (theclassiccatla.com)

Celebrate NEW YEAR’S EVE 2023 at The Classic Cat! Join them for their NYE Dinner, Nightlife and Midnight Champagne Toast!

Enjoy the chef curated New Year’s Eve 4-course dinner and ring in the New Year with Bottle Service!

For Reservations email: [email protected]

The Classic Cat (theclassiccatla.com)

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

City swear-In Sepi Shyne as Mayor & John M. Erickson as Mayor Pro Tempore, Fire Safety in Holiday Season, End-of-Year Trash & Recycling Info

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood to Swear-In Sepi Shyne as Mayor and John M. Erickson as Mayor Pro Tempore on January 9

WEST HOLLYWOOD – At its regular meeting on Monday, December 19, 2022, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood voted upon selection of the City’s next Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore: Sepi Shyne will become the next Mayor and John M. Erickson will become the next Mayor Pro Tempore.

Incoming Mayor Shyne and Incoming Mayor Pro Tempore Erickson will be sworn-in at the City of West Hollywood’s annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting and oath of office ceremony, which will take place on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 6 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. A reception will immediately follow at the Pacific Design Center, located at 8687 Melrose Avenue.

The meeting, ceremony, and reception are free and open to the public. Limited validated parking will be available at the West Hollywood Park five-story structure; additional validated overflow parking will be available at the Pacific Design Center.

The meeting and ceremony will be live-broadcast and streamed as part of the regular City Council meeting and will be available by tuning into Channel 10 on Spectrum within West Hollywood, by visiting the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv, or by visiting the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. In addition, City Council meetings can also be viewed on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku streaming platforms by searching “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services.

About Incoming Mayor Sepi Shyne – Sepi Shyne made history in November 2020 when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She became the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected anywhere globally and locally became the first woman of color elected to the West Hollywood City Council. Her election also ushered in West Hollywood’s first female-majority City Council. Shyne’s priorities include advocating for affordable housing, protecting renters and social service programs, social justice, small business revival, and bringing the people’s voices to West Hollywood City Hall.

Shyne received her Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University with a double concentration in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a Minor in Drama with an emphasis in Directing. She received her Juris Doctorate with a specialization certificate in litigation from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

As an LGBTQ+ and civil rights leader for more than 20 years, her leadership has helped secure equal rights for all. Before her election to the West Hollywood City Council, Shyne served on the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (now LGBTQ+ Advisory Board), on the City of West Hollywood’s Business License Commission, and on the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Advisory Council, on which she continues to serve. Additionally, she has led many boards and organizations, including the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and as a Board of Governor and Steering Committee leader with the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles. 

Shyne is a Co-Organizer of WeHo Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a community group created during the pandemic to help get resources to seniors, people with disabilities, and people in immunosuppressed households via social media and volunteer check-in calls. In every board and organization she has led, she has recruited and elevated women and people of color to leadership positions to create more diversity, inclusion, and equity.

About Incoming Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson – John M. Erickson was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 3, 2020 with the commitment to uphold the city’s founding vision for a forward-thinking, diverse, and tolerant community.

Erickson first planted roots in West Hollywood in 2010 when he was selected to intern for the West Hollywood City Council. The internship set him on a path that connected his work for social and economic justice with his passion for public service. He went on to become Council Deputy to former Mayor Abbe Land and then served as a staff member at West Hollywood City Hall working to advance policies, initiate programs, and increase awareness around LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, the environment, and civic engagement.

After leaving City Hall, Erickson served as a Legislative Representative at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and is currently the Interim Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications, and Marketing at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

The immediate past Vice Chair of the City’s Planning Commission, Erickson’s priorities on the City Council include overcoming COVID-19 through sensible health practices and economic recovery; creating more affordable housing and protecting renters’ rights; reducing traffic through alternative transportation strategies, fighting climate change and making our city more sustainable; and implementing policies that make the city truly free of prejudice and welcoming to all.

Erickson has earned a reputation as a fearless, tenacious, and effective voice for those who need one. His advocacy work includes serving as a National Board Member of the National Organization for Women and President of the ACLU Southern California. In 2017, he became Governor Brown’s appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and served as an organizer for both the Resist March and the historic Women’s March Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation. Erickson was part of the End Statute of Limitation on Rape (ERSOL) Campaign, which overturned California’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in 2016.

Erickson received his Ph.D. in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University and a Dual-Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies.

Parisa Parnian was selected by Incoming Mayor Sepi Shyne to provide an original artwork for the City of West Hollywood’s 2023 City Council Reorganization and Installation event invitation. Artist Statement: “The Phoenix bird represents Incoming Mayor Sepi Shyne both as a symbol of her ‘rising out of the ashes’ and taking flight, as well as a nod to her Iranian heritage: the Phoenix bird is part of Persian mythology. The background of sparkly palm trees silhouetted by the sun references the iconic West Hollywood skyline. And the collective of raised fists represents not only the City of West Hollywood’s history of inclusivity and progressiveness, but also Incoming Mayor Shyne’s commitment to equity and advocacy for the community she serves.”

City Swears-In Three Newly Elected Members to the West Hollywood City Council

The City of West Hollywood has sworn-in three newly elected members to the West Hollywood City Council: Lauren Meister, Chelsea Lee Byers, and John Heilman. Each Councilmember took an oath of office during the regular meeting of the City Council of the City of West Hollywood on Monday, December 19, 2022. The meeting is available for viewing on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv and on the City’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.

During the meeting, the City Council voted upon selection of the City of West Hollywood’s next Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore: Sepi Shyne will become the next Mayor and John M. Erickson will become the next Mayor Pro Tempore. They will each take an oath of office at the City’s City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting and ceremony on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 6 p.m.

About Lauren Meister – After nearly two decades as a neighborhood advocate, Lauren Meister was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015; re-elected for her second term on March 5, 2019; and re-elected for her third term on November 8, 2022. She is the City of West Hollywood’s current outgoing Mayor.

Since being elected, Meister has worked on initiatives to strengthen the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, develop more neighborhood-friendly planning and land use policies, provide social services for people who are homeless, create a Small Business Task Force, establish West Hollywood as a safe haven for LGBTQ asylum seekers, increase community engagement and transparency, implement a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) Program, educate the public on safety issues related to children and pets, embrace and promote our historic resources and, raise the bar on design standards, environmental programs, and sustainability.

In her first term as mayor (April 2016-May 2017), she joined with mayors from across the nation to show support for preserving the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protecting immigrant and refugee communities.

Among Meister’s priorities are:

  • Initiating and supporting policies to save our affordable housing stock and local neighborhood serving businesses;
  • Prioritizing public safety, social services, and housing production to reflect the needs of our community;
  • Preserving our city’s rich history and unique character;
  • Protecting and enhancing parks and green space; and
  • Advocating for safe mobility options and fair parking policies. 

Prior to her election in 2015, Meister became involved with the City of West Hollywood as a neighborhood watch captain, took the LASD Community Emergency Response Team “CERT” training, and attended the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Community Academy. She went on to lead the largest neighborhood association in the city, representing residents on issues such as public safety, traffic circulation, parking, and development.

She served on numerous commissions and committees for the City of West Hollywood, including the Planning Commission and Public Safety Commission. She worked to mitigate traffic and parking impacts of new and proposed projects in the City, supported creative parking solutions to help neighborhood businesses, initiated the City’s “Live, Work, Play, Be Safe” educational campaign, and supported new ideas to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety. She also worked on campaign finance reform and has been a strong advocate for a stricter code of ethics.

At the request of former Congressmember Henry Waxman, Meister testified before Congress in support of health insurance regulation and universal health care, and she worked with City of Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz to reduce helicopter noise in residential neighborhoods.

In 2013, she served as Chair of the successful “Yes on Measure C” Term Limits for West Hollywood committee, limiting all Council members elected on or after March 2013 to no more than three full or partial terms on the City Council.

Professionally, Meister is the sole proprietor of her own marketing research firm based in West Hollywood. She has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration, and a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Services Management.

A resident of West Hollywood for more than 30 years, Meister has been both a renter and a homeowner in the City. Her parents, sister, and rescue dogs, Suki and Sammy, also call West Hollywood home.

About Chelsea Lee Byers – Chelsea Lee Byers was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on November 8, 2022. Byers first became connected to the City of West Hollywood through the Women’s Leadership Conference. This connection led to many program partnerships with the City, including Women Manifest (2016), the Cannabis Education Forum (2015-2018), collaborative film screenings, panels, and more.

While working with United Way’s Everyone In campaign, Byers engaged with the City’s Social Services Division and Strategic Initiatives Division to bring educational programming to the community on homelessness and housing solutions. She currently works as Director of Programs and Partnership with Women’s Voices Now and is a core team member with Beautiful Trouble.

The immediate past Vice Chair of the City’s Human Services Commission, Byers’ priorities on the City Council include social service delivery, climate-change mitigation strategies, and emergency resiliency efforts, creating more affordable housing and resources for renters, enhancing the streetscape for improved pedestrian and cycling experiences while reducing vehicle-dependency, and community building and policy implementation to ensure West Hollywood is an inclusive community for all. 

She serves on the Board of Directors for National Women’s Political Caucus as the Vice President of Education and Training for NWPC California. She is a board member of Abundant Housing Los Angeles and President Emeritus of the Westside Young Democrats. 

Byers has participated in a number of fellowships including the Housing Policy Leadership Institute, New Leaders Council, Art for LA Activate Program, National Council for Jewish Women’s Advocacy Program, and the James Lawson Institute.

Byers studied at Universidad Internacional Cuernavaca, Franklin University Switzerland and received her B.A. in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Northern Arizona University.

About John Heilman – John Heilman was active in the incorporation of the City of West Hollywood. He was elected to the City’s first City Council in November 1984. He was chosen as the City’s second Mayor in 1985. He also served as Mayor in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2010. He was re-elected to the City Council in June 2015 and in November 2022 and is one of the longest-serving openly gay elected officials in the United States.

Since his earliest days on the City Council, one of Heilman’s strongest concerns has been affordable housing. He was instrumental in the establishment of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, a City-funded organization that develops affordable housing in West Hollywood and the surrounding region. He also helped develop the City’s landmark Rent Stabilization Ordinance. He helped create the City’s inclusionary housing policy, which requires developers of new residential buildings to include housing for low and moderate-income residents.

Heilman drafted the City’s landmark ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of HIV and AIDS. He received the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Award for his leadership on the issue of AIDS. He established the City’s Senior Advisory Board and helped develop the City’s Comprehensive Services Center at Plummer Park. He also established the City’s Russian Advisory Board in an effort to integrate the City’s Russian-speaking residents into the City’s decision-making process, and he founded the City’s Annual Women’s Leadership Conference.

Heilman was instrumental in building West Hollywood Library, which was opened in 2011. 

Heilman has worked closely with the West Hollywood business community. He was a founder of the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors’ Bureau now known as the West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board/Visit West Hollywood. He helped establish the Sunset Strip Business Improvement District as well as the business improvement district which serves the City’s Design District.

In his professional life, Heilman is a highly regarded law school professor. He is a professor at Southwestern Law School and an adjunct professor at USC Law School. In his private life, Heilman is an avid runner. He has run numerous marathons and half-marathons for charity.

About the City of West Hollywood – The City of West Hollywood is like no other city in the world. Located in the heart of metropolitan Los Angeles, the City was incorporated in 1984 by a unique collaboration of people including LGBTQ activists, seniors, and advocates for affordable housing. At only 1.9 square miles, West Hollywood is a robust economic and cultural center instilled with idealism, creativity, and innovation. A spirit of community activism and civic pride thrives in West Hollywood for many of its approximately 35,000 residents and the City has a strong progressive political voice.

West Hollywood works diligently to defend the fundamental rights of its community members including LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, seniors, people of color, immigrants, women, and others. The City is one of the most outspoken advocates anywhere for the legal rights of LGBTQ people; more than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ. The City also prides itself on being a safe space. Regardless of nationality or immigration status, the City of West Hollywood has a commitment to promoting social justice and equal rights.

West Hollywood to Ring in the New Year with  Drug- and Alcohol-Free Event: VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration

This New Year’s Eve, join in the fun and celebrate the first moments of 2023 at VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration, West Hollywood’s premier alcohol- and drug-free New Year’s Eve event. This year’s celebration will bring hundreds of people together for a fabulous celebration and an alcohol-free midnight toast. The theme of this year’s event is “Astrological Wellness” and there will be drag entertainment, dancing, and light refreshments as well as other fun wellness activities such as tarot and palm readings, psychics, star charting and more! The event will provide a safe space for sober people to celebrate New Year’s Eve with others in recovery, away from the typical substance-heavy events and parties that mark the holiday.   

The City of West Hollywood has co-sponsored a New Year’s Eve event since 2014. VIBEZ is organized by the nonprofit organization, The Phoenix, and will take place on the evening of Saturday, December 31, 2022, starting at 9 p.m. and will run until 1 a.m. on Sunday, January 1, 2023 at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall, located at 1200 N. Vista Street. There will be an All Recovery Meeting at 8 p.m. followed by the New Year’s Eve celebration starting at 9 p.m.

VIBEZ is a free event. Attendees must be 18 or older to attend. Advance RSVP is encouraged, as Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall has limited capacity. RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/2hvdd4cc. Attendees are encouraged to be respectful of the neighboring residential area when arriving and leaving the event. Limited parking is available in both the north (N. Vista Avenue entrance near Fountain Avenue) and south (Santa Monica Boulevard entrance) parking lots at Plummer Park.

For additional information about VIBEZ: A Sober New Year Celebration, please contact Andy Short at [email protected].

End-of-Year Trash and Recycling Information

The City’s solid waste hauler, Athens Services, will not pick up of trash on Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 2022 or on New Year’s Day, Sunday, January 1, 2023. Sites that receive Sunday service will not be served. Service will resume on Monday, December 26, 2022.

Holiday trees are 100% recyclable. Athens Services will collect holiday trees on normal pickup days beginning on Monday, December 26, 2022 through Friday, January 6, 2023.

Tips to ensure collection of holiday tree: remove stands, ornaments, lights and tinsel; place holiday trees at the curb; trees over six feet in length must be cut in half; trees with flocking or fire retardants are acceptable; and please do not leave the tree in a plastic bag as the bag gets caught in the chipper blades. 

Remember that gift boxes, wrapping paper, and other paper packaging can be recycled with regular paper and cardboard recycling. During the holidays, many people get rid of old electronics, as well. Residents should take old electronics to a collection center such as the UCLA S.A.F.E. Drop-Off Center or schedule an E-waste pickup with Athens Services. For details, please visit www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/public-works/environmental-services/trash-and-recycling

Bulky or large items, such as refrigerators, carpet, and wood, can be picked up at no charge to residents, limited to one or two items. Please call Athens Services directly to find out details and arrange for a pickup.

If you will be generating a larger amount of trash than typical and when trash and recycling bins or carts are full, do not place extra trash and recycling on the ground with bins and/or carts. Please contact Athens Services to schedule extra services to accommodate extra trash and recycling.

For more information, or to arrange for extra trash and recycling services, please contact Athens Services’ Customer Service Office at (888) 336-6100.

Homeless Initiative Introduces New Mobile Health Clinic Services to the Community

The City of West Hollywood is partnering with UCLA Health Homeless Healthcare Collaborative to bring UCLA’s mobile healthcare clinic to West Hollywood on a regular basis to serve people experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood. 

UCLA Health will host walk-up healthcare services on a monthly basis piloting services at West Hollywood Park on Monday, December 19, 2022 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Plummer Park on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 from 12 p.m, to 2:30 p.m. Services will be provided at no-cost by UCLA Health Homeless Healthcare Collaborative, which includes doctors and nurses. The Homeless Healthcare Collaborative mobile team provides urgent care, wound care, medical screenings, preventive care, vaccinations, care for chronic medical conditions, and referrals to social service supports that benefit community members experiencing homelessness. Additional service dates will be announced after the pilot launches.

“We deeply appreciate the partnership with UCLA Health in bringing their innovative Homeless Healthcare Collaborative to West Hollywood. Through the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, we are working to increase access to services and support that help people on the path back into housing. Making UCLA Health services available within the City makes it easier to get healthcare. We are proud to have UCLA Health join forces with the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, who is also a member of the City Council Subcommittee on Homelessness. 

According to UCLA Health, the stressors and barriers people face when experiencing homelessness lead to higher rates of chronic disease, social isolation, increased morbidity and mortality, fragmented service use, and poor primary care experiences. According to UCLA Health data, 85% of emergency department visits for people experiencing homelessness are due to primary- or urgent-care conditions that can be prevented or treated in the community. 

By partnering with UCLA Health Homeless Healthcare Collaborative, the City of West Hollywood is adding to existing innovative health services funded by the City’s Social Services Grants Program to meet the needs of community members experiencing homelessness. Healthcare in Action provides on-call health services in the City’s parks and public spaces and LA LGBT Center offers comprehensive, ongoing health services at their nearby clinic. The City’s collaborative partnerships with Saban Community Clinic, and Cedars-Sinai continue as well. All told, the range of health resources available through these partners, along with the capacity to meet people both in the community and serve them ongoing at local clinics, advances health equity in the West Hollywood community.

The City’s Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department’s Strategic Initiatives Division oversees the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative in coordination with the City’s Social Services Division. The Homeless Initiative is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency collaborative response, which includes multiple City Departments, City-funded social service agencies, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and Los Angeles County agencies.

Through the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, in partnership with the community, and with funding support from LA County Measure H, in 2018 the City established the Five Year Plan to Address Homelessness in Our Community. The plan identifies seven goals – and key actions to reach these goals – this new partnership with UCLA Health further advances Goal #6: Strengthen partnerships with other cities and with nonprofit organizations to support regional and individualized solutions to homelessness.

Making progress toward the goals of West Hollywood’s Five-Year Plan remains critically important in directing the local response to homelessness.

The West Hollywood Homeless Initiative seeks to effectively address homelessness. If you are concerned about a community member who is homeless, call the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590. If your concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850. 

For more information about the Homeless Initiative, please contact Elizabeth Anderson, City of West Hollywood Strategic Initiatives Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6839 or [email protected].

West Hollywood Urges Community to be Mindful of Fire Safety this Holiday Season

The City of West Hollywood is reminding the community to stay safe this winter holiday season and follow winter holiday fire and personal safety tips from the City, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the LA County Fire Department.

The City of West Hollywood’s Fire Safety Brochure offers the following tips and more to make your home fire-safe:

  • Install smoke alarms and test smoke alarms regularly.
  • Place one or more ABC rated fire extinguishers in your home.
  • Consider installing automatic fire sprinklers when possible.
  • Be extremely cautious using portable heaters and follow all instructions carefully.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Never leave candles burning unattended.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or power strips.

FEMA provides a number of fire safety tips and outreach materials on its website, including general tips, info on electric vehicle charging, and for space heaters:

  • Keep anything that can burn, such as bedding, clothing, and curtains, at least 3 feet away from the heater. 
  • Make sure the heater has an automatic shut-off, so if it tips over, it shuts off. 
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room. 
  • Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.
  • Have a qualified electrician install a new, dedicated circuit for your EV charging device. Older home wiring may not be suitable for use with EV supply equipment.
  • Cover the EV charging station outlet to stop water from entering. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure it is safe to charge your EV in wet conditions.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles, or heat vents and water your tree daily. Also, make sure your tree does not block exits.

The City of West Hollywood features tips for making your home fire-safe on the City’s website with detailed information about safety considerations and reminders to install smoke alarms and test them regularly. 

The City of West Hollywood is served by the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD). As the holidays approach, LACoFD reminds community members to operate space heaters safety, to ensure there is a working carbon monoxide (CO) detector in your home, and to take precautions when using holiday decorations, lights, and candles. Stay up-to-date with information from LACoFD at https://fire.lacounty.gov and follow updates at https://twitter.com/LACOFD.

Los Angeles County has implemented a free mass notification called Alert LA County, which is used to contact residents and businesses via recorded phone messages, text messages, or e-mail messages in case of emergency. West Hollywood residents are encouraged to sign up at https://ready.lacounty.gov/alerts

For more information about Community Safety in the City of West Hollywood, please call (323) 848-6414 or visit www.weho.org/publicsafety

To contact Los Angeles County Fire Station No. 7, please call (310) 358-3430. To contact Los Angeles County Fire Station No. 8, please call (323) 654-5445.

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Offices at (323) 848-6460. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar.

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Phone thieves nabbed at Rocco’s by LA County Sheriff’s deputies

The incident occurred at roughly 1:30am on Sunday morning. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department declined to comment further

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Screenshot/YouTube

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has confirmed that two individuals–both female–were arrested for phone thefts at Rocco’s WeHo located at 8900 Santa Monica Blvd., across the street from the LASD WeHo Station.

The incident occurred at roughly 1:30am on Sunday morning. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department declined to comment further or provide more information stating that it is an ongoing investigation.

Rocco’s WeHo describes the phone thefts via their official Instagram @roccosweho:

“Last night one of our dancers observed 2 people who appeared to be pickpocketing cell phones. He jumped off the gogo box, followed them and motioned for our security to detain them. The 2 suspects were arrested and multiple phones were recovered and returned to our valued guests. We are all in this together.

Thanks to our security team for detaining the suspects and for @lasdwesthollywoodstation for responding immediately.

@wehocity is a place for fun not for crime.”

In another incident, two individuals, one male, and one female, were arrested at The Abbey Food and Bar on Saturday, December 3, 2022, during the evening nightlife hours.

A video posted on social media earlier this month alleges a theft crew is targeting people in West Hollywood and stealing phones and wallets. The video, which originated from the Instagram account @francofriday, states the same people, five males and two females of Hispanic descent stand on the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente and pickpocket unsuspecting people, taking cell phones and wallets.

“On that corner they pickpocket you. They steal your cellphones, while you’re listening to the guy playing music or waiting to cross the street right in that area,” he said in the video which received local broadcast news stations’ attention. “They grab your cellphones and they put them in a bag. They grab your IDs and your wallet, and they put it in the trash can. Once they put the phones in the trash, one of the girls takes the bag, walks past Revolver and walks to a car and puts in the back seat of a car…”

He said the females grab a key under the hood of the car and put the bags in the back seat. He says he could see the bag full of phones and tried to take a photo.

It is not yet known if the two female suspects arrested at Rocco’s are part of this alleged theft ring.

If you see something, say something. Anonymous tips on alleged phone thefts can be called into Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. If you see something, say something. Anyone with information can also drop a tip at https://www.lacrimestoppers.org.

Your identity is always encrypted and anonymous. No personal information, phone number, e-mail, IP address or location is ever requested, saved, traced, tracked or monitored. Period.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist.

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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LASD deputies violently arrest disabled Trans woman in WeHo

Annie Jump Vicente, a former City of LA employee, refused to let deputies into her building without a warrant. She ended up in jail

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LASD WeHo Deputies carry a handcuffed Annie Jump Vicente out of her building (Photo Credit: Mariah Darling)

By Cerise Castle | WEST HOLLYWOOD – This past week, deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station violently arrested a disabled transgender woman inside of her home for resisting arrest. 

Annie Jump Vicente, 31, is a former employee of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office. She worked as a Venice constituent advocate in the city’s 11th district, and has also been a site coordinator for LA Family Housing.

Around 3 PM on Wednesday, December 7, Vicente was walking home with her roommate, Mariah Darling, from a nearby grocery store. As the two of them neared their building, Vicente spotted a sheriff’s patrol vehicle parked in front of it. She told Darling to continue inside, and she waited outside to see why the deputy was outside of her home.

Another unit parked nearby a few minutes later, and deputies exited and began walking toward the building’s door. Vicente inquired about why they were there, and the deputies told her they were investigating a domestic violence incident.

Vicente says that deputies had been to her home the night before to address an ongoing domestic violence issue in a neighboring unit. However, Vicente says they did not take a statement from the victim at that time.

Vicente says that, when the deputies tried to enter the building through a locked door the following afternoon, she informed them that she would not let them in without a warrant and directed them to call the landlord’s phone number. The phone number is posted on the door phone Dialpad.

When Vicente would not let the deputies in, a deputy grabbed her arm and the door as it shut behind her, she says. The second deputy followed the first one into the building, and she says the two of them forced her to the floor. Her head was knocked into the wall in the process, leaving her with intense headaches and neck pain. Her smeared makeup and scuff marks from the deputies’ boots are still visible on the walls of the building entryway. 

Vicente cried out as she was knocked to the floor, prompting Darling to come into the hallway and begin filming. Vicente was handcuffed in the hallway, then hogtied. 

On the tape, reviewed by Knock LA, deputies say they have placed Vicente in handcuffs because she would not let them in the building. The video also shows her being carried out into the street while hogtied. The deputies lay her there for over a minute, misgender her, then drag her into the back of the car.

Vicente was taken to the hospital, then returned to the West Hollywood sheriff’s station for booking. When released later that night, she photographed the deep welts in her wrists from handcuffs that were too tight.

A right wrist with visible red bruising
Annie Jump Vicente’s wrists displayed red welts following her arrest, from handcuffs that were too tight.
(Photo courtesy of Jordan David)

“A few days prior, I had a full public comment about [LASD] not doing their job at my building about domestic violence,” Vicente tells Knock LA. “And here we are. Two days later.”

LASD said in a statement this afternoon that deputies arrived at the building in response to a domestic violence incident and were not allowed in by a woman Knock LA has identified as Annie Jump Vicente. The department said in the statement that, “In domestic violence incidents, every second is critical for the safety of victims involved. As a result of the female preventing Deputies from entering the apartment complex to get to the domestic violence incident, a use of force occurred and the female was arrested for obstructing the Deputies in the lawful course of their duties.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, police officers can only search a home with a warrant or consent of the occupant.

Jordan David, an organizer with the West Hollywood Social Justice Coalition and friend of Vicente’s, says he believes it is highly offensive to portray Vicente as an aggressor.

“Why would they expect her to hold the door instead of obtaining the door code from the caller? We have seen this kind of rhetoric and behavior from the WeHo sheriff’s department many times and it’s made one thing perfectly clear: they are not here to keep us safe. We keep us safe.”

LASD tells Knock LA that they will be presenting charges against Vicente to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office. However, the DA tells Knock LA they have not received charges yet. 

Vicente has returned home and is planning to continue to speak out about her experience and call for accountability. 

“I believe that we can work together to have a better future … not enough people stand up to brutality,” she says. “I’ll speak out, and I want to encourage others to do so and to stand with me.” 

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Cerise Castle is the editor of the Knock LA. She wrote the first history of deputy gangs inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. She’s produced and hosted segments for the Emmy-award winning nightly news program, VICE News Tonight, and NPR as well as series for the podcasting giant, Wondery. Her reporting and commentary have been featured in publications like The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and MTV.

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The preceding article was previously published by the Knock LA and is republished with permission.


Knock LA is a nonprofit community journalism project, originally conceived by Ground Game LA. We are dedicated to providing independent journalism and telling the real story of LA.

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