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West Hollywood wins 2021 ‘Most Business-Friendly City Award’

The City of West Hollywood was a finalist among five cities with a population under 60,000 people in Los Angeles County

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Photo credit: City of West Hollywood

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood has been awarded the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s 2021 Most Business-Friendly City Award. Awards were conferred at the 26th annual Eddy Awards evening ceremony on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at SoFi Stadium.

The City of West Hollywood was a finalist among five cities with a population under 60,000 people; the four other cities named as finalists were the cities of: Culver City, El Segundo, Rosemead, and Vernon.

“It’s an honor for the City of West Hollywood to be selected as the recipient of this year’s Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation award for Most Business-Friendly City,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “It’s especially significant right now because of everything we’ve been through as a community in adjusting to the difficult realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our city and our businesses have responded, throughout the pandemic, by working together to rise to the challenges of balancing shifting health-and-safety guidelines with creative solutions that support our community, our local economy, and one another.”

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s Eddy Awards annual dinner gala and awards ceremony celebrates exceptional public and private leadership in economic development in Los Angeles County. The Most Business-Friendly City Award recognizes demonstrated outstanding contributions to economic development in the region in business, education, and government throughout LA County.

This year’s awards stand out as they recognize cities that prioritized creating the most supportive environment for business recovery, reinvention, growth, and hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Most Business-Friendly City Award honors the community’s extraordinary resilience and collaborative efforts, in celebration of economic reinvention by creating more equity and inclusion throughout LA County. 

In March 2020, the City of West Hollywood approved a declaration of local emergency in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic and it began implementing a series of immediate programmatic responses to address community needs and to provide regular updates to the community. Early in the pandemic, the City approved residential and commercial eviction moratoria to protect renters and tenants and the City regularly extended these moratoria and then aligned with state and county policies.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of West Hollywood has taken extensive action to support businesses and workers. This includes weekly business-specific meetings, regular business outreach, enhanced technical assistance, and deferment and reduction of certain fees, as well as:

  • A Small Business Grant and Microenterprise Program, which allocated general funds to assist eligible and qualified small businesses with small grants to meet operating expenses and retain or hire staff;
  • A COVID-19 Free Webinar Series with informational presentations to assist community members in accessing information about a range of topics including health and safety information for businesses; mediation for commercial tenants and landlords; employer and employee resources; job assistance programs, and more; and
  • A temporary outdoor expansion program, called OUT Zones, to provide businesses in West Hollywood with outdoor commercial space in the public right-of-way to meet protocols set forth by the LA County Department of Public Health and State of California, which prohibited many indoor operations. More than 60 restaurants, shops, and personal care establishments expanded operations outdoors through OUT Zones. 

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) was founded in 1981 as a nonprofit public-benefit organization to harness the power of the private sector in collaboration with LA County, to guide economic development, and to create more widely shared prosperity. The LAEDC drives action in support of a reimagined Los Angeles regional economy that is growing, equitable, sustainable, and resilient, and that provides a healthy and high standard of living for all.

For more information, please visit www.laedc.org.

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West Hollywood

Unprovoked attack in WeHo may be latest in a string of violent crimes

McGrath spent two weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries due to injuries that doctors told him were caused by a blunt object

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File photo of LASD deputies making an arrest -unrelated- (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – After an evening out with friends in West Hollywood at the Abbey on November15, Matthew McGrath found himself in hospital the next day with a fractured jaw and his wallet and mobile phone missing.

According to McGrath, who has lived in WeHo for five years, he was walking home along San Vicente Boulevard when he heard “some slurs, some profanity.” “I’m not exactly clear on what, [happened next] but sort of a few minutes later, I just felt a really blunt force to my head, blacked out and was knocked unconscious,” he told KTLA.

McGrath spent two weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries due to injuries that doctors told him were caused by a blunt object KTLA also noted.

Matthew McGrath via GoFundMe page

He said that he has filed a report with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s substation about the assault and theft but as of Friday had not received a response.

KTLA also reported that the night after McGrath was assaulted, a person was beaten and stabbed on Santa Monica Boulevard. David Cook, 44, was arrested for that stabbing last month. There were also two similar attacks involving a different man using a baseball bat and a boxcutter on Nov. 18 resulted in another arrest last month the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station said in a statement posted to the webpage for the LASD.

“I’ve always felt safe in this neighborhood,” McGrath told KTLA. He observed that although his attack was unprovoked given the other cases and arrests the timing seems suspicious. “We get a crime here or there in West Hollywood, but I have never heard of it happening multiple days in a row,” he said. “Similar assaults, similar attacks, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

GoFundMe page has been created to help McGrath.

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WeHo attack leaves victim shaken, could be part of larger crime trend

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West Hollywood

The Los Angeles Blade celebrates West Hollywood as it turns 37

The City of West Hollywood was incorporated on November 29, 1984 by a coalition of LGBTQ activists, seniors, and renters

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Courtesy of the City of West Hollywood

LOS ANGELES – Incorporated on this date 37 years ago, the City of West Hollywood became the 84th city in Los Angeles County. The “Creative City” was formed during an extremely difficult time for the LGBTQ+ people who lived in the region as the HIV/AIDS pandemic took countless lives.

The city’s founding was also unique as it brought together an eclectic mix of renters, seniors, LGBTQ+ and others to form the basis of what is arguably one of the world’s most prominent LGBTQ+ communities.

The spirit of that inclusivity and free-spirited thinking continues today even as the city and the surrounding greater LA region has survived yet another pandemic.

Celebrate West Hollywood’s 37th Birthday!

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West Hollywood

City of West Hollywood marks World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show support for people living with HIV, & commemorate people died from HIV/AIDS

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Street view artist’s rendering of future WeHo AIDS Monument via https://aidsmonument.org/

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Each year, the City of West Hollywood recognizes World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 United Nations World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention and is held each year on December 1.

Every year, United Nations agencies, governments, nonprofit organizations, and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have passed away due to HIV/AIDS.

The international theme of this year’s #WorldAIDSDay is “End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics.”

“So many have left us much too soon due to HIV and AIDS. The City’s annual recognition of World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to commemorate those lost to AIDS and support those living with HIV,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “We remember the extraordinary loss of loved ones over the last four decades, as well as our community’s remarkable resilience in the face of that loss. The City will continue to fight to end stigma, to support access to medical and emotional care, and to provide resources and support for those in need as we continue to work toward the day we can celebrate the end of suffering and loss caused by AIDS.”

 This year, the City of West Hollywood will recognize World AIDS Day with special events and programming, including:

  • AIDSWatch, the electronic memorial to those lost to HIV, which will be viewable on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV broadcast channel — Spectrum channel 10 within the City of West Hollywood — on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 beginning at midnight through 11:59 p.m.; and
  • The Paul Andrew Starke Warrior Awards presentation, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 6 p.m., and can be viewed on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. The event will feature the Warrior Awards, which are given to outstanding employees or volunteers of local agencies that offer HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse prevention and care services. This year’s honorees are: Darrin Aiken – APLA Health; Jamie Baker – Being Alive; Derald Hunter – Los Angeles LGBT Center’s WeHo Life program; Triana Maldonado – Friends Community Center; Anil Patel – Alliance for Housing and Healing; William Alexis Rogel – The C.I.T.Y. x1 Youth Group; and Desiree Jade Sol – AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The event will also feature an update about the City of West Hollywood’s HIV Zero Initiative from Aaron Celious, Ph.D. of the Maroon Society. 

The City of West Hollywood is currently seeking feedback about stigma experienced as a result of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. The City’s Social Services Division has launched a short survey, as part of efforts to implement the City’s HIV Zero Initiative. Community members, regardless of HIV status, are encouraged to provide feedback. A goal of the survey is to understand how stigma impacts access to care and overall health and wellness. The survey is available at: https://www.weho.org/services/social-services/hiv-aids-resources.

The onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic had a significant impact in West Hollywood. The disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men caused a devastatingly high number of deaths in the City. The City of West Hollywood was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local HIV/AIDS organizations. The City of West Hollywood 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.

The City of West Hollywood actively participates in the development of programs that can bring awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and services to people living with HIV/AIDS. In January 2015, the City announced its vision to become an ‘HIV Zero’ city. The City is currently implementing its HIV Zero Initiative.

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