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WeHo Pride weekend 2022- Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5

For more than three decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to the largest Pride celebrations in Southern California

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City of West Hollywood (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is providing updated information about programming for WeHo Pride 2022, the City’s inaugural “WeHo Pride” event to celebrate Pride in June:

  • WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, June 3, 2022, Saturday, June 4, 2022, and Sunday, June 5, 2022 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. 
  • The City of West Hollywood’s Pride Parade will step-off at noon on Sunday, June 5, 2022 and will make its way along Santa Monica Boulevard; locations specifics will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • WeHo Pride Weekend will also feature OUTLOUD: Raising Voices, the award-winning three-day LGBTQ concert series produced by JJLA.  Headliners, artist lineup, and ticket information will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival (formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival) will take place during 40 days from Harvey Milk Day on Sunday, May 22, 2022 to Thursday, June 30, 2022 live at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood, along with selected online programming.

More information and additional details about WeHo Pride Weekend will be made available in the coming weeks at www.weho.org/pride.

WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during June 2022 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. The City of West Hollywood invites community groups to take part in WeHo Pride 2022. The City has launched a submission form for applications from community groups that wish to participate in WeHo Pride: w.eho.city/applywehopride

Community groups may apply to participate in one of two ways:

  1. Activate a designated space in the event area for WeHo Pride Weekend (in the area of West Hollywood Park and N. San Vicente Blvd. during the weekend of June 3-5, 2022); or
  2. Request City funding for a unique event, produced entirely by your group.

Community group applications will be reviewed by the City of West Hollywood and a limited number of approved groups will be chosen as WeHo Pride participants. The deadline to apply to receive funding for a community event is 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022. 

Each year, the City of West Hollywood celebrates the artistic contributions of the LGBTQ community with its vibrant LGBTQ Arts Festival, which is now known, starting in 2022, as the WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival. Formerly called the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, the festival has a new name. The theme for 2022 is With Liberty, Diversity, Inclusion, and Progress For All.

The WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival runs for 40 days, from Harvey Milk Day through the end of Pride month and is organized by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division with input from the City’s Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board, Transgender Advisory Board, Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, and community partners. WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival projects are funded by the City’s Arts Grant Program. 

Additional details about WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, including a full calendar of events and downloadable brochure with times and locations, will be made available in the coming weeks at www.weho.org/pride.

Some programs from 2021 are still available to be viewed online:

For more than three decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to the largest Pride celebrations in Southern California, as hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world make West Hollywood their destination for the Pride season. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation.

Since incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people.

More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay. The City has advocated for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.

The City of West Hollywood is one of the first municipalities to form a Lesbian & Gay Advisory Board and a Transgender Advisory Board, which each address matters of advocacy. As part of its support of the transgender community, the City 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 WeHo Pride, please contact Megan Reath, Event Services Supervisor, City of West Hollywood at (323) 848-6495 or [email protected].

For more information about the WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, please contact Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, City of West Hollywood at (323) 848-6377 or [email protected].

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

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Inaugural Drag Laureate Program, Homeless Count, National Preparedness Month & Potential Cap on Rent Increases for Rent Stabilized Properties

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood Opens Applications for Inaugural Drag Laureate Program

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is now accepting applications for its inaugural Drag Laureate Program. Applications should be submitted no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022. Application requirements and submission information is available on the City’s website.

The Drag Laureate is an honorary position for the City of West Hollywood and will be a champion for drag arts and culture. They will serve as the official ambassador of West Hollywood’s LGBTQ community and nightlife by supporting local businesses and promoting arts and culture in West Hollywood. 

The inaugural West Hollywood Drag Laureate will serve for a term of two (2) years, beginning November 2022 and ending October 2024 and will receive a $5000 honorarium each year. They will work with City of West Hollywood staff to carry out the Drag Laureate duties, including:

  • Attend and participate in six (6) West Hollywood business grand openings/ribbon cuttings and/or West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce mixers or events to support local West Hollywood businesses. 
  • Provide a drag performance at three (3) City events. 
  • Organize one (1) yearly event in conjunction with City staff to promote drag culture (such as a panel discussion or performance workshop). The event during the second year will occur toward the end of the Drag Laureate’s term and will focus on, and showcase, the Drag Laureate’s work over the prior two years and how they have engaged, empowered, communicated, and educated the community about drag culture and how the Drag Laureate has supported the business community. 
  • The Drag Laureate will also have the opportunity to participate in a documentary to be produced by the City which will feature a glimpse into a day-in-the-life of a drag performer and will showcase the Drag Laureate’s work in West Hollywood.

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will partner with the City on the Drag Laureate program. Specifically, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has created a new entertainer membership level specifically for unrepresented solo artists. The Drag Laureate will receive a complimentary Chamber membership which will provide them access to member resources and benefits, connections to bookings, opportunities to develop professional relationships with other businesses, support and fellowship from the greater business community, promotion and visibility throughout the West Hollywood business community, and marketing and promotion platforms and opportunities.

Additionally, through the West Hollywood Small Business Foundation (501c3) the Drag Laureate will have access to resources, information, and direct training related to building a business and marketing plans, creating budgets, setting up a business, promotion, brand protection, understanding contractual agreements, social media/website design, and more.

Only drag artists with a significant connection to the City of West Hollywood will be considered, such as: lives and/or works in the City, has volunteered on a regular basis for community programs that deliver services in the City, and/or has organized or participated in events that were co-sponsored by and/or took place in the City of West Hollywood.

Please refer to www.weho.org/streets to confirm that the residence address, work address, and/or the activities being presented for qualification are in the City of West Hollywood. Current City of West Hollywood appointed officials, elected officials, and City employees are not eligible to apply for the Drag Laureate position.

For more information about the Drag Laureate program, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Business Development Division, at (323) 848-XXXX or at [email protected].

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

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Releases 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), on Thursday, September 8, 2022, released the results of the 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. LAHSA’s official point-in-time count for the City of West Hollywood is 40 persons, a significant decrease from the 2020 count (112 persons) and the City’s lowest number since the City began participating in the count in 2009.

The City looks to a range of data to understand trends in the number of community members experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood relative to the number of people getting housed. For example, in January 2020, the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count tallied 66,436 people experiencing homelessness across the region and 112 people in City of West Hollywood.

The 2022 LAHSA count for West Hollywood aligns with the monthly numbers reported by Ascencia, a nonprofit organization with which the City of West Hollywood contracts for homeless outreach, shelter, and housing support services. Through the City’s contract with Ascencia, the outreach team provides the City with monthly data on the number of unsheltered community members in city public spaces and reports from the last year show a monthly average count of 40 people experiencing homelessness. Ascencia completes this ongoing count the last Friday of each month from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

The official 2022 LA County Homeless Count is 69,144 people. This is a 4.1% increase from the 2020 Count. The Service Planning Area (SPA) 4 Count (which includes the areas of Skid Row and Hollywood in the City of Los Angeles, as well as the City of West Hollywood) also saw a 4% increase from 17,121 in 2020 to 17,820 in 2022. However, LAHSA believes those numbers are indicating a potential flattening of the curve. Regional increases are significantly down from the double-digit increases in the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the regional level, the slowing in the growth of the region’s homeless population is encouraging. That said, the City is aware that it continues to be frustrating that the regional social safety net is not yet making significant and sustained reductions in the number of people experiencing homelessness.

Even with the 2022 count data showing a marked decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness here, the day-to-day impacts of homelessness in West Hollywood are felt acutely by all community members and businesses and the City will continue to prioritize engaging with the community and fostering ongoing communication and outreach to support requests for help and get resources to people in need.

The City’s sustained investments in homeless outreach, behavioral health services, case management, and housing retention is increasing the annual tally of community members who move off the streets and into their own homes. Additionally, two years of the City’s emergency tenant protection policies, rental assistance, and other supportive programs have helped people remain in their housing during the economic instability stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its regular meeting agenda on Monday, July 18, 2022, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood received an update regarding the City’s Homeless Initiative. The update provided the City Council and the community with details about the Homeless Initiative’s progress towards the goals of the Five-Year Plan to Address Homelessness in Our Community, as well as notable activities in the regional homeless service system, the delivery of local homeless services, and program outcomes from City-funded non-profit agencies.

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.

Since October 2016, through West Hollywood’s focused efforts, the City of West Hollywood and its partners have successfully supported more than 224 youth and adults in establishing permanent housing and ending their experience of homelessness; notably, 141 of these housing placements have occurred since October 2019, which marked the beginning of the City of West Hollywood’s FY19-22 Social Service Grants contract cycle.

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 — based on feedback from the West Hollywood community and stakeholders: 

  • Goal #1: Provide support and resources to City staff and contractors in responding appropriately, safely, and effectively to persons who are experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood.
  • Goal #2: Support businesses and residents in responding appropriately, safely, and effectively to persons who are experiencing homelessness in West Hollywood.
  • Goal #3: Establish bridge housing and day center facilities in West Hollywood to serve people who are homeless in the City.
  • Goal #4: Continue the City’s support for the Rapid Re-Housing program to prevent homelessness among West Hollywood residents.
  • Goal #5: Increase the number of supportive housing, special needs housing, and other permanent housing options in West Hollywood for people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.
  • Goal #6: Strengthen partnerships with other cities and with nonprofit organizations to support regional and individualized solutions to homelessness.
  • Goal #7: Prevent homelessness among West Hollywood residents, especially seniors, individuals living with disabilities, and vulnerable families.

Making progress toward the goals of West Hollywood’s Five-Year Plan remains critically important in directing the local response to homelessness. The 2022 West Hollywood Homeless Initiative progress report is available at www.weho.org/homeless

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 additional information about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative, please visit www.weho.org/homeless. To learn more, watch a brief video overview about the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/aAvwRExSeYY

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

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

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. This year’s theme is A Lasting Legacy, the Life You Have Built is Worth Protecting. National Preparedness Month is an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. 

The City of West Hollywood encourages community members to act by creating an emergency preparedness plan with family and neighbors — and don’t forget to include family pets in the plan. An emergency preparedness plan can help everyone to stay safe and effectively communicate during and after potential disasters or emergencies.

The federal government’s website, ready.gov has recommended a step-by-step plan (available in multiple languages) to help prepare for any emergency this month and all year long:

 Make A Plan: Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Update your plan based on any emergent viruses such as COVID-19 or Monkeypox.

Build A Kit: Gather enough supplies to last for several days after a disaster for everyone in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly.

Protect Family and Property: Limit the impacts disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards; act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.

Teach Youth About Preparedness: Talk to your kids about how to prepare for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

Prepare Your Pets for Disasters: Your pets are important members of your family and should be included in your emergency plan. 

The City invites community members to attend a free Emergency Preparedness Seminar on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 3 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The seminar will be led by Erik Franco, who is a Department of Homeland Security Instructor, California Police Officer Standards and Training Instructor, and an Emergency Medical, Search and Rescue Technician. Please RSVP to [email protected] to attend this seminar or for more information.

To learn more community safety tips, please visit the City of West Hollywood’s public safety website area at www.weho.org/publicsafety.

For more information about National Preparedness Month, please contact City of West Hollywood Emergency Management Coordinator, Margarita Kustanovich, at (323) 848-6414 or [email protected].

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

In-Person and Virtual Meetings about a Sunset Date in 2023 for the Current COVID-19-Related Rent Increase Freeze and a Potential Cap on Rent Increases for Rent Stabilized Properties

The City of West Hollywood will be conducting virtual and in-person outreach meetings in September and early October 2022 about a sunset date in 2023 for the current COVID-19-related rent increase freeze and a potential cap on rent increases for rent stabilized properties.

Outreach meetings will seek to gauge ongoing impacts of the pandemic and gather feedback about ending the rent increase freeze, as well as about the proposed rent increase cap on tenants who reside in, and landlords who own, rent stabilized properties located within West Hollywood.

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of West Hollywood declared a local emergency. Shortly thereafter, on April 6, 2020, the West Hollywood City Council implemented a rent increase freeze for all rent stabilized properties until 60 days after the local emergency ends; this declaration is still in effect at this time.

At its regular meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022, the West Hollywood City Council directed City staff to return within 60 days with a proposal for a date to end the rent increase freeze during the first half of 2023 and to present an amendment to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance capping all future rent increases (annual general adjustment) for rent stabilized properties at 3%. The City encourages tenants and landlords to take part in meetings to learn more.

Virtual outreach meetings will be held via the Zoom platform:

  • For Tenants: Tuesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. 
  • For Landlords: Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. 

More information and links to Zoom meetings are available on the City of West Hollywood’s calendar on the City’s website at www.weho.org/calendar.

In-person outreach meetings will take place at the Community Center at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard:

  • For Tenants: Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m. 
  • For Landlords: Tuesday, October 4 at 7 p.m. 

Drop-ins with City Rent Stabilization Division staff will be offered in a pop-up spot for tenants and landlords at the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Vista Lot adjacent to N. Vista Avenue and Fountain Avenue and will take place on Mondays, September 12, 19, and 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Additionally, the City’s Rent Stabilization Division is conducting a community survey to gather input and feedback about the City’s COVID-19-related rent increase freeze sunset date and potential cap on rent increases for rent stabilized properties. To participate in the community survey, please visit the City’s website. The survey will be posted and open through Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 12 p.m. Tenants and landlords who would like a hard-copy version of the survey may contact the Rent Stabilization Division at [email protected].

As background, absent the current rent increase freeze, the current annual general adjustment, which is used as a measure to determine rent increases and is determined by calculating 75% of the percentage increase of the May-to-May Consumer Price Index, would have been 6% beginning September 1, 2022, the highest in the City’s history. The existing cap on the annual general adjustment is 7%, but this cap was implemented prior to the enactment of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which permits landlords to set a new, market-rate rent whenever a rent stabilized unit is vacated and re-rented.

The City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization Division is dedicated to programs that promote the quality of residential life — a core value of the City of West Hollywood. The City provides a breadth of information and services to tenants, owners, and property managers of residential rental properties, which includes information services and written materials. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/rsd

For more information, please contact a Rent Stabilization Information Coordinator at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6450.

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

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Free Theatre in the Parks, Route for Rail to Mid-City, WeHo, & Hollywood, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, 2022 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series Continues

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood Recognizes September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood recognizes Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September. As part of raising awareness, the City will, from September 1, 2022 through September 14, 2022, light West Hollywood City Hall and the lanterns along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood in the color teal.

While breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, ovarian cancer is the deadliest of gynecologic cancers, with a mortality rate of more than 50 percent.

This is because early ovarian tumors are extremely difficult or impossible for even the most skilled examiner to identify through a normal gynecological exam. Other screening tools and tests must be employed to detect ovarian cancer in women who don’t have any symptoms, including genetic testing to help determine a woman’s risk or likelihood of developing ovarian cancer. It is imperative that all high-risk women, even those without symptoms of ovarian cancer, be identified and given the opportunity to receive the most up-to-date screenings as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). 

Despite ovarian cancer rates being highest among white women, Black women are more likely to die from this disease because of lack of access to health care, socioeconomic disparities, and other causes still under study. All women, regardless of socio-economic status, race, or ethnicity, should be provided with resources needed to protect themselves and their families such as education, outreach, and testing. 

The City of West Hollywood has been instrumental in the growth and success of the Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini since the organization’s inception in 2011. The Circle, founded by Paulinda S. Babbini, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization aimed at expanding the ring of networking, education and support for women of all ages and their families and friends who may be affected by this disease.

Robin Babbini, Paulinda’s daughter, was the inspiration for the Circle. Robin succumbed to ovarian cancer at the early age of 20. As a teenager she worked for several years as a staff member at the City of West Hollywood for the Tiny Tots and Tot Time Program. Lack of an early diagnosis and access to readily accessible public information concerning ovarian cancer contributed to the advancement of her disease and ultimate death.

Since its inception, The Circle has raised more than $1 million for ovarian and breast cancer research. The West Hollywood City Council will present a proclamation to Paulinda and the Ovarian Cancer Circle/Inspired by Robin Babbini at its meeting on September 19, 2022 in recognition of the extraordinary work they do.

For more information, please contact Andi Lovano, the City of West Hollywood’s Community and Legislative Affairs Manager, at (323) 848-6333 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Applauds Passage of Senator Ben Allen’s Senate Bill 1194 – Public Restrooms: Building Standards Which Would Allow for Multi-Stall Gender Neutral Bathrooms

The City applauds the California State Legislature for passing Senate Bill 1194 Public Restrooms: Building Standards (SB 1194 – Allen), which would allow for multi-stall gender-neutral bathrooms in cities that choose to pass such an ordinance.

“Today is an incredible, historic day!” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne. “I was proud to co-sponsor the City of West Hollywood Multi-Stall Gender Neutral Bathroom Ordinance, which made us the first city in the United States to move to require equity and safety in bathroom access for people with disabilities who have opposite sex caretakers, our transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming siblings, and same sex and single parents of opposite sex children. I worked with Senator Ben Allen and his staff, my colleague Councilmember John M. Erickson, and our City legislative staff to help shepherd SB 1194 through the legislature. California is now the first state in the nation to give cities local control to make the same choice West Hollywood did.” 

“SB 1194 highlights the critical work being done by the City of West Hollywood to further our commitment not only to the LGBTQ community, but also to people with disabilities, and those with opposite sex children all wanting to make it easier to utilize restroom facilities,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John M. Erickson. “SB 1194 is a common-sense bill that empowers local municipalities with the ability to opt-in to create gender-neutral bathrooms and it empowers businesses to further their commitment to creating open and safe spaces for all. I’m extremely grateful to Senator Ben Allen for authoring this important legislation, the co-authors and supporting organizations, and proud to have brought this item forward initially here in West Hollywood along with my colleague, Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne.” 

In 2014, the City of West Hollywood was the first city in California to require that single-stall restrooms be designated gender-neutral/all gender. In 2016, the California State Legislature followed suit approving Assembly Bill (AB) 1732. On May 3, 2021, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood approved an item to direct staff to prepare an ordinance requiring that newly built places of public accommodation and those that undergo substantial renovations incorporate multi-stall gender-neutral bathrooms.

As City of West Hollywood staff worked to prepare the Ordinance to bring it to the West Hollywood City Council for consideration, it was discovered that the California Building Code did not allow for such construction. To address this issue, it was determined that legislation was necessary to amend the current governing codes so that cities that would like to require that bathrooms include gender neutral stalls may do so.

On February 17, 2022, Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) introduced SB 1194. On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, the California State Senate approved the bill in a 70-0 vote, following its passage in the California State Assembly on Monday, August 29, 2022 in a 54-0 vote. Governor Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law allowing cities to adopt the new regulations for multi-stall gender-neutral bathrooms by adopting ordinances. In addition, and to afford additional discretion to communities, cities can exclude certain occupancies from the bill’s requirements. 

The full text of the bill can be found on the State of California Legislative Information website.

The City of West Hollywood and City of Santa Monica were Lead Sponsors of Senate Bill 1194 Public Restrooms: Building Standards (SB 1194 – Allen); Equality California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and The [email protected] Coalition were Sponsors; and ACLU California Action and Disability Rights California supported the Bill.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s efforts regarding SB 1194, please contact Hernán Molina, the City of West Hollywood’s Governmental Affairs Liaison, at (323) 848-6364 or [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood to Begin Annual Tree Pruning

Trees make our cities greener, cleaner, and healthier. The City of West Hollywood has approximately 12,500 trees that require maintenance and care. The City of West Hollywood will begin its annual program of tree pruning on Monday, September 12, 2022 and work is expected to continue through February 2023.

The City’s contractor, West Coast Arborists, is beginning pruning work along Sunset Boulevard, taking care not to disrupt Westbound lanes until after 10 a.m. in order to minimize the impact on morning commute traffic. During the coming weeks, crews will move to other commercial areas on Beverly Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, and other arterial streets. Following commercial area trimming, work will commence on residential arterial streets. Each day, trimming will start at 8 a.m. and work will be finished by 3 p.m. 

The City will communicate to residents, businesses, and motorists in advance of pruning work, using several methods:

  • “No parking” signs will be placed a minimum of 24 hours in advance of work. The signs will reflect scheduled trimming activities for each day and they will be broken down into two time segments: before 12 p.m. and after 12 p.m. Parking spaces will be reopened as soon as possible after work is completed;
  • Door hangers or postings on trees will be placed a minimum of 72 hours in advance of residential tree-trimming activities;
  • Electronic message boards may be placed at strategic locations several days before trimming, as well as during trimming activities, in order to provide commuters with advance notice so they can plan route changes; and
  • Notification of trimming activity will be posted on the City’s website and on the City’s social media pages @WeHoCity.

For more information, please contact Sam Estrada, the City of West Hollywood’s Urban Forest and Landscape Maintenance Supervisor, at (323) 848-6867 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Presents Free Theatre in the Parks: Classical Theatre Lab’s The Romantics

Free Theatre in the Parks returns to the City of West Hollywood with The Romantics, a hilarious 19th century romantic fantasy by Edmond Rostand, playing at Kings Road Park for six-performances-only beginning Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 3 p.m. and running Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, September 25, 2022. Kings Road Park is located at 1000 N. Kings Road. This free theatre experience is presented by Classical Theatre Lab with the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division. 

Two well-meaning but meddlesome parents desire to see their children fall in love and marry and thereby combine their adjoining properties, but they fear that an arranged marriage will provoke resistance, so they agree to pretend they are mortal enemies and construct “a wall” to separate their gardens. When the kids find out their dreams have been carefully choreographed by their calculating parents, they split up and go their separate ways. They each discover the hardships of life and decide to return to the love of their lives. This sweet romance is highlighted with live music, a sword fight, a kidnapping, and a dashing and handsome stranger. 

The Romantics is directed by Suzanne Hunt and will feature cast members Johnny Austen, Maaren Edvard, Carlo Figlio, Maegan McConnell, Katie McKewin, Donald Wayne, and Alexander Wells. 

The setting of this play will be perfectly suited in the adjoining gardens at Kings Road Park. With a running time of 75 minutes, it can be enjoyed by the entire family. Attendance is free; seating is first-come, first-served. RSVP is requested at https://theromantics-weho2022.eventbrite.com

The Classical Theatre Lab (CTL), founded in 1990, is an ensemble of theatre artists devoted to exploring classical theatre, literature and performance in its weekly workshops as well as developing contemporary works inspired by the classics. CTL’s goal is to promote a love of classical theatre by providing unique and distinctive audience experiences through a culture of diversity, equality, and inclusion.

For more information about Free Theatre in the Parks, please contact Joy Tribble, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Specialist, at (323) 848-6360 or at [email protected].

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

2022 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series Continues Down the ‘Road to Joy’ Through November 2022

The City invites community members to celebrate literature and local authors with its 2022 WeHo Reads literary series. The free series will be presented live online on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHo Arts YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehoarts and is produced by BookSwell, LLC.

Together, poets and authors are embarking on a journey of healing and creativity in the midst of sorrow. The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating a reckoning with injustice that has animated the literary scene for decades and is highlighting the importance of creative work in shaping our ability to live through difficult times. This year’s theme for WeHo Reads is Road to Joy which invites guest poets and authors to discuss how they create joy in their writing and in their lives and invites readers to participate and find their own paths to healing and contentment. 

The next WeHo Reads event is Expansive Vistas and Hidden Corners on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at 6 p.m. Artists and writers explore concepts of places, how they’re made, and how we understand, remember, and memorialize them. Lynell George is a journalist and essayist based in Los Angeles, who tells the city’s story one sentence at a time. Her book, After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame (Angel City Press 2018), is an exploration of the city in text and photography, and she explores the extraordinary creative life of Octavia E. Butler in A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky, published by Angel City Press in 2020. She will be in discussion with Marisela Norte, an American writer, poet, and artist living in Los Angeles and known for poetry that explores the unseen city, including her poetry collection Peeping Tom Tom Girl (Sunbelt Publications 2008). Together, they will explore hidden corners of Los Angeles and the poetry of the city in images and text.

There will also be a special October 2022 event featuring a selection of poets from the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship Program. These poets laureate were all chosen by the Academy to receive a $50,000 award to help support creative work and community engagement projects, and several of them will gather to share about the projects they created. WeHo Reads: Poets Laureate Across America takes place on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, at 6 p.m.  In 2020, the Academy of American Poets awarded more than $1 million to 23 poets laureate as part of a year-long Fellowship to support their creative and organizing work. One of these awards went to City of West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace who also serves as this event’s host. This reading brings together a group of these Fellows from across the country in the aftermath of their Fellowships to share what they did, read their writing, and reflect on the state of poetry across the United States.

Light in Our Hearts concludes the 2022 WeHo Reads season on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 6 p.m.  The culminating event in the series will bring together poets, writers, and artists who live and create at the intersection of joy and hope and reckoning with pain. bridgette bianca is a poet and educator from South Central Los Angeles. Her debut book of poetry, be/trouble, is a powerful love letter to oft-overlooked Los Angeles, one that offers as much danger as it does glamour and as much grit as beauty. traci kato-kiriyama is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer/author, actor, arts educator & community organizer. Her recently published book from Writ Large Press, Navigating With(out) Instruments, is a collection of poetics, micro essays, and notes to self (and other)—a journey of several years, navigating through death moments, past/present tensions of war and violence, trauma and ideation, excavation, and memory. Cassandra Lane is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Her first book, WE ARE BRIDGES: A Memoir, weaves personal and historical geographies, lineages, upbringings, and upheavals into a complete tapestry, validating her glorious existence as a Black mother. There will also be closing remarks from series opener Shonda Buchanan.

The WeHo Reads online events 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. All events are free to attend and take place on at 6 p.m., Pacific Time.  For additional information about these events or to RSVP for a reminder, visit www.weho.org/wehoreads

WeHo Reads is the City of West Hollywood’s literary series which has presented 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, David Ulin, Eileen Myles, Eloise Klein Healy, Emma Donoghue, Erwin Chemerinsky, Henry Rollins, Jacob Tobia, James Sie, LeVar Burton, Lillian Faderman, Lorna Luft, Luis J. Rodriguez, Michael York, Michelle Visage, Myriam Gurba, Natalie Goldberg, Natasha Deón, Nina Revoyr, Patrisse Cullors, Patt Morrison, Randa Jarrar, Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco, Ryan Gosling, Sarah Silverman, Seymour Stein, Stephen Chbosky, Tananarive Due, and Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

BookSwell is a literary events and media production company dedicated to connecting readers and writers in Southern California and beyond. Through events, media, and partnerships, BookSwell makes the book scene easier to navigate, introduces readers to new writing, and weaves together digital and real-life literary experiences. BookSwell was founded in 2017 by Cody Sisco with a mission to amplify the voices of Black writers, Indigenous writers, and writers of color alongside LGBTQ+, female, nonbinary, and indie writers.

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.

City of West Hollywood Reminds Residential Property Owners About the City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Pilot Program

The City of West Hollywood invites residential property owners in West Hollywood to apply for the West Hollywood ADU Pilot Program, which is a new affordable housing initiative to incentivize property owners to create an affordable rental unit on a single-family or multifamily property. The program offers comprehensive assistance for financing, designing, permitting, and constructing a new ADU in the City of West Hollywood.

The program is also offering low interest loans (up to $150,000) to design and build ADUs via conversion of existing accessory structures, new construction, or on multifamily developments in the City. Conversion projects include converting an existing garage or other on-site structure; new construction includes ground-up or prefabricated modular units; multifamily development includes detached or attached, conversion, or new construction.

Applicants for the West Hollywood ADU Pilot Program must meet the following criteria: a single-family property where the ADU will be located must be owner-occupied for the past year (one year) as the property owner’s primary residence; and for either a single-family or multifamily property the property owner must rent the ADU to a Section 8 voucher holder for a minimum of seven continuous years. West Hollywood ADU Pilot Program applications were released on Monday, August 1, 2022 and must be submitted digitally by 5 p.m. on Friday, September 30, 2022.

The City held two information sessions about the program in July.  For those unable to attend one of the sessions, a recording is available for viewing on the City’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program please visit www.weho.org/adupilot.

For more information, please contact Alicen Bartle, City of West Hollywood Project Development Administrator, at (323) 848-6323 or at [email protected].

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

City Applauds Westside Cities Council of Governments for Uniting Behind a Route for Rail to Mid-City, West Hollywood, and Hollywood

The City of West Hollywood applauds the Westside Cities Council of Governments (WSCCOG), which voted unanimously to endorse the proposed San Vicente/Fairfax (“Hybrid”) route for the Northern Extension of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line (or Crenshaw North) at its August meeting. WSCCOG’s united support for this route is a major milestone for the project, which could bring Metro light rail service to the City of West Hollywood, and the City of Los Angeles neighborhoods of Mid-City and Hollywood. This support builds momentum towards a final decision by the Metro Board of Directors and the ultimate implementation of the project.

The WSCCOG includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, the City of Los Angeles (represented by Districts 5 and 11) and the County of Los Angeles (represented by District 3). The WSCCOG assists the cities with regional and cooperative planning and coordination of government services and responsibilities.

The City of West Hollywood has, for several years, supported the proposed San Vicente/Fairfax (“Hybrid”) route, as it would serve a larger area of West Hollywood with up to four underground stations within the City, while also putting three times as many workplaces and six times as many residents within walking distance to new stations, as compared to the proposed La Brea Route.

Metro’s environmental analysis on the project is underway as required under California state law and public meetings were held earlier this summer. At recent Metro meetings, and throughout Metro’s prior community outreach for the project, the overwhelming majority of public feedback about the routes under consideration has favored the San Vicente/Fairfax route. Metro is still accepting public comments online; residents and businesses that are interested in providing feedback are still encouraged to weigh in.

More details and a link to provide feedback is available at www.weho.org/metro. Metro expects to release its Draft Environmental Impact Report which will inform the Metro Board’s final decision on the route, (known as a Locally Preferred Alternative), in Fall 2023.

For the past several years, the City of West Hollywood has been working with West Hollywood Advocates for Metro Rail (WHAM), All on Board Coalition, and the City of Los Angeles to build support for the Metro light rail line Northern Extension to connect the Crenshaw/LAX rail line with Mid-City, West Hollywood, the Metro B Line (Red) station at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, and the Hollywood Bowl. The City and its coalition partners have built momentum on a proposal to accelerate the completion of Crenshaw North by up to 20 years. 

The regional impact of Crenshaw North cannot be underestimated. It will have a strong impact on many communities that are currently underserved by access to a rail line and will more conveniently connect the Los Angeles International Airport to Central Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and the San Fernando Valley. If the San Vicente/Fairfax route is selected, this project will also mean better mobility options to and from the City of West Hollywood and more convenient access to key healthcare and employment centers such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Pacific Design Center, as well as cultural and entertainment destinations such as the Grove and the Hollywood Bowl. Crenshaw North will create more equitable and convenient regional access and improve the overall efficiency of the transit system, which will benefit transit-dependent residents throughout the metropolitan area.

A one-minute video, Let’s Finish The Line: Bringing Metro Rail to WeHo highlights the benefits of the proposed project and is available for viewing on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV YouTube channel. A similar video outlines the reasoning behind the City’s preference for the San Vicente/Fairfax route.

For additional information about West Hollywood Advocates for Metro Rail (WHAM), please visit www.whamrail.com. For additional information about the All on Board Coalition, please visit www.allonboardcoalition.com. More detailed information about the City’s efforts to accelerate the project is available at www.weho.org/rail.

For more information about the future Northern Extension of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail Metro line, please contact David Fenn, City of West Hollywood Senior Planner, at (323) 848-6336 or at [email protected].

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

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West Hollywood

Sheriff’s detectives seek potential victims WeHo sex assault case

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau

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David Mottahedeh, 58 (Mugshot provided by the LASD)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a man on August 24, 2022, for allegations of sexual battery of a female adult. 58-year-old, David Mottahedeh, a licensed chiropractor was taken into custody at his office Golden Hands Chiro, located at 8961 Sunset Blvd suite A, in the city of West Hollywood.

The incident occurred on Thursday July 14, 2022, at approximately 4pm. Based on the nature of the allegation and Mottahedeh’s access to patients, LA County Sheriff’s Department – Special Victims Bureau detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims.  Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying any such victims.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line at (877) 710-5273 or by email at [email protected] 
 
If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP or “P3 Mobile” for the hearing impaired on Google play or the App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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