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City of West Hollywood fundraiser for refugees from Ukraine May 22

The more visitors come, the more awareness, donations, and support organizers can provide to the refugees from Ukraine

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Screenshot/KTLA

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood is organizing a Fundraiser for Refugees from Ukraine on Sunday, May 22, from 11–7 pm in Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The event will include a silent auction, various activities for people of any age, and a gala concert. The proceeds from the event will go
to a non-profit organization that is helping refugees from Ukraine in many parts of the world, including the United States and Los Angeles in particular. In addition to fundraising,
the event’s goal is to show solidarity with Ukraine and connect people to people during
this challenging time.

A free admission event will include a silent auction with items and services from local businesses and communities. As Sundays are usually family days, there will also
be activities for kids. Created by a veteran of Cirque Du Soleil, Dimitri Bogatirev, Aga-Boom theatre of physical comedy and circus arts, and artists Alex Bistrevsky and Dmitrious will amuse little philanthropists with their performances.

In addition, the Los Angeles Puppet Theater on Wheels will show the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Small visitors can even participate in knitting classes led by the Kids Knitwork. The children’s zone will also include a basketball shootout, giant chess and connect games, hi striker, soccer darts, and more. Kids will have fun while allowing their parents to support people in need.

The day-long slate of free events for children includes games, entertainment zones, and masterclasses. The more visitors come, the more awareness, donations, and support organizers can provide to the refugees from Ukraine.

The gala concert in the evening will include performances by Ukrainian American musician Siuzanna Iglidan and Ukrainian singer Mika Newton. They joined John Legend on the stage at Grammy Awards 2022. The list of artists also consists of singers Svetlana Portnyansky, Boris Yudelevich, Ellina Adel, Karina Doba, Yulia Argo, and musicians Igor Serykh, Jacob Nakhman, and Jacob Konviser.

All artists are donating their time to help raise funds and awareness of the situation with Ukrainian refugees and the ways people can help them. 

In March, KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo reported on a14-year-old Ukrainian refugee who arrived in L.A. after being smuggled out of the war-torn country.

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Melrose Gathering Place Community Conversation; ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series; 2023 Arts Grant Program Grant Recipients + more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series Presents a Free Panel Discussion and Screening of ‘Queers Across Years’ on National Coming Out Day

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series, in conjunction with QueerWise, will host a panel discussion and screening of the film Queers Across Years.

The event will take place on National Coming Out Day, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and opening remarks will take place at 7 p.m. followed by the film screening and a panel discussion that will begin at 8 p.m. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is requested at https://HRSS-2022Oct11.eventbrite.com. Parking validation for the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure, will be available at the event (parking is limited to availability).

Queers Across Years was developed through workshops over the course of a few weeks and features a group of younger (ages 18-25) and older (50+) LGBTQ community members sharing personal thoughts, ideas, and writings. The workshops were composed of pairs of younger and older participants with members of QueerWise, an LGBTQIA+ multigenerational writing collective and performance group based in Los Angeles. Members of QueerWise include published poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, and playwrights, singers, musicians, social activists, dancers, and actors, artists, and teachers. The stories written in those workshops have been developed into the material that’s woven into this inter-generational and inter-GENDER-ational video tapestry.

Featured panelists will include QueerWise Artistic Director/Founder Michael Kearns and Queers Across Years participants Gabrielle Néla and Gordon Blitz. The discussion will be moderated by Lucia Chappelle, Co-Producer of This Way Out international LGBTQ radio and Minister of Social Justice, FMCC.

The City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series brings together diverse communities to learn about and discuss global, national, and local human rights issues in a supportive environment. The series reflects the City’s commitment to human rights and core value of Respect and Support for People.

For additional information about the Human Rights Speakers Series, please visit www.weho.org/hrss.

For more information, 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.

City of West Hollywood Celebrates Disabilities Awareness Month in October

The City of West Hollywood and its Disabilities Advisory Board will recognize October as Disabilities Awareness Month. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA is landmark civil rights legislation that works to increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities across society, including in the workplace.

Throughout the month of October, the City of West Hollywood will commemorate Disabilities Awareness Month with the installation of 43 street pole banners along Santa Monica Boulevard, which recognize past recipients of the City’s Disability Service Awards in the individual and nonprofit organization categories.

The City will host two events to raise awareness and shine recognition on people and organizations that positively impact the lives of people with disabilities in the community.

On Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the City of West Hollywood, in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, will host a free Outdoor Flu and COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in the Great Hall Courtyard at Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. COVID-19 transmission is still a concern in Los Angeles County. People who are unvaccinated are at higher risk for serious illness and death. Additionally, the flu season presents a challenge to public health because symptoms of influenza can be very serious. Services offered at this event are: flu vaccines for ages 6 months and older (children 6 months to 8 years of age receiving their first flu vaccine may be registered for their required second dose at https://myturn.ca.gov/); COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines: first, second, and Bivalent Booster doses for ages 12 years and older; Pfizer third dose for immunocompromised individuals 12 years and older. This event will also feature free blood pressure checks and a voter registration booth. 

Walk-ins for both the flu and COVID- 19 vaccines will be accepted, however pre-registration is recommended for the COVID-19 vaccines. Go to: https://myturn.ca.gov/ and use zip code “90046” to locate Cedars-Sinai Pop-up – West Hollywood Plummer Park (10/20/22 Only). A mask must be worn to attend the event. Children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants should bring a form of identification and existing COVID-19 vaccination card. Please stay home if you are not feeling well. For more information or if you have questions about the Outdoor Flu and COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, please call Cedars-Sinai at (310) 423-4625.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. the City of West Hollywood will host the 24th Annual Disability Service Awards at a special televised meeting of the Disabilities Advisory Board. The virtual meeting will take place on the Zoom platform at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81840112413. The Disability Service Awards will also be broadcast live on WeHoTV on Spectrum Cable Channel 10 in West Hollywood; will be livestreamed on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv and on the City’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv; and will be livestreamed via the AppleTV, Amazon FireTV, AndroidTV, and Roku platforms by searching for “WeHoTV.”

This year’s Disability Service Awards honorees are:

  • Lovedy Brydon Differently Abled Individual Award: Dena Saur Bowman – (posthumously);
  • Business Award:  Pavilions West Hollywood;
  • Media Award: Paulo Murillo; and
  • Nonprofit Award: West Hollywood Comprehensive Service Center/Jewish Family Service LA. 

The City of West Hollywood’s Disabilities Advisory Board was created in 1995 and is comprised of nine members. The Disabilities Advisory Board addresses issues affecting people with disabilities, including ADA compliance, transportation, housing, access to City government and services for people with disabilities, and makes recommendations to the West Hollywood City Council relative to the adoption of programs, policies, or ordinances of benefit to the constituency.

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division at (323) 848-6510.

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing please contact [email protected] for more information and to request accommodation. Individuals may also use TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood to Host Community Conversation for Melrose Gathering Place on Thursday, September 29 at 6 p.m.

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to attend a Melrose Gathering Place Community Conversation on Thursday, September 29, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center (Floor 5 at the top of the grand staircase), located at 8750 El Tovar Place, next to the West Hollywood Library.

The space at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Norwich Drive is currently sidewalk and diagonal parking. It will be transformed into approximately 7,200 square feet of park-like space with landscaping, trees, seating, public art, and other amenities. The previously proposed design for this space is now being reimagined, and the City is excited to restart the effort with a new design team, artist, and with renewed input from the local community. The Community Conversation will be an in-person opportunity for neighbors, local business owners, and residents’ associations to meet the newly commissioned design team early in the process and participate in reimagining the space.

The Melrose Gathering Place project was established as part of the Design District Streetscape Master Plan, which was unanimously approved by City Council in 2014. The Design District Streetscape & Undergrounding Project is now in its second phase of construction. The Master Plan was designed to improve the overall aesthetics and mobility of the commercial district known as West Hollywood Design District, with the goal of strengthening the economic vitality of the district. Key features of the project include pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements; new pavement and sidewalks; distinctive trees and landscaping; upgraded street furniture and streetlights; smart city infrastructure installation; utility undergrounding work; and the creation of new public gathering spaces, such as the Melrose Gathering Place, with integrated public art.

For additional information, please contact Michael Barker, the City of West Hollywood Project Architect in the City’s Urban Design and Architecture Studio, at (323) 848-6483 or at [email protected].

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

City Council Adopts Positions of Support for Four State Ballot Initiatives that will Appear on the Ballot for the Nov. 8 General Election

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Monday, September 19, 2022, adopted positions of support for four of the seven state ballot initiatives that will appear on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 General Election. The City Council is adopting Resolutions in support of: Proposition 1; Proposition 28; Proposition 30; and Proposition 31. These four Propositions are of particular concern and interest to the City of West Hollywood. 

A summary of City Council positions on state ballot initiatives is as follows:

SUPPORT. Proposition 1, if approved by voters, would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the state from enacting legislation or regulations that would deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives. The City of West Hollywood is a self-declared pro-choice city and has been a strong supporter of individuals’ right to choose. Proposition 1 is consistent with the City’s core values, the 2021-2022 legislative priorities, and previously adopted policies.

SUPPORT. Proposition 28 is intended to supplement current school funding that is governed by Proposition 98 of 1988, which requires the state to set aside funds for K-12 education from the state’s General Fund and property taxes. This proposition will commit an additional 1% of GF funds for arts and music education in public and charter schools. The City of West Hollywood has been a longstanding supporter of arts and culture in our community and is dedicated to providing accessible arts programs for residents and visitors. Providing additional funding to arts and music education in public and charter schools is important to ensuring equity and accessibility for all, including economically disadvantaged schools and students.

SUPPORT. Proposition 30 would increase the tax on personal incomes above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicate the revenue to zero-emission vehicle subsidies; zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging stations; and wildfire suppression and prevention programs. The City of West Hollywood has adopted sustainability policies consistent with the City’s commitment to protecting the environment and reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Proposition 30 will increase revenues and allocate funding for the expansion of programs to facilitate a reduction of GHGs in California and West Hollywood. This not only will assist the state’s efforts to combat climate change, it will also result in the reduction of air contaminants, which for many people living with respiratory diseases could mean the ability to breathe easier and have a better quality of life.

SUPPORT. Proposition 31, The proponents of this ballot initiative, manufacturers of tobacco products, including tobacco flavored products, are seeking to repeal the 2020 state law (SB 793, Chapter 34, Statutes of 2020) that banned the retail sales of flavored tobacco products in California. SB 793 was introduced by Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and was approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. As the opponents were able to qualify the referendum challenging SB 793, the law did not go into effect. Thus, the voters will decide whether or not the ban on the sales of flavored tobacco products should stay or be repealed. A Yes vote on Proposition 31 is a vote to uphold the law and keep the ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. In 2021, the City of West Hollywood adopted an ordinance to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and electronic smoking devices. Support for Proposition 31 is in line with the City’s adopted policies.

California voters, in the upcoming November 8, 2022 General Election, will be asked to vote upon seven statewide initiatives. Voters in the City of West Hollywood will vote, as well, to fill three (3) West Hollywood City Council seats for four-year terms. Details about the General Municipal Election are available on the City’s website at www.weho.org/elections. The City encourages community members to check voter registration status at www.lavote.gov/vrstatus.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s legislative affairs efforts, please visit www.weho.org/legislative or 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 is Implementing Block by Block Program Expansion with 30 Additional Security Ambassadors

The City of West Hollywood is pleased to announce that it is in the process of expanding its Block by Block program with 30 additional Security Ambassadors. The Block by Block program has hired and trained 20 new Security Ambassadors, one Team Lead, and one Operations Supervisor, as reported at the West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, September 19, 2022. The Block by Block program is on-track to be fully staffed by October 1, 2022, with a total of approximately 85 Security Ambassadors.

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood unanimously approved a Block by Block Security Ambassadors program update at its meeting on Monday, September 19, 2022. This follows City Council approval on Monday, June 27, 2022, of the City’s FY 2022-23 & 2023-24 two-year operating budget and capital work plan, which directed an increase to the number of Block by Block Security Ambassadors by 30 positions. Additional direction regarding the expansion was provided by the City Council on Monday, August 1, 2022 when it approved the related amendment to the Block by Block agreement for services.

“The City’s Block by Block Security Ambassadors program will continue to provide bicycle and foot patrols throughout the City’s commercial districts,” said City of West Hollywood City Manager David Wilson. “The program is adding dedicated foot patrols in residential neighborhoods citywide and is staffing new kiosks in selected locations. Block by Block Security Ambassadors work in close alignment with Deputies from our Sheriff’s Station, as well as our City’s Code Enforcement and Homeless Initiative teams, among others. The collaboration positively impacts quality of life in West Hollywood.”

Block by Block Security Ambassadors work in collaboration with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station to provide supplemental safety services and they get to know West Hollywood’s neighborhoods to assist in providing an extra level of hospitality to businesses, residents, and visitors. Expansion of the program aims to provide an additional public presence to proactively reduce crime.

Block by Block Security Ambassadors are highly focused on safety and hospitality in West Hollywood with specific emphasis on:

  • Maintaining uniformed foot and bicycle patrols throughout the City’s business districts and residential neighborhoods;
  • Providing in-person responses 24/7 to non-violent calls for service;
  • Conducting safety escorts for residents, businesses, and visitors; and
  • Offering helpful guidance to community members and visitors about City information, directions, parking, and more.

In consultation with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, the City of West Hollywood will implement four new Block by Block Security Ambassador kiosks by October 1, 2022, at or near the following intersections: (1) Santa Monica Boulevard at N. Robertson Boulevard; (2) Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount Drive; (3) Sunset Boulevard and Sunset Plaza Drive; and (4) Melrose Avenue and Westmount Drive.

During the next several weeks, the City will be sharing additional information about the Block by Block Security Ambassadors program with outreach to residents and businesses.

About | Block by Block Security Ambassadors Program – The City of West Hollywood partners with Block by Block on its Security Ambassadors program, which has a direct positive impact on safety and neighborhood livability.

First established as a City program in 2013, West Hollywood Block by Block Security Ambassadors provide a highly visible uniformed presence at the street level and leverage the effectiveness of local law enforcement by working in collaboration with personnel from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station.

In addition to supplemental safety services, Block by Block Security Ambassadors get to know West Hollywood’s neighborhoods and assist in providing an extra level of hospitality to businesses, residents, and visitors and help to address and respond to quality of life concerns in the community.

Security Ambassadors receive trainings on topics such as active shooters, cultural diversity and sensitivity, administration of Narcan to treat narcotic overdose, mental health first aid, sexual harassment, emergency/disaster preparedness, and more.

The Block by Block Security Ambassador Hotline provides access to free, 24/7 support by phone or text at (323) 821-8604; a new toll-free number will be introduced in the coming weeks. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/bbb

About | Sheriff’s, Fire, Code, and Emergencies – The City of West Hollywood contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement and the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection. The City’s Neighborhood & Business Safety Division oversees code enforcement.

For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/publicsafety. For anyone with public safety concerns, please reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.  

For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood Director of Community Safety Danny Rivas at (323) 848-6424 or [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Announces 2023 Arts Grant Program Grant Recipients

The City of West Hollywood 

has announced the recipients for the 2023-2024 Arts Grant Program, totaling $211,000 for twenty new grantees and sixteen multi-year grantees who are all Los Angeles County based non-profit arts organizations and artists. 

The City of West Hollywood, through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, has maintained an Arts Grant Program since 1997. The Program provides funding support, through the Arts Grant Program, to eligible artists and nonprofit arts organizations for the production, performance or presentation of arts projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood and that serve the West Hollywood community.

The City received a total of 49 applications, and $315,604 in funding requests, from artists and non-profit arts organizations proposing art projects to take place in the City of West Hollywood in 2023. These applications represent a variety of arts disciplines and a wide array of excellent project proposals. Following peer panel review, Performing Arts and Cultural Affairs Subcommittee, and Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission funding recommendations, the West Hollywood City Council approved the below recommendations on September 19, 2022.

The Arts Project Grant category supports the production, performance or presentation of art projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood and that serve the West Hollywood community. It is a two-year grant. The following non-profit arts organizations are grant recipients for 2023-2024: Brockus Project Dance Company, Grand Performances, International Eye Los Angeles, Mashup Contemporary Dance Company, Oasis Players, Pieter, Pride Poets, and Saturday Night Bath Concert Fund.

The Transgender Arts Initiative Grant category supports and enhances the presentation of artworks in West Hollywood by transgender artists, artist collectives or groups, and non-profit organizations with a history of supporting transgender artists. First initiated in 2013, this grant category is the first to support artwork by, for, and about the Transgender community. Last year, the City received 4 eligible applications; this year 16 applications were received. The 2023 grant recipients in this category are: Celebration Theatre, Cleveland Wright Lopez, Drian Juarez, Lauren Woods, and Marval A Rechsteiner.

The Community Arts Grant intends to support non-profit arts organizations with a history of supporting BIPOC and/or female artists and audiences. The grant recipients in this category include: Age Inclusion in Media, The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, Chicana Directors Initiative, and East West Players, Inc.

The WeHo Artist Grant aims to nurture and support the long-term development of an artist’s ideas by providing funds that increase the capacity for artists to realize work, advance the conditions of creation, and navigate the complexities of both making art and making a career. The West Hollywood resident artist grant recipients for 2023 are: Ignacio Darnaude, Sharmin Rahman, and Steven Reigns. 

In addition to these new grant awardees, the City continues to support its multi-year grantees in their second or third year of programming. The multi-year grantees are: Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Greenway Arts Alliance, Helix Collective, Kontrapunktus Neo-Baroque Chamber Orchestra, LAXART, Look What She Did, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, ONE Archives, Rogue Artists Ensemble, Suarez Dance Theater, The New Arts Foundation, War Toys, Prism Comics, No Easy Props, Arts Bridging the Gap, and Wordsville.

The Arts Grant Program is considered a central component to arts and cultural programs and services provided by the City of West Hollywood. Arts grants offer subsidized funding to artists and organizations so that ticket prices are free or more affordable for the public. In other cases, art grants provide opportunities for artistic development, allowing space for stimulating creativity and deepening cross-cultural understanding, while contributing to the quality-of-life residents and visitors can enjoy in West Hollywood. The funding provided through the vehicle of a grant ensures a fair and equitable review process and results in the reflection of the diversity contained among our residents.

Join the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division staff for the WeHo Artists Roundtable, on Thursday, September 22, 2022 at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room. RSVP at https://bit.ly/WeHoArtistsRoundtable. The WeHo Artists Roundtable is a gathering of arts organizations, individual artists, arts and creative businesses, and community members committed to West Hollywood’s artistic and cultural vitality. This Roundtable will offer a presentation by Greg Victoroff, Esq. centering the topic of copyright issues for art makers. 

The City of West Hollywood is committed to providing accessible arts programming for residents and visitors. The City delivers a broad array of arts programs through its Arts Division including: Art on the Outside (temporary public art), Arts Grants for Artists and Nonprofit Arts Organizations, City Poet Laureate Program, Free Theatre in the Parks, Human Rights Speakers Series, Library Exhibits and Programming, Summer Sounds / Winter Sounds, Urban Art Program (permanent public art), WeHo Reads, and the WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Grant Program, please visit www.weho.org/arts or contact Eva Angeloff, Grants Coordinator in the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division, at (323) 848-6354 or at [email protected].

City of West Hollywood Presents 59, a Film from Artist Leslie Foster as Part of the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

The City of West Hollywood announces the next exhibition in the Moving Image Media Art program (MIMA) and the debut of 59, a film from artist Leslie Foster. 59 will air at the top of every hour on the digital billboard at 8743 Sunset Boulevard (Invisible Frame) on the Sunset Strip from Saturday, October 1, 2022, through Tuesday, January 31, 2023. 

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. Among the most resonant and applicable themes MIMA seeks to represent is the concept of invisibility in relation to communities rendered unseen by inequity.

H. Leslie Foster II is an experimental filmmaker whose work shines a bright light on the historically silenced. 59 is comprised of 11 films, that were shot in 11 months in May 2017, with 11 different collaborators. 59 represents the completion of a yearlong art residency with the nonprofit art collective Level Ground, where he now serves as the Director of Art Residency. The work recognizes struggle as a universally shared experience, which provocatively describes our differences and similarities all at once. 

Foster is an artist based in Los Angeles whose work explores Black and queer futurism through a lens of dream logic. His love for storytelling is inspired by a childhood spent in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Berrien Springs, Michigan. Since 2006 he has shot films and music videos in Serbia, gone undercover in Jamaica to shoot a documentary about violent homophobia, attended Burning Man 8 times, and has been exhibited internationally. He is also a founding member of the collective Museum Adjacent, which was formed by members of the 2019 Torrance Art Museum FORUM residency cohort.

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 within 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. Leslie Foster was selected for exhibition from the MIMA Prequalified List, a rolling, open-call for moving image media artists, curators, and nonprofit arts organizations, with applications reviewed bi-annually by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, in November and May. The MIMA Prequalified List includes a diverse list of artists of all career levels; from emerging to internationally recognized. https://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 (323) 848-6846 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Presents THREE OVERLOOKED WOMEN FILMMAKERS from Artist Sabrina Gshwandtner As Part of the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

The City of West Hollywood announces the debut of the next exhibition in the Moving Image Media Art program (MIMA) program and the worldwide debut of THREE OVERLOOKED WOMEN FILMMAKERS, a collection of three short films, from artist Sabrina Gshwandtner. The THREE OVERLOOKED WOMEN FILMMAKERS Film I will air at the top of every hour, followed by Film II and Film III at 20 and 40 minutes past each hour on the Streamlined Arbor billboard, located at 9157 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip from Saturday, October 1, 2022, through Tuesday, January 31, 2023. 

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. Among the most resonant and applicable themes MIMA seeks to represent is the concept of restoration in relation to communities rendered unseen by inequity.

Sabrina Gschwandtner has examined the historical erasure of work done by women in film throughout her career. By creating kaleidoscopic moving image “quilts” of meticulously manipulated historic footage, Gshwandtner’s work performs an act of historical remediation, recovering the names and works of under-recognized women filmmakers of the silent era, where intricate sewing skills translated their handcraft perfectly to the rigorous demands of weaving together an engaging movie. Gshwandtner’s expressive films mend unconscionable gaps in Hollywood’s past, but they also exist as beautiful, mesmerizing moments on their own, flickering at the western edge of the city, confidently guiding us home.   

Sabrina Gschwandtner’s artwork, comprised of film, video, photography, and textiles, was recently featured at The Sum of the Parts, Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, and at a solo exhibition at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Los Angeles. Gschwandtner’s artwork has been exhibited internationally at museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Museum of Arts and Design, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, among many others. Her work is held in the permanent collections of LACMA, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the RISD Museum, the Mint Museum, the Philbrook Museum, the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins Collect, and the Carl and Marilyn Thoma Art Foundation, among other public and private collections worldwide. Gschwandtner was born in Washington D.C., received her MFA from Bard College, and received a 2019 City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship. 

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 within 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. Sabrina Gshwandtner was selected for exhibition from the MIMA Prequalified List, a rolling, open-call for moving image media artists, curators, and nonprofit arts organizations, with applications reviewed bi-annually by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, in November and May. The MIMA Prequalified List includes a diverse list of artists of all career levels; from emerging to internationally recognized. https://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 (323) 848-6846 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

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 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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