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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

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

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among Meister’s priorities are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End-of-Year Trash and Recycling Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homeless Initiative Introduces New Mobile Health Clinic Services to the Community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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West Hollywood

West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Participant Application Deadline is April 15 for WeHo Pride Street Fair Exhibitors, Parade Entries, and Food Vendors

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood to Host Symposium: ‘Water Wise | Water Works’

WEST HOLLYWOOD – During Earth Month in April, the City of West Hollywood is working to focus attention on environmental efforts and initiatives and educational opportunities for the community. The City aims to elevate awareness about its programs and policies related to West Hollywood’s natural and built environments, ecology, and sustainability.

As part of this effort, the City of West Hollywood will host a free in-person symposium: Water Wise | Water Works. The event will focus on water as a natural resource, concentrating on its indispensable role in supporting urbanized environments. It will look ahead at issues, opportunities, and challenges in West Hollywood and the Greater Los Angeles region in the future.

The Water Wise | Water Works symposium will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public, RSVP is requested via Eventbrite. Limited validated parking is available in the adjacent five-story parking structure.

All life begins and ends with water. A precious resource, water is vital for a healthy and vibrant planet. Clean fresh water is not only essential for drinking and sanitation and providing for our crops, livestock, and industry, it is also the basis for creating and sustaining the ecosystems on which all humanity depends. Spending time in proximity to nature and water has been shown to have a direct effect on emotional well-being, reducing stress, anxiety, and heart rates as well as extending human life spans.

The Water Wise | Water Works symposium will explore the fundamental role that water plays in supporting urbanized settings and will look at some of the key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead concerning future sustainability, construction mitigation, climate change, ecological systems, and resilience goals.

Presentations scheduled for the symposium include an overview of current City programs and talks on the following topics:

  • Water Policy Happenings at the Regional & Local Scale with Kim Clark, Planning Supervisor, Resource Conservation & Resilient   

Communities, Southern California Association of Governments;

  • Resource Management and Underground Water: Technical Challenges and Opportunities Ahead with Laney Nelson, Water Engineer, ARUP, experts dedicated to sustainable development;
  • History of Water and Ecological Resilience in a Rapidly Changing Context with Dr. Edith Guzman, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation;
  • Power of Water-Centric Design with Water with Mariam Mojdehi, Architect, Founding Partner, MAAM Architecture & Design Studio; and
  • Water Wise Landscapes/Regenerating Nature with Hadley Arnold, Executive Director, Arid Lands Institute/Woodbury University.

Following the presentations, there will be a moderated panel discussion and a period for questions and answers.

The City of West Hollywood is dedicated to sustainability and preserving the environment, including its:

  • Participation in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to mark the City’s commitment to saving the monarch butterfly and other pollinators through public awareness and expansion of pollinator gardens throughout West Hollywood; 
  • Designation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Green Power Community by meeting 65% of its 100% renewable energy use through voluntary green power that goes above-and-beyond the State of California’s standards. The EPA’s Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase Green Power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for renewable energy and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. Learn more about how the West Hollywood community gets its Green Power;
  • Green Building Program, the first-in-the-state green building code, that builds upon state requirements and integrates locally specific requirements for new buildings and remodels to strive towards energy efficiency, improve the health of the environment and community, and help the City shape a sustainable future. The Green Building Program was updated in 2023 to include more aggressive standards for electric vehicle charging stations; and
  • Implementation of an organics collection program in compliance with SB 1383, a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants by reducing organic waste disposal.

The City of West Hollywood continues its work to implement its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, WeHo Climate Action, which outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the community. The City launched a public dashboard that monitors progress under the Plan toward achieving carbon neutrality. To learn more about the City’s ongoing sustainability programs and initiatives as well as information and resources, visit WeHo Climate Action & Sustainability.

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

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

West Hollywood Celebrates Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week

The City of West Hollywood recognizes April 22, 2024 through April 28, 2024 as Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week. The City will display the Lesbian Pride flag in medians along Santa Monica Boulevard and West Hollywood City Hall and the lanterns over Santa Monica Boulevard will be lit in pink, orange, white, and red to reflect the shades of the Lesbian Pride flag.

Events during the week will feature a variety of gatherings produced with the assistance of the L-Project and Fan Girl Cafe including:

  • NextGen Coffee and Convo, featuring a panel on queer activism, challenges faced by LGBTQ women in business, and advocating for non-binary and gender-nonconforming identities with panelists Marquita Thomas, Chanel Lumiere, and Melanie Vesey. This free event will be held at Fan Girl Cafe, located at 8157 Santa Monica Boulevard, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will also feature an opportunity for community members to network and meet one another. 
  • Lesbian Speakers Series Film screening of the award-winning documentary Ahead of the Curve and Q&A with Franco Stevens and filmmakers Jen Rainin (Franco’s wife) and Rivkah Beth Medow. Ahead of the Curve captures the story of Franco Stevens, founder of the most successful lesbian magazine in the world and her fight to keep Curve magazine alive. This free event takes place on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at the City’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. This event will begin with a reception with light snacks and refreshments at 5:30 p.m. The screening will begin at 6 p.m. The Q&A will follow the film. 
  • The City invites community members to spend an afternoon at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard, for a Queer Art in the Park gathering on Sunday, April 28, 2024 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature lawn games, music, and queer arts and crafts vendors. Entry is free. Feel free to bring a blanket, yoga mat, lawn chair, sunscreen, and picnic accoutrements and meet new and old friends in the park. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/lgbtq

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 LGBTQ. The City has advocated for more than three decades for measures to support LGBTQ individuals and has been in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level.

For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Queer Women Visibility Week, please visit www.weho.org/lgbtq or contact Moya Márquez, the City of West Hollywood’s Community Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6574.

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

WeHo Pride 2024 Participant Application Deadline is April 15 for WeHo Pride Street Fair Exhibitors, Parade Entries, and Food Vendors

The City of West Hollywood will close the Parade Participant, Street Fair Exhibitor, and Food Vendor application portals for its WeHo Pride 2024 celebrations on April 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Application portals can be accessed via the ‘Get Involved’ page on the WeHo Pride website: www.wehopride.com

 WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024; Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include a free Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD Music Festival @ WeHo Pride, as well as WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD.

The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024. It will celebrate Pride with the diverse participation of LGBTQ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on two stages along the boulevard, highlighting the LGBTQ community. The Street Fair is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ community experience. WeHo Pride Street Fair applications are also currently open for vendors, artists, performers, and more. The Street Fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With a wide range of activities and options, there is sure to be something for everyone. Organizations interested in applying to participate as an Exhibitor at the WeHo Pride Street Fair can apply here. Food vendors interested in participating in the event can fill out the Google form here.

Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Organizations and individuals interested in submitting an application to participate as an entrant in the annual WeHo Pride Parade can apply here. Get creative and think outside of the box! The WeHo Pride Parade welcomes floats, bands, drill teams, dance teams, entertainment entries, marchers, and more. 

There are a variety of ways for brands to sponsor this brand-new era of Pride in West Hollywood as well. From traditional activation spaces (street fair visibility and parade entries) to inclusion at one of the most diverse music events nationally, as well as creative customized opportunities, there are multiple outlets for brand visibility! Organizations interested in becoming a WeHo Pride sponsor can reach out to [email protected] 

Additional details about WeHo Pride 2024 will be posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook.

About WeHo Pride and the City of West Hollywood Since its 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. Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, West Hollywood consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation. More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly LGBTQ.

Pride is deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture. In fact, Pride events have taken place in West Hollywood for more than 40 years (since 1979, five years before the City of West Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality). The City’s embrace of Pride is part of its advocacy 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 (now LGBTQ+ Commission) 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.

In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride with programming that represents a diverse array of LGBTQ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration. West Hollywood is a community of choice for LGBTQ people from throughout the world and WeHo Pride embraces a source of deep connection for its LGBTQ history and culture.

For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com.

For more information about Outloud @ WeHo Pride, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.

For inquires to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected].

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

‘Spring Fest’ at West Hollywood Park

The City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division invites the community to splash into Spring Fest in the park and at the pool on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Bring your family and friends for a fun day of outdoor activities. Limited parking is available in the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure.

Activities will begin at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center and Great Lawn. There will be carnival games, music, performances, giveaways, egg hunts, face painters, and much more! You won’t want to miss this!

Three of the featured activities for the event are:

  • Youth Basketball Shoot Out (Ages 10 to 15) – register here ($7) – In the Shoot Out, the player shoots from five spots around the key: right corner, right wing, top of key, left wing, and left corner. At each spot: take one dribble in for a mid-range shot, dribble for a lay-up, and then end the game with a 1 & 1 free throw.
  • Duck Relays and Cardboard Boat Races – register here (free) – Duck Relays are a swim event using inflatable ducks to race relay-style across the pool in a team of four and Cardboard Boat Race are one- to three-person teams of all ages that will test their ingenuity in racing homemade boats made of cardboard and duct tape across the pool.
  • Themed Recreation Swim and Rubber Duckie Hunt – registration has reached capacity, waiting list is open here (free) – Themed Recreation Swim is full of adorable rafts of rubber ducks, water toys, floaties, and mighty merfolk of the sea and swimmers will be able to participate in a rubber duckie hunt.

Learn more about Spring Fest and recreation programming by visiting www.weho.org/recreation and selecting Rec Reader.

For more information, please call the City of West Hollywood’s Recreation Services Division at (323) 848-6534 or email [email protected] or [email protected].

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

Open Call for Arts Grant Program Applications

The City of West Hollywood has opened application opportunities for its 2025 Arts Grant Program. The City will host a virtual Arts Grant Program information workshop for those who are interested in applying to learn more about the City’s grant-eligibility requirements and application process, as well as to ask questions.

The Arts Grant Program information workshop will be held online via the Zoom platform on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 1 p.m. First-time grant applicants and returning organizations with new development personnel are strongly encouraged to attend the workshop to become familiar with the application process. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/arts

The City of West Hollywood, through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission, has managed the Arts Grant Program for 26 years. West Hollywood’s Arts Grant Program provides grant funding to individual artists, artist collectives, and nonprofit arts organizations for the production, performance, or presentation of art projects that take place in the City of West Hollywood as well as those that serve the West Hollywood community.

The City of West Hollywood invites and encourages artists and organizations representing diverse populations and diverse artistic disciplines to apply for these grants. As defined in the Cultural Equity Statement, diversity includes all ways in which people differ, including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, education, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, geography, citizenship status, religion, language, physical appearance, and the intersection of these various identities. The City commits to ensuring cultural equity in all arts policies and practices.

The Arts Grant Program categories with open application processes for 2025 are as follows:

Arts Project Grant — 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. The proposed projects should take place in the City of West Hollywood in 2025 and 2026. Proposed presentations may include, but are not limited to: comedy show, dance performance, drag performance, film screening, visual art exhibit, music presentation, poetry reading, and theatre presentation. The Arts Project Grant category is awarded in a two-year cycle [with one application, grantee can be awarded for 2 years]. The maximum grant award is $20,000 per grantee ($10,000 per year). The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024.

Community Arts Grant — Supports non-profit arts organizations with a history of supporting BIPOC, LGBQ, and/or female artists and audiences. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2025. Proposed presentations can include an art centered presentation or performance, and/or an educational and participatory program (workshop) which engages BIPOC, LGBQ, and/or female artists and audiences. The maximum grant award for both artists and non-profits arts organizations for this category is $6,000. The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024. 

Transgender, Gender Diverse, Intersex, + (TGI+) Arts Grant — Supports and enhances the presentation of artworks in West Hollywood by transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender nonconforming artists and non-profit organizations with a history of supporting artists in these communities. Proposed projects should take place in West Hollywood in 2025. Proposed presentations should include art presentations which engage transgender, gender diverse, and/or intersex artists and audiences. The maximum grant award is $6,500 for both artists and non-profit arts organizations. The deadline for this category is Monday, July 1, 2024.

WeHo Artist Grant — Supports 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. Eligible artists must reside in the City of West Hollywood. The grant award is $6,000 per year for five artists. The deadline for applications is Monday, July 1, 2024.

Artists and organizations interested in applying may visit www.weho.org/arts for more information.

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

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

West Hollywood Promotes Local Actions that Address Climate Change as it Celebrates Earth Month in April with ‘WeHo Takes Climate Action 2024’

In honor of Earth Month in April, the City of West Hollywood will celebrate WeHo Takes Climate Action 2024 to rally community members to collectively embrace sustainable practices and contribute to the City’s 2035 carbon neutrality goal. Community members are encouraged to share social media posts about taking sustainability action steps using the hashtag #WeHoClimateAction.

Starting in April, residents, businesses, and local organizations are encouraged to take various actions that support the City’s ambitious environmental goals. Through its @wehocity social media pages, the City will promote various steps relating to energy, transportation, zero waste, natural environment, and resilience that community members can take. The City will also share the latest information on its climate action initiatives to raise community awareness about City programs and policies related to its natural and built environments, ecology, and sustainability efforts.

The City of West Hollywood has a strong record of developing and instituting progressive and forward-thinking environmental policies and, as a city committed to reducing its carbon footprint, West Hollywood recognizes the importance of individual actions in making a substantial impact on the health of the planet.

 “One of the City of West Hollywood’s most critical core values is Responsibility for the Environment,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “West Hollywood has steadily led the way in developing and applying policies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, and promote sustainability. As we take next steps in realizing the goals of our Climate Action Plan, Earth Month in April is a wonderful opportunity for all us of to do what we can to make individual steps that add up to big community impacts and help our city to reducing our carbon footprint, which will better prepare us for the future effects of climate change.”

In the spirit of proactive initiatives, the City of West Hollywood is gearing up for Earth Month with a variety of community events and programs in April:

  • On Saturday, April 20, 2024, the City will host a free in-person symposium, Water Wise | Water Works, which will explore the fundamental role that water plays in supporting urbanized settings. It will examine some of the key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with respect to future sustainability, climate change, ecology, and resilience goals that are pursued at the local and state levels. The symposium will take place at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information is available on the City website calendar
  • On Saturday, April 20, 2024 the City will host an annual Tree Planting at 9 a.m. in the public parkway at 1146/1148 Formosa Avenue. Four paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) trees, which are widely planted throughout Southern California and are native to Australia, will be planted. The paperbark is a rounded, evergreen tree with a maximum height of 40 feet. It has a low water use rating and features exfoliating bark and oblong leaves with seasonal flower displays in the summer and fall that will attract pollinators and birds. Sun exposure ranges from partial shade to full sun. West Hollywood community members are invited and encouraged to participate in this year’s annual tree planting event. Drop in; no RSVP is needed. Supervision, instruction, tools, and gloves will be provided. The event will start with a short ‘how-to’ planting session, followed by a discussion on the benefits trees provide to the urban environment.

To showcase the City of West Hollywood climate actions in energy, transportation, zero waste, natural environment, and resilience programs, the City will highlight its sustainability programs and share information about how community members can get involved via social media and more, including the following:  

  • The City’s newly launched Green Business Certification program is a recognizes and encourages efficient, profitable, and sustainable business operations. To support businesses, West Hollywood’s Green Business Program and its services are being offered at no cost. Visit go.weho.org/greenbusiness for more information.
  • Electrify WeHo is the City’s new web resource on electrification with resources to help community members transition into an all-electric home which can improve indoor air quality, lower your energy costs, modernize your home, and help WeHo reach its 2035 carbon neutrality goal. Learn about the benefits and incentives to help make the switch at Electrify WeHo.
  • Go Solar West Hollywood is a City-sponsored program encouraging property owners to go solar. The City has partnered with online marketplace EnergySage to help property owners receive and compare quotes. 
  • The City’s new Resilience Efforts webpage provides the public with information on resilience and centralizes the City’s resiliency efforts to serve as a resource for community members. 
  • The City of West Hollywood encourages community members to leave their automobiles at home and take alternate forms of transportation when possible while traversing the City, including by using scooters, bicycles, walking (the City is only 1.9 square miles!), or via the City’s free transit options. Please visit www.wehopickup.com or www.weho.org/cityline for more information.
  • Responding to a statewide effort to reduce emissions associated with organic waste disposal by diverting waste from landfills, the City has worked with Athens Services to establish an organic recycling service throughout West Hollywood. Community members are encouraged to visit the City’s organic recycling webpage to learn how to sort waste and recycle.
  • In January 2024, the West Hollywood City Council adopted the new Tree Canopy ordinance regulating the preservation, removal, relocation, and replacement of existing mature canopy trees. 
  • The City’s Heritage Tree program promotes identifying specimen trees, promotes tree awareness, advocates for the protection of mature tree benefits, and educates community members about the City’s heritage trees and proper maintenance practices. All great trees start small! Visit the City’s webpage about young tree care best practices. The WeHo community is encouraged to check out resource videos and take the tree steward pledge!

Finally, the City will continue to implement its people-centered Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (WeHo Climate Action), which outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the West Hollywood community. The City s biannually updates its WeHo Climate Action public dashboard that monitors progress toward achieving carbon neutrality and its 60 programs and projects. To learn more about the City’s active sustainability initiatives and public dashboard, visit WeHo Climate Action & Sustainability.

The City of West Hollywood will, additionally partner with The Center for Early Education to provide a day of service for school children. This private event will take place at Kings Road Park and programming will feature monarch butterfly conservation education and activities, planting nectar and other foliage, and park cleanup. Visit the City’s educational Monarch Butterfly Conservation webpage to learn more about monarch butterfly conservation and City efforts.

For more information about West Hollywood’s Earth Month 2024, please contact Andi Lovano, City of West Hollywood Community & 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.

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For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. West Hollywood City Hall is open for walk-in services at public counters or by appointment by visiting www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org. Receive text updates by texting “WeHo” to (323) 848-5000.

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David Cooley makes emotional exit as owner of The Abbey WeHo

Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo

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Actress & singer Jennifer Lopez with David Cooley, the founder and now former owner of The Abbey WeHo in January of 2024 at an event honoring Cooley. (Photo Credit: The Abbey WeHo/Facebook)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – David Cooley, the founder and former owner of The Abbey WeHo and The Chapel at The Abbey, made a tearful exit on his last day as owner of two of West Hollywood’s most iconic nightclub on Thursday night. He officially turned over the reins over to new owner Tristan Schukraft.

The final hurrah was a low-key affair. According to a witness, at one point all the bartenders lined up to bid their former boss a final farewell, but Cooley took too long to come out from the back, so they eventually went back to work.

David Cooley’s Final Day at the Abbey – Photo courtesy of Edgar Alvarez

Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo. The crowd clapped and cheered, and people can be heard thanking him as he made his final exit.

@wehotimes David Cooley, the founder and former owner of The Abbey WeHo and The Chapel at The Abbey, made a tearful exit on his last day as owner of two of West Hollywood’s most iconic nightclub on Thursday night. He officially turned over the reigns to new owner Tristan Schukraft. The final hurrah was a low-key affair. According to a witness, at one point all the bartenders lined up to bid their former boss a final farewell, but Cooley took too long to come out from the back, so they eventually went back to work. Video captured by longtime patron Edgar Alvarez shows a tearful Cooley hugging his staff and patrons as he made his way out of The Abbey WeHo. The crowd clapped and cheered, and people can be heard thanking him as he made his final exit. As a joke, and perhaps a final nod to Cooley’s longstanding relationship with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, a sheriff’s deputy vehicle waited for him out front and then whisked him away in a dramatic exit while people on the sidewalk waved goodbye. #wehotimes #wehonews #wehocity #weho #westhollywood #wehonightlife #westhollywoodnightlife @The Abbey ♬ original sound – WEHO TIMES

As a joke, and perhaps a final nod to Cooley’s longstanding relationship with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, a sheriff’s deputy vehicle waited for him out front and then whisked him away in a dramatic exit while people on the sidewalk waved goodbye.

The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel at The Abbey were sold to entrepreneur Tristan Schukraft—a technology entrepreneur turned hotelier, nightlife aficionado, and well-known member of the West Hollywood LGBTQ+ community.

The Abbey and The Chapel add to Schukraft’s portfolio of businesses that enrich the LGBTQ+ community across the United States, which includes MISTR, the largest telemedicine provider of free online PrEP and long-term HIV care serving all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More recently, Schukraft acquired and is in the process of reimagining Tryst and Circo, LGBTQ+ hotel and nightlife venues in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“I’m excited to build on the legacy that David Cooley created over the last 33 years at The Abbey. David built a small coffee shop on an unknown side street into one of the most famous gay bars in the country, if not the world. This is both an honor and a significant responsibility,” explains Tristan Schukraft. “I plan to respect and honor The Abbey’s history while bringing new ideas that reflect our evolving LGBTQ+ community and my personal approach to hospitality. We’re not just maintaining a legacy business and an international landmark; we’re adding to the future of LGBTQ+ nightlife.”

David Cooley’s last day at The Abbey WeHo truly marks the end of an era.

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

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

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Cyndi Lauper is Lifetime Ally Icon for WeHo Pride Parade 2024

WeHo Pride 2024 will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with the José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day

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WeHo Times/Los Angeles Blade graphic

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD | The City of West Hollywood and WeHo Pride producer JJLA today announced that Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning artist Cyndi Lauper will be the WeHo Pride Parade’s Lifetime Ally Icon.

Renowned for her groundbreaking contributions to music, activism, and LGBTQ advocacy, Cyndi Lauper epitomizes the ethos of pride, inclusivity, and resilience. WeHo Pride will honor Lauper for her work in bringing the LGBTQ community and social justice issues to the forefront, as well as expanding queer representation in mainstream pop culture.

“Cyndi Lauper embodies the spirit of inclusivity, unity, and vibrancy that has defined West Hollywood throughout its history,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “Her unwavering dedication to advocacy throughout the years, coupled with her unparalleled musical legacy, makes her a perfect fit for this moment in time as Lifetime Ally Icon as we celebrate WeHo Pride 2024.”

A tireless advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s issues, and social justice, she co-founded True Colors United in 2008, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating homelessness among LGBTQ youth. In response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Lauper launched the Girls Just Want to Have Fundamental Rights Fund, housed at the Tides Foundation, to support women’s rights and health. With a career spanning decades, Lauper has left an indelible mark, especially within the LGBTQ community. From her iconic hits like True Colors and Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Lauper’s repertoire resonates as a poignant soundtrack of the LGBTQ equality movement and beyond.

The WeHo Pride Parade will step off at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, 2024, beginning at N. Crescent Heights Boulevard at Santa Monica Boulevard, and will travel westbound along Santa Monica Boulevard into the heart of City’s Rainbow District to N. Robertson Boulevard.

Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the WeHo Pride Parade is free and open to the public, embracing LGBTQ representation, inclusion, and progress. The parade celebrates diversity, love, and resilience in the heart of West Hollywood. Each year, Parade Icons are selected for their significant contributions to the LGBTQ community, visibility, community involvement, and advocacy.

Pride Starts Here. For nearly four decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world traditionally make West Hollywood their regular destination during Pride season.

WeHo Pride Weekend will take place from Friday, May 31, 2024 to Sunday, June 2, 2024 and, in addition to the WeHo Pride Parade, will include the free WeHo Pride Street Fair; WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD; the OUTLOUD Music Festival; the Women’s Freedom Festival; the Dyke March; and more.

WeHo Pride will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with the José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day. The WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place from Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024. WeHo Pride celebrations will include a diverse array of LGBTQ community group programming from May 22 to June 30 as part of visibility, expression, and celebration.

Additional information about WeHo Pride 2024 is posted at www.wehopride.com. OUTLOUD Music Festival information is posted at www.weareoutloud.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for WeHo Pride text updates by texting ‘Pride’ to (323) 848-5000.

Since its 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. 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.

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

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

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

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Neon dog gets forever home on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood

WeHo CLASSIC is BACK! The Neon Dog is fully restored & installed at its new forever home at William S. Hart Park & off Leash Dog Park

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Neon Dog West Hollywood (Photo by Paulo Murillo/WEHO TIMES)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A City of West Hollywood CLASSIC is BACK! The Neon Dog is fully restored and installed at its new forever home on The Sunset Strip by the entrance of William S. Hart Park & off Leash Dog Park.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission unanimously approved the proposed Neon Dog project for installation at William S. Hart Park, a property leased by the City of West Hollywood, but owned by the City of Los Angeles. There were three reviews that went before the city of Los Angeles to obtain the full permission to install the project.

Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The neon dog was connected to Collar & Leash. On January 21, 2020, the City Council accepted a gift of the neon dog sign from Joseph Chan and Charles Chan Massey. The neon sign was restored and conserved very much like the Rocky & Bullwinkle sculpture that is also on display on Sunset Boulevard.

@wehotimes A City of West Hollywood CLASSIC is BACK!!! The Neon Dog is fully restored and installed at its new home on The Sunset Strip. On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission unanimously approved the proposed Neon Dog project for installation at William S. Hart Park & Off Leash Dog Park, a property leased by the City of West Hollywood, but owned by the City of Los Angeles. The neon dog was connected to Collar & Leash. On January 21, 2020, the City Council accepted a gift of the neon dog sign from Joseph Chan and Charles Chan Massey. The neon sign was restored and conserved very much like the Rocky & Bullwinkle sculpture that is also on display on Sunset Boulevard. #wehotimes #wehonews #wehocity #weho #westhollywood #neon #neonart #wehoarts #art #streetart #thesunsetstrip @weholove @Paulo Murillo @City of West Hollywood @CityofLosAngeles ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

The Neon Dog is a reconditioned, electrically rotating neon sign in the shape of a dog (10’6” high, 10’9” at its widest), and part of the City of West Hollywood’s Urban Art collection. The proposed project includes the installation of the Neon Dog atop a 12’-tall vertical support pole (with corresponding structural foundation and electrical connections) at the Park’s Sunset Boulevard entrance located between North Kings Road and North Sweetzer Avenue. The proposed art installation would located at a nook to the right of the park entrance. The sign will stand on long pole above arms reach, sitting at about 12 feet above ground. A trashcan and bench would be removed from the area.

Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES
Neon Dog West Hollywood – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The famous Collar & Leash neon dog sign was originally located at 8555, Santa Monica Boulevard. A crane removed it from the Collar & Leash parking lot on Tuesday, June 24, 2020. It was uninstalled and carefully placed in the back of a truck and was taken to Ontario California for much needed repairs in preparation to become a permanent art installation in West Hollywood.

William S. Hart Park & Off Leash Dog Park is a fenced-in park between Sunset Boulevard and De Longpre that allows dogs to play off-leash in a tree-lined space with mulch on the ground, located at 8341 De Longpre Ave, West Hollywood.

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

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

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

National Poetry Month in April, Green Business Certification Program, Applications for Youth Scholarship Program plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

OUTLOUD Music Festival at WeHo Pride

WEST HOLLYWOODOUTLOUD Music Festival returns to the City of West Hollywood anchoring the entertainment of WeHo Pride’s weekend of programming. The electrifying three-day outdoor music festival will take place Friday, May 31, through Sunday, June 2, 2024, at West Hollywood Park. This year’s Saturday and Sunday headliners include Kylie Minogue, Janelle Monáe, and Diplo.

To purchase OUTLOUD Weekend or VIP Passes, visit www.weareoutloud.com. Passes will go on sale Friday, March 15, 2024, at 10 a.m. PDT, starting at $139 + fees for weekend General Admission and $249 + fees for weekend VIP. Individual day schedules and daily tickets will be released in the coming weeks. To find out additional information about WeHo Pride, visit www.wehopride.com

Produced by award-winning events and entertainment agency JJLA, this year’s OUTLOUD Music Festival features a stellar lineup of queer entertainers and artists. The weekend’s full lineup of talent includes Doechii, Ashnikko, Noah Cyrus, Trixie Mattel (DJ Set), Keke Palmer, Channel Tres, Yaeji, Big Freedia, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and VINCINT, with exciting sets from emerging artists Snow Wife, Destiny Rogers, Black Polish, Salina EsTitties, Doug Locke, Jimi The Kween, and Zee Machine. OUTLOUD is hosted by personalities Ryan Mitchell, Hannah Rad, Arisce Wanzer, Neverending Nina, and Billy Francesca. The OUTLOUD Music Festival features a second dance music stage in partnership with SUMMERTRAMP, with more performances to be announced.

Previous artists OUTLOUD has welcomed to its main stage include Grace Jones, Adam Lambert, Carly Rae Jepsen, Years & Years, Jessie J, Lil’ Kim, Idina Menzel, Jessie Ware, Hayley Kiyoko, and more.

“West Hollywood is the epicenter of queer culture and entertainment, and we are a proud and vibrant hub where acceptance is embraced and diversity thrives,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “The City of West Hollywood takes immense pride in fostering LGBTQ+ community and joy, and we’re excited to bring people together to celebrate at OUTLOUD and WeHo Pride. Not only will we showcase incredible queer talent, we will also embody the spirit of inclusivity and unity, which is the core of what defines our city.”

WeHo Pride Weekend will take place from Friday, May 31, 2024 to Sunday, June 2, 2024 and will include the free WeHo Pride Street Fair; WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD; the OUTLOUD Music Festival; the Women’s Freedom Festival; the Dyke March; and the WeHo Pride Parade.

Details about performers at WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD will be announced in the coming weeks.

WeHo Pride will kick off on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 with its José Sarria Drag Pageant on Harvey Milk Day. The WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place from Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024.

WeHo Pride celebrations will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community group programming from May 22 to June 30 as part of visibility, expression, and celebration.

Since its 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. The City has, for nearly four decades, been on the vanguard of efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. With more than 40% of community members identifying as LGBTQ and four of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council identifying as LGBTQ, Pride is a deeply rooted part of West Hollywood’s history and culture.

In 2022, the City of West Hollywood inaugurated WeHo Pride. West Hollywood is a community of LGBTQ people from throughout the world who identify with the community’s deep connection to groundbreaking LGBTQ history and culture and hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world make West Hollywood their destination during Pride.

Details about WeHo Pride 2024 are posted as they become available at www.wehopride.com. OUTLOUD Music Festival information is posted at www.weareoutloud.com. Follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook and follow @officiallyoutloud on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for WeHo Pride text updates by texting ‘Pride’ to (323) 848-5000.

For more information about WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Arts Festival, please visit www.wehopride.com/contact.

For more information about the OUTLOUD Music Festival, please visit www.weareoutloud.com/get-involved.

For inquiries to the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division, please email [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood Begins Accepting Applications for Youth Scholarship Program

 The City of West Hollywood has opened applications for the 2024 Youth Scholarship Program. The program awards $2,000 to graduating high school students who are West Hollywood residents and who are pursuing a post-secondary education at an accredited college, university, or trade/vocational school. Students must have completed 150 verified hours of community service to be considered. The Youth Scholarship Program application period is open through Friday, May 10, 2024. The scholarship money can be used for any expense incurred in pursuing post-secondary education at an accredited college, university, or trade/vocational school.

To qualify for a youth scholarship, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Residency – Applicant is a West Hollywood resident at the time the scholarship application is submitted and awarded. Please visit www.weho.org/city-government/contact-us/map-of-weho for a map of West Hollywood.
  • Secondary Education – Applicant is a high school senior ready to graduate or an individual receiving a GED. 
  • Post-Secondary Education – Applicant is planning to attend a college, university or trade/vocational school and has proof of acceptance to a post-secondary institution.
  • Community Service – Applicant has performed and provided verification of 150 hours of community service.

More information, application instructions, and the application link are available by visiting www.weho.org/youthscholarship.    

The Youth Scholarship Program is organized by the City of West Hollywood, but scholarship funds come entirely from individual and community donations. The City has awarded more than 40 youth scholarships since the program began in 2007. To support the program, the City encourages donations from community members, organizations, and area businesses. Community members wishing to donate to the Youth Scholarship Program may do so at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/youthsco.

The City of West Hollywood’s Youth Scholarship Program is one of the first municipal government sponsored programs of its kind in the country. The Youth Scholarship Program recognizes the importance of education to our community and encourages and supports local students interested in pursuing their education beyond high school. 

For more information please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Human Services Division at [email protected] or by calling (323) 848-6510.

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

Next Steps in Log Cabin Renovation

The City of West Hollywood is moving forward with the next steps in the renovation of the historic Log Cabin building, which houses the West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) on N. Robertson Boulevard. At its regular meeting on Monday, March 18, 2024, the City Council of the City of West Hollywood received a design update for the Log Cabin renovation project, which included direction to move forward with the design concept. High-resolution design renderings and current photos are available on the City’s official Flickr site. More information about the project, including a preliminary project schedule and FAQ, can be found on the City’s website: https://go.weho.org/logcabin

The Log Cabin renovation plan provides a long-term facility for the West Hollywood recovery community, improves onsite health and safety, and meets accessibility and historic preservation standards. More than $7.5 million in funding has been provided to date to support renovations of this historic space, which is vital to safeguarding recovery services in the West Hollywood community.

The design upgrades will include:

  • Expanded meeting rooms, food preparation areas, and storage capacity to support local recovery services;
  • New mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, which help to contribute to an enhanced onsite experience;
  • ADA-compliant bathrooms;
  • Improved streetscape and landscaping; and
  • New electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and solar panels.

The West Hollywood Recovery Center (WHRC) hosts more than 90 separate addiction recovery meetings a week, more than 4,500 meetings a year. For additional information about the WHRC, please visit https://thewhrc.org/home.

The Log Cabin building, itself, has a long and interesting history spanning nearly a century. The building was built on property purchased in 1928 by the City of Beverly Hills. The north portion of the property was leased to the Lions Club in 1936, which constructed the Log Cabin in its style as a Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) clubhouse.

In the early 1970s, the Lions Club subleased the building to the West Hollywood Recovery Center for use for addiction recovery group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In 2019, the City of Beverly Hills indicated its wish to sell the property and the City of West Hollywood entered into a lease with the City of Beverly Hills with the option to purchase the property. In 2022, the City of West Hollywood exercised its option to purchase the property and the City began a feasibility analysis with the West Hollywood Recovery Center to determine a renovation plan.

With the design concept approved, the City will take the next steps to move toward construction, which is anticipated to begin in October 2024. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2025.

For detailed information, please visit https://go.weho.org/logcabin.

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.

West Hollywood Launches Green Business Certification Program As part of its WeHo Climate Action Plan

The City of West Hollywood announces the launch of its free Green Business Certification Program, which is one of the commitments in the City’s 2021 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, WeHo Climate Action. The Plan outlines the City’s intended path to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate while centering equity and quality-of-life outcomes for the West Hollywood community. 

The Green Business Certification Program will operate under guidelines established by the California Green Business Network (CAGBN), which connects approximately 50 California cities and counties to a statewide standard of criteria for businesses to achieve a Green Business Certification. In the state, more than 4,700 businesses have achieved CAGBN Green Business Certifications reducing 49.9 million kWh of electricity, 93.6 million gallons of water, 17.3 million pounds of materials from landfills, and 64.6 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Offering this program free of charge to West Hollywood businesses is one of a wide range of steps the City is taking toward attaining climate action goals. Each West Hollywood business that registers for the program can qualify to receive up to a $1,500 rebate to offset extra costs associated with implementing green measures. The City is working with local nonprofit organization Sustainable Works, which has administered green business programs for several Southern California cities since 2001. Sustainable Works will develop and administer the program. It has previously worked with the West Hollywood business community providing water efficiency and urban runoff prevention devices.

The Green Business Certification Program is designed to help businesses operate sustainably and receive public recognition for their efforts. Becoming a Certified Green Business requires implementing practices that reduce energy and water consumption, prevent pollution, divert waste from landfills, and assist businesses in creating a cleaner and healthier environment for their employees.

The City of West Hollywood’s Green Business Certification Program offers two certification tiers. Entry Level is an introductory certification for small businesses and Certification Level is for small or larger businesses, depending on capacity to make procurement changes and perform minor retrofits if needed. To achieve either level, businesses must implement a minimum number of measures in the areas of water and energy conservation, clean energy, waste reduction, pollution prevention, and sustainable transportation.

Green Business Certification is provided free of charge to West Hollywood businesses. Program coordinators provide step-by-step guidance to achieve criteria and connect businesses with resources and incentive programs available to help them go green.

For more information about the Green Business Certification Program and to register to participate, please visit go.weho.org/greenbusiness.     

With a core value of Responsibility for the Environment, the City of West Hollywood has long been dedicated to sustainability and preserving our environment. For additional information about WeHo Climate Action, please visit www.weho.org/climateaction. To learn more about resources to Go Green, please visit www.weho.org/gogreen.

For more information about the Green Business Certification Program, please contact Christine Shen, City of West Hollywood Senior Planner, at (323) 848-6803 or at [email protected].

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

West Hollywood Celebrates National Poetry Month in April

The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Poetry Month in April with innovative events, including a poetry spa day and public exhibitions honoring poets and the art of poetry. National Poetry Month is the largest literary celebration in the world. 

Throughout the month of April, the City of West Hollywood will honor living poets by featuring selections of their poetry on street pole banners along Santa Monica Boulevard. Currently, there are 49 poets honored, and each year the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate selects two additional poets to honor. This year’s honorees are Shonda Buchanan and Mariano Zaro:

  • Shonda Buchanan is a Pushcart Prize nominee, Oxfam Ambassador, USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow, and City of Los Angeles (COLA) Department of Cultural Affairs Master Artist Fellow. She is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian, which won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “Top 20 Books to Read” to learn about institutional racism. About to enter a 3rd printing, Black Indian begins the saga of her family’s migration stories of Free People of Color communities exploring identity, ethnicity, landscape, and loss. Buchanan is also a faculty member in Alma College’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. Buchanan is the recipient of the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants, the Denise L. Scott and Frank Sullivan Awards, and an Eloise Klein-Healy Scholarship. Consulting Curator Poet for The Broad Art Museum, Buchanan is also a Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow, a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow, and a Jentel Artist Residency fellow. 
  • Mariano Zaro is the author of six books of poetry: Decoding Sparrows, Padre Tierra, Tres letras/Three Letters, The House of Mae Rim/La casa de Mae Rim, Poems of Erosion/Poemas de la erosion, and Where From/Desde Donde. His poems have been included in the anthologies Monster Verse, Wide Awake, The Coiled Serpent, and in several magazines in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Zaro’s short stories have appeared in Portland Review, Pinyon, Baltimore Review, Louisville Review and Magnapoets. He is the winner of the 2004 Roanoke Review Short Fiction Prize and the 2018 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Short Fiction Prize. Since 2010, he has been hosting a series of video-interviews with prominent American poets as part of the literary project Poetry.LA. He is a professor of Spanish at Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier.

On Monday, April 1, 2024 at 6 p.m., the City Council of the City of West Hollywood will issue a commemorative National Poetry Month proclamation, which will be received by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng. The presentation will be viewable as part of the City Council meeting broadcast on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel. The City Poet Laureate Jen Chang will also debut a new poem that celebrates the City of West Hollywood, titled Recipe for Creativity, Blessed by Ghosts of the Greats (below, at end of news release). 

With the support of an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood, Women Who Submit (WWS) presents Transformation – A Book Release Party on Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Great Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Transformation is WWS’ third anthology and features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama from 42 women and nonbinary contributors across the world. The event will feature readings from Erika Ayón, Lisa Cheby, Liz González, Monona Wali, Aruni Wijesinghe, and Sandy Yang, music by DJ Langosta, and an expo of literary organizations and booksellers. For more information, please visit the City of West Hollywood’s website calendar

The WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa event will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Respite Deck of the West Hollywood Aquatic and Recreation Center (ARC), located at 8750 El Tovar Place, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the public is invited to explore poetry at “spa stations” including Feng Shui Poetry, Poemaroma (essential oils), Lotus Poetry (origami), and other poetic experiences. At 7:30 p.m., attendees will gather at the Grand Staircase at sunset to hear all the poets share their words. Poetry Spa is a concept created by Brian Sonia-Wallace during his term as 2020-23 West Hollywood City Poet Laureate and is curated by current West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng.

WeHo Reads is a literary series produced by the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and BookSwell. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers, with media partnerships from Book Soup and Los Angeles Review of Books. Books will be available for sale by historic West Hollywood retailer Book Soup. This event is free to attend and RSVPs are requested. For more information and to RSVP please visit: www.weho.org/wehoreads.  

Poets participating at the WeHo Reads: Poetry Spa event include:

  • Terry Wolverton, author of eleven books, including her latest, Season of Eclipse, hosts the Poemaroma spa station.
  • K. Toney is a griot, writer, musician, and educator who hosts the Listening Libations spa station where attendees get to mix poetry with soothing sounds.
  • Brian Sonia-Wallace, author of Poetry of Strangers hosts the Poetry Bath spa station.
  • Pride Poets members Timothy Nang will host the Lotus Poetry spa station and Jose Rios will host the Poetry Bingo spa station.
  • West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng hosts the Feng Shui Poetry spa station which guides attendees through the Five Elements.

Attendees will receive raffle tickets for a drawing to win a grand prize tote bag containing work from the poets which include Jen Cheng’s Braided Spaces, Timothy Nang’s Lotus Children, Brian Sonia-Wallace’s Maze Mouth, Terry Wolverton’s Ruin Porn, and A. K. Toney’s album Neo Griot & The Afrocentric Prince.

The community is also invited to visit Poetry Walk, a public art installation, located on the traffic median of Santa Monica Boulevard between Doheny and Almont Drives. This temporary public art installation, which was installed in April 2023, displays poetry next to pre-existing empty concrete plinths where sculptures are usually displayed. The poetry excerpts reflect on absence, longing, and that which is unseen or uncelebrated. Contributing poets are former West Hollywood City Poet Laureates Brian Sonia-Wallace, Steven Reigns, Kim Dower and Charles Flowers; and Tonya Ingram, a young poet who passed away in December 2022. The Poetry Walk can be experienced as written word or by listening to audio recordings. Members of the public were invited to submit their own short poems reflecting on absence, longing and the unseen, and select poems are posted on the City website

During the month of April, with the support of an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood, Greenway Arts Alliance will present the 8th Annual LA Get Down Festival at the Greenway Court Theatre, located at 544 N. Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Past years’ programming has included open-mics, workshops, poetry slams, performances, and more. As part of this festival, West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng welcomes the community to join her at the Greenway Court Theatre for a free writing workshop, Feng Shui Poetry, on Saturday April 20, 2024 at 12 p.m. More information and links to purchase tickets for the LA Get Down Festival can be found at https://greenwaycourttheatre.org/la-get-down

The City of West Hollywood began formally celebrating National Poetry Month in 2015 after launching its City Poet Laureate program in 2014. The West Hollywood City Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador of West Hollywood’s vibrant literary culture and leads the promotion of poetry in the City, including assisting with its annual celebration of National Poetry Month. 

For more information about the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate program or National Poetry Month activities, please contact Mike Che, the City of West Hollywood’s Arts Coordinator, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6377.

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

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Gay man brutally assaulted in West Hollywood

“He’s bashing my head and and has his knee on top of my chest, trying to smash my head into the street–‘Die faggot, die,’ he kept saying”

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Image courtesy of David Velasquez.

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A man was physically assaulted in West Hollywood Sunday night. The attack occurred in front of the Tender Greens cafe on Santa Monica Blvd at the Hancock Drive intersection. The same suspect is believed to have assaulted others at random.

David Velasquez says he was already having a bad day while others celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in West Hollywood’s LGBTQ Rainbow District. He landed in Cedars Sinai earlier that day due to bad cold symptoms and had stopped by Pavilions in WeHo to get medication. He was riding his personal scooter on the sidewalk because he had almost been hit by a car earlier that day and was afraid a lot of people driving drunk.

“I was right there in front of the Tender Greens–the one on Santa Monica and Hancock–and then, like, I was passing by this random guy, and he just like out of nowhere slapped me with his left hand and smacked my helmet off smacked me in the face.”

According to Velasquez he confronted the guy and asked him what was his problem. There was a back and forth argument. “then the next thing I know, he’s hitting me and wrestling me, trying to throw my phone into the street,” he said. “He’s bashing my head and and has his knee on top of my chest, trying to smash my head into the street–‘Die faggot, die,’ he kept saying.”

He says his attacker stopped when a man who jumped out of a Chevy Suburban intervened. Velasquez managed to run away up Hancock Avenue. “A girl came up to me afterwards and said she wanted to press charges. He assaulted her also. Just slapped her for no reason. She was a black girl with two Latino friends. So that’s when I called the police. They came and got me an ambulance. I’m over here at Cedars Sinai again.”

According to Velasquez, he has a cut lip and some head trauma.

The assailant is described at a 6ft tall caucasian male in his 30s with a muscular build and a beard. He was described as nicely dressed seemed to be very inebriated.

A report was filed with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s substation regarding the assault however it is not yet known if there is any information leading to the suspects’ arrest.

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

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

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

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Kylie Minogue to headline WeHo Pride Outloud Music Festival

WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2024 will include a diverse array of LGBTQ+ community groups 

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Kylie Minogue Performing at White Party Palm Springs - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – JJLA has announced Australian pop singing sensation Kylie Minogue will be headlining this year’s WeHo Pride Outloud music festival, scheduled to take place on the weekend of June 1-2, 2024 with a Friday Night free ticketed event on May 31. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 15th at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Minogue is the highest-selling female Australian artist of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. She has been recognised for reinventing herself in music as well as fashion, and is referred to by the European press as the “Princess of Pop” and a style icon. Her accolades include two Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards and eighteen ARIA Music Awards.

In addition to Kylie, JJLA also announced that Janelle Monáe, Diplo + Friends, Doechii,  Ashnikko, Noah Cyrys, Trixie Mattel, Keke Palmer, Channel, tres, Yaeji, Big Freedia, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, VINCINT, and many more will be taking the stage for WeHo Pride weekend to kickoff pride month.

The City of West Hollywood announced dates for WeHo Pride 2024 in May and June.

“Pride starts in West Hollywood! WeHo Pride 2024 will be nothing short of fabulous. There will be something for everyone under the rainbow,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson. “From May 22 to June 30, West Hollywood will be brimming with celebrations and LGBTQ+ community activism, representation, and joy. I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone!”

WeHo Pride 2024 programming dates will be as follows:

·       Harvey Milk Day will serve as the kick-off of WeHo Pride on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 and will feature the 2nd annual José Julio Sarria Drag Pageant. Details will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

·       WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. The weekend will include Friday Night at OUTLOUD, the WeHo Pride Street Fair, the Women’s Freedom Festival, the Dyke March, the WeHo Pride Parade, and the ticketed OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival.

  • WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD, with free tickets for the community concert on Friday, May 31 in West Hollywood Park. Attendance will require an RSVP to secure complimentary tickets, as event capacity is limited. More information and a link to RSVP will be available at www.wehopride.com in the coming months.
  • OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride,produced by JJLA, is the flagship music festivaland concert experience of WeHo Pridefeaturing a star-studded lineup of musical acts! It will take place on Friday, May 31, 2024Saturday, June 1, 2024; and Sunday, June 2, 2024 at West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard with a star-studded, high-energy line-up celebrating and advocating for queer voices in music. Information on the performers will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.weareoutloud.com.
  • The WeHo Pride Street Fair will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024 and Sunday, June 2, 2024 and will celebrate Pride with diverse participation of LGBTQ+ community groups and allied organizations as part of visibility and expression. The Street Fair is free and will feature a vibrant variety of exhibitors along Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be live entertainment and performances on a community stage, highlighting the LGBTQ+ community. The Street Fair is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. It is a great occasion to take part in WeHo Pride’s LGBTQ+ community experience. Applications to participate in the Street Fair as an exhibitor will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.
  • The Women’s Freedom Festival presented by the L-Project Los Angeles is planned to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024. The 2024 event will feature emerging LGBTQ and BIPOC women and non-binary musicians, comedians, poets, and activists. More information will be available in the coming weeks at www.wehopride.com.
  • The Dyke March is planned to take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024. For people who are interested in marching, stay informed at www.wehopride.com for route and timing information!
  • Get festive as we roll down Santa Monica Boulevard for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 2, 2024! The WeHo Pride Parade is an imaginative and colorful annual tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ+ people and our contributions to community and culture. The Parade is a lively, energetic experience with good cheer and great vibes, and a whole lot of rainbows! Whether you participate in the Parade or join in the fun as a spectator, there’s something for everyone at the WeHo Pride Parade! Information on how to participate as an entrant in the parade will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

·       WeHo Pride Arts Festival will take place Friday, June 14, 2024 to Sunday, June 16, 2024 at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood. First launched in 2008, and formerly known as the One City One Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival, this year’s Arts Festival will feature a stellar range of LGBTQ+ dance, visual art, performance, literary arts, and more. More information will be available in the coming weeks at www.wehopride.com.

·       WeHo Pride celebrations during WeHo Pride Weekend and during May and June 2024 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 2024. Through an application and review process, community groups may apply to request City funding for an independent Pride event, produced entirely by the group or organization. The application and more information related to the program will be published on www.wehopride.com in the coming weeks.

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

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

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39th annual Los Angeles Marathon to make its way through WeHo

Celebrating its 39th running, the Los Angeles Marathon course will begin at Dodger Stadium and it will conclude at Century Park

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LA Marathon - Photo by Mike Pingel for WEHO TIMES

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – The 39th Annual Los Angeles Marathon, Presented by ASICS, is returning to West Hollywood. Runners will be making their way through the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, March 17, 2024 as part of a 26.2-mile Stadium to the Stars course.

Celebrating its 39th running, the Los Angeles Marathon course will begin at Dodger Stadium and it will conclude at Century Park in Century City. The portion of the route that runs through the City of West Hollywood remains unchanged.

The Los Angeles Marathon route for 2024 will guide runners westbound into the City of West Hollywood along Sunset Boulevard at Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the Sunset Strip, runners will turn left (south) onto N. San Vicente Boulevard; then right (west) onto Santa Monica Boulevard; then left (south) onto N. Doheny Drive, where they will enter the City of Beverly Hills. The Marathon will run through West Hollywood between miles 14 and 15 of the course.

To ensure the safety of the large numbers of Los Angeles Marathon runners, there will be several street closures in the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; crews will work to reopen roads to vehicle traffic as quickly as possible as the Marathon moves through the City of West Hollywood:

  • Sunset Boulevard between Marmont Lane and Clark Street/N. San Vicente Boulevard (the route enters the City of West Hollywood from the City of Los Angeles west along Sunset Boulevard from Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard);
  • N. San Vicente Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue;
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and N. Doheny Drive;
  • N. Doheny Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard (the route exits the City of West Hollywood to the City of Beverly Hills south along N. Doheny Drive).

Parking will be strictly prohibited along the Los Angeles Marathon route. “No Parking” signs will be posted prior to the event. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Los Angeles Marathon spectators and community members who are searching for alternative parking solutions in West Hollywood during the Los Angeles Marathon are encouraged to visit the City of West Hollywood’s website, where a directory of parking structures and municipal lots with hours of operation and rates is available online. Members of the public are encouraged to carpool and to use public transportation, taxis, or ridesharing options.

For additional information regarding the 2024 Los Angeles Marathon Presented by ASICS, including details about road closures and alternate access routes, community members may email, call (213) 542-3000, or visit the Los Angeles Marathon website. Members of the media interested seeking media credentials for the event should apply directly with McCourt Foundation.

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

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

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Settlement in lawsuit between WeHo trans activist & LASD

According to court docs “the parties advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024”

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Annie Jump Vicente booing during the swearing in of West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson. (Photo by Paulo Murillo)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – A joint settlement has been reached in a legal case involving plaintiff Annie Jump Vicente, a trans activist and resident of West Hollywood, and defendants the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the County of Los Angeles, and ten individual sheriff deputies identified as ‘Does.’

According to court documents obtained by WEHO TIMES, “the parties hereby jointly advise the Court that a full and complete settlement of the case was reached on February 26, 2024.”

Furthermore, “The parties anticipate that they will be able to finalize the settlement documents, provide the settlement draft to Plaintiff, and file a final stipulated dismissal of the entire case with prejudice within sixty (60) days.”

Jump, also known as Annie Vicente Jump, a transgender woman, filed the civil rights lawsuit against LASD, ten individual West Hollywood Station LASD deputies (referred to as Doe LASD Deputies), and the County of Los Angeles. The lawsuit stemmed from an incident on December 7, 2022, when Jump was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly obstructing Sheriff deputies from entering her apartment building while responding to a domestic violence call.

Jump faced charges under Penal Code § 148(a)(1) PC, which criminalizes willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing peace officers or EMTs in the performance of their official duties. However, a Los Angeles County District Attorney Charge Evaluation Sheet dated December 21, 2022, concluded that “the defendant’s total conduct cannot be characterized other than a refusal to consent to a request to enter her apartment. Such conduct cannot constitute grounds for a lawful arrest or subsequent search and seizure… Refusal to stand aside and permit a requested entry, even when officers… had a right to force an entry… cannot constitute a violation of section 148.”

The civil case, number 2:23-cv8584, was filed on October 11, 2023, by the Law Offices of Christian Contreras. The list of complaints for damages included allegations of negligence, false arrest/imprisonment, assault and battery, violations of the Bane Act (Civil Code § 52.1) and the Ralph Act (Civil Code § 51.7), violations of the First Amendment for retaliation for protected speech (42 USC § 1983), violations of the Fourth Amendment for excessive force (42 USC § 1983), municipal liability for unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice, and municipal liability for failure to train.

The defendants retained the services of Collison, Daehnke, Inlow & Greco, a civil litigation defense firm specializing in various civil litigation matters.

Attorney Laura E. Inlow, with nearly 30 years of practice, leads the firm’s Governmental Entity Liability Practice Group, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as professional liability, premises, and general liability matters. Attorney Lenore C. Kelly brings extensive experience in the aggressive defense of public entities, particularly in cases involving law enforcement use of force, civil rights violations, employment disputes, complex tort, and general casualty.

Jump alleged that she was attacked and arrested by unidentified LASD deputies on December 7, 2022, while officers were responding to a domestic violence call. The Complaint stated that upon returning home with groceries, Jump found LASD deputies demanding entry into the building to investigate a domestic violence incident involving her neighbors, who were out of town and requesting a search warrant. Jump was forcibly pulled out of her doorway, causing injuries. Two days earlier, Jump had criticized LASD’s negligence at a West Hollywood city council meeting.

Jump says the incident caused severe mental and emotional distress, including feelings of shame, disillusionment with the justice system, fear of law enforcement, and PTSD.

Related

In a recent development this month, West Hollywood Sheriff deputies arrested Ms. Vicente on Thursday, February 15, 2024, for a separate incident and is currently facing a felony assault with a deadly weapon (245 PC) for allegedly striking a Block by Block Ambassador on the head with a flashlight. Captain Moulder of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station stated that a second suspect is outstanding. Detectives are continuing to actively investigate this case.

During a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, Ms. Vicente alleged that she had been sexually assaulted and battered by the Block by Block ambassador and asked the City to end its contract with Block by Block security. “He beat the shit out of me,” she said during public comment. “And then he had me arrested and charged with a felony.”

However, a video released by the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station shows a violent attack against the Block by Block ambassador. Two individuals assaulted him while he was on his lunch break according to Captain Moulder. One of the attackers was identified as Ms. Vicente and arrested. The other suspect is still at large as of the posting of this piece. LASD detectives released a Special Bulletin asking for the public’s help in identifying the second person.

Details on the recent settlement have not yet been disclosed, and there is no word yet on whether Ms. Jump will be filing another lawsuit for her most recent arrest.

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

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

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West Hollywood in brief- City government in action this week

Women’s History Month; Getting Out the Vote; Strategic Plan Open House; Temp Closure of Sections of WeHo Park; plus more

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Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott

City of West Hollywood Celebrates Women’s History Month in March

WEST HOLLYWOOD – The City of West Hollywood will celebrate National Women’s History Month in March with a series of events to recognize and honor women and women’s history.

The City’s National Women’s History Month events will officially kick-off with the unveiling of two new women’s history month street pole banners honoring two notable women: transgender pioneer Marsha P. Johnson, one of the most prominent figures of the gay rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s and whose legacy continues to this day; and country music legend and actor Dolly Parton. The street pole banners presentation will take place at the regular meeting of the West Hollywood City Council on Monday, March 4, 2024 at 6 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Attendance is free; no RSVP is required. Limited validated parking will be available at the adjacent five-story structure. The City Council meeting broadcast will be available for viewing on the City’s website by visiting www.weho.org/wehotv or on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.  

From Tuesday, March 5, 2024 through Friday, March 22, 2024, the globe lanterns above Santa Monica Boulevard will glow purple and gold. Throughout the month, a series of street pole banners that commemorate famous American women, civil rights leaders, and women’s rights activists will be on display along Santa Monica Boulevard. The City’s featured banners include: Gail Abarbanel; Maya Angelou; Ivy Bottini; Hillary Rodham Clinton; Midge Costanza; Marion Wright Edelman; Alicia Garza; Barbara Gittings; Dolores Huerta; Coretta Scott King; Wilma Mankiller; Michaela Mendelsohn; Patsy Mink; Zoe Nicholson; Connie Norman; Michelle Obama; Rosa Parks; Mary Pickford; Sonia Sotomayor; Nadia Sutton; Gloria Steinem; Elizabeth Taylor; Ruth Williams; Oprah Winfrey; among others. This year’s additions to the Women’s History Month banners are Marsha P. Johnson and Dolly Parton.

The City of West Hollywood and its Russian-Speaking Advisory Board will host a free program celebrating International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Plummer Park Community Center, rooms 5 & 6, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The celebration will feature music, food, dancing, and a fashion show. For additional information call (323) 848-6826 or email [email protected].

Supported by the City of West Hollywood, the first annual Sexual Healing/Sexual Health Ladies’ Brunch is a sex-positive and age-positive experience to learn more about women’s reproductive and mental health, menopause, and sexual pleasure. The brunch will be held on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Pleasure Chest and Hind Lounge located at 7733 Santa Monica Boulevard. This event is presented in partnership with The Pleasure Chest and Hind Bar and supported by the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $45 and available for purchase both online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sexual-healingsexual-healthtickets-823196401597 and at the door. For additional information email [email protected]

Also on Sunday, March 3, 2024 the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will co-sponsor Guaranteed Abundance: Guaranteed Income Advocacy Training presented by LA Voice and the National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles to be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free. To register visit bit.ly/GBIAdvocacy. For additional information email [email protected].

There will be a viewing party with artist Shaghayegh Cyrous to watch the moving image artwork, Xvarnah, on the digital billboard (Streamlined Arbor) at 9157 Sunset Boulevard on Sunday, March 3, 2024 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Artwork airs every 20 minutes beginning at the top of the hour.  Admission is free. This project is presented as part of the West Hollywood Moving Image Media Art Program (MIMA), an exhibition series administered by the City’s Arts Division, as part of its Art on the Outside program, and is presented with the City’s Sunset Arts and Advertising Program. Xvarnah will be on display through Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Women and Books is a book club that meets on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss books written by women authors. On Tuesday, March 5, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. the group will discuss The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher. Women and Books is co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood through its Women’s Advisory Board and by West Hollywood Library. Admission is free. This is a hybrid event and will be hosted in-person at the West Hollywood Library’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, as well as virtually on Zoom. To register, visit: https://lacountylibrary.webex.com/lacountylibrary/j.php?MTID=maa8a00d769f8b023cc81d2d603b7184c

MashUp Contemporary Dance Company’s annual International Women’s Day Dance Festival will kick-off in West Hollywood on Friday, March 8, 2024 with the LA Women in Dance Summit in WeHo from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Great Hall, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The event will feature guest speakers, master classes and an Industry Expo. Tickets prices range from $20 to $65. To register and find out more about the entire  festival, visit: https://www.mashupdance.com/tickets/international-womens-day-dance-festival. This project is supported in part by a grant from the City of West Hollywood. 

The City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board will co-sponsor the Annual Herstory Awards & Reception, which is presented by the Hollywood Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Hollywood NOW) to honor a woman who has made exceptional contributions to the community and embodies the spirit of feminism. This year’s honoree is Abbe Land, former West Hollywood Mayor and City Councilmember. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 at 7 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free. To RSVP, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/849689954527?aff=oddtdtcreator.

The City and its Women’s Advisory Board will host the Women’s History Month Party to honor the contributions of women and the more than 30 years of service of the City’s Women’s Advisory Board on Friday, March 15, 2024 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room and Auto Court, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Admission is free, RSVP is requested by visiting www.weho.org/whm

On Wednesday, March 27, 2024, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the 27th Annual West Hollywood Women in Leadership Awards and Reception will take place at the Andaz West Hollywood, located at 8401 Sunset Boulevard. The event is co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood and its Women’s Advisory Board along with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Admission is $25 and proceeds will benefit the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. To RSVP visit www.weho.org/whm.

A full schedule of City of West Hollywood events and meetings is available at www.weho.org/calendar.For more information about Women’s History Month in the City of West Hollywood, please contact Larissa Fooks, the City of West Hollywood’s Community Programs Coordinator, at (323) 848-6413 or at [email protected].

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

City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series Presents a Free Screening & Panel Discussion of  ‘Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom’

To recognize the tenth anniversary of the war and the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the City of West Hollywood’s Human Rights Speakers Series will host a screening of the award-winning documentary film Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom followed by a panel discussion featuring Emmy- and Oscar-nominated director/producer Evgeny Afineevsky and Anna Zaitseva, film protagonist, activist and survivor. Crafted from stark footage and exclusive interviews with people displaced by the enduring conflict, Freedom on Fire reveals how the spirit of unity strengthens morale even amid the country’s darkest hours. 

The event will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, adjacent to the West Hollywood Library. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and opening remarks will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by the film screening and panel discussion. The event is free, but seating is limited. RSVP is required at http://go.weho.org/hrss.

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.

2024 Public Safety Awards & Luncheon

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to attend the 2024 Public Safety Awards & Luncheon as the City celebrates and recognizes its organizational partners in public safety organizations that have made significant efforts towards enhancing community safety in West Hollywood.

The Public Safety Awards & Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at 11:30 a.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard. Lunch will be served in the Auto Court area outside the Chambers followed by the awards presentation inside. Admission is free; no RSVP is required. Parking will be available in the adjacent five-story structure, accessible from the El Tovar Place entrance off N. Robertson Boulevard.

This year, the Public Safety Awards will be presented to members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station, Los Angeles County Fire Department Stations 7 and 8, and to West Hollywood Block by Block Security Ambassadors.

These award recipients have made extraordinary efforts in public safety programs and events, strengthened community partnerships; and have demonstrated leadership in multiple ways that have contributed to a safer community.For more information about the City’s Public Safety Awards & Luncheon, please contact Anita Shandi, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Manager, at [email protected] or at (323) 848-6446. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

Temporary Closure of Sections of West Hollywood Park will Take Place in February/March to Accommodate Special Event

From Wednesday, February 28, 2024, to Thursday, March 14, 2024, there will be a temporary closure of certain sections of West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard – including the small dog park and basketball courts – to accommodate the annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party and fundraiser.

Additionally, there will be intermittent lane closures on N. San Vicente Boulevard, one full street closure, and impacts to certain West Hollywood Park facilities, as follows:

Intermittent lane closures will occur on Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and PDC Drive on the following dates:

  • Friday, March 1, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & #2 lanes will be closed from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.;
  • Saturday, March 2, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & #2 lanes will be closed from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.;
  • Monday, March 4, 2024, through Thursday, March 7, 2024 (Daily) Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
  • Friday, March 8, 2024, through March 10, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.;
  • Monday, March 11, 2024 – Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #2 lane will be closed from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 lane will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.;
  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024 Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard #1 & and #2 lanes will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

A full street closure will occur on Northbound and Southbound N. San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue starting on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at 12 p.m.; the street will reopen on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 5 a.m.

West Hollywood Park facilities impacts/closures will occur as follows:

  • West Hollywood Park small dog park and basketball courts will be closed from Wednesday, February 28, 2024, through Wednesday, March 13, 2024; and
  • West Hollywood Park large dog park will be closed from Friday, March 8, 2024, through Monday, March 11, 2024;
  • West Hollywood Park Five-Story Parking Structure will be closed all day on Sunday, March 10, 2024; the structure will reopen on Monday, March 11, 2024, at 5 a.m.

The City of West Hollywood has proudly supported the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its Academy Awards Viewing Party over many years. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.For inquiries related to the City of West Hollywood and temporary impacts on West Hollywood Park, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division at [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

West Hollywood Invites Community Members to Participate in Upcoming ‘WeHo 40’ Strategic Plan Open House

The City of West Hollywood will host a community open house to kick off the development of West Hollywood’s next citywide strategic plan, WeHo 40. This free event will include a brief program, food, and live entertainment. It will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kings Road Park, located at 1000 N. Kings Road. Community members are encouraged to stop by at any point during the event to learn more about the project, to provide feedback, and to connect with fellow community members. Translation services will be available in Spanish and Russian. Advance RSVP is not required. 

This community open house will be the first in a series of community feedback-gathering events, which are central to developing WeHo 40. This event will focus on visioning and goal setting, including the identification of potential goals and priorities. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute their experiences, ideas, and insightful perspectives to support the development of the strategic plan. The program will include a brief presentation followed by small group discussions and exercises. These activities will be repeated several times over the course of the open house; participants are encouraged to drop in at any time to participate. 

WeHo 40 is the City of West Hollywood’s forward-looking strategic planning process. Rooted in 40 years of municipal history – and looking ahead toward 2040 – WeHo 40 will engage residents, community members, and local businesses in setting priorities to create an inclusive and equitable roadmap for the City’s future and build upon the successes of the City’s past strategic plans.

For nearly four decades, the City of West Hollywood has been engaging in the collaborative development of strategic plans in order to shape forward-thinking policies and priorities. The City developed its first strategic plan in 1990. In 2003, the City launched its second strategic plan, Vision 2020. The development of Vision 2020 included the participation of more than 250 community members and helped shape the City’s Mission Statement and Core Values.

Visit engage.weho.org/wehostrategicplan to learn about the latest WeHo 40 updates and sign up for project-specific announcements. For more information, please contact Paolo Kespradit, City of West Hollywood Management Analyst, at (323) 848-6460 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

City of West Hollywood is Getting Out the Vote: Presidential Primary Election Voters May Vote In-Person, Vote by Mail, or Use Ballot Drop-Off Boxes through 8 p.m. on March 5, 2024

As part of the City of West Hollywood’s continuous efforts to increase voter participation, the City reminds community members that each vote counts and your voice matters in the upcoming Presidential Primary Election.

Key Dates for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election:

  • February 1: Vote by Mail begins & Drop Boxes Open 
  • February 20: Last Day to Register to Vote & Receive a Vote by Mail Ballot 
  • February 24: Same-Day Registration and 11-Day Vote Centers Open (City of West Hollywood Plummer Park Vote Center, located in Fiesta Hall, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard) 
  • March 2: 4-Day Vote Centers Open (City of West Hollywood West Hollywood Park Vote Center, located in the Aquatic and Recreation Center San Vicente/La Cienega Rooms) 
  • March 5: Election Day

The State of California allows for conditional day-of registration and allows that voter to cast a provisional ballot. Vote by Mail postal mail-in and ballot-drop-off voting for registered voters began on February 1, 2024. Many LA County Vote Centers will begin operating on February 24, 2024; there will be two City of West Hollywood Vote Centers (Plummer Park opens on February 24 and West Hollywood park opens on March 2). 

Vote Centers are open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the pre-Election Day voting period. On Election Day, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Vote Centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For all LA County Vote Center locations and estimated wait times, visit https://locator.lavote.gov/locations/vc

The City of West Hollywood provides two free options for residents who need transportation assistance to vote in person at a Vote Center. Cityline makes regular stops at or within a short distance of voting locations. For a route and schedule, visit www.weho.org/cityline. Dial-a-Ride is a rideshare service for West Hollywood residents over 62 or who are living with a disability (of any age) available between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by reservation. Advance registration is required; to register, call toll-free (800) 447-2189.

In addition to postal Vote by Mail and in-person voting at Vote Centers for the March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary Election, the City of West Hollywood has worked with LA County to establish three Ballot Drop Box locations in West Hollywood. These Ballot Drop Boxes are bright yellow and clearly marked. They feature safety and security features, such as 24-hour electronic monitoring. Locations are as follows:

  • West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located behind City Hall, off of N. Sweetzer Avenue)

  • West Hollywood Library, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located on the west side of the street, in front of the library)

  • Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard

(Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Plummer Park Community Center)

The City of West Hollywood encourages every eligible voter to have a vote plan with the following tips:

  • Check your voter registration status or register to vote at www.lavote.gov/vrstatus or call (800) 815-2666;
  • Decide how you would like to vote: Fill in your ballot and drop off a ballot at a Ballot Drop Box or a Vote Center; or, Vote in-person at a Vote Center;
  • Educate yourself about the issues and then vote as soon as you receive your ballot;
  • Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to vote or register to vote;
  • Assist those who need help with their mail-in ballot or offer to take a homebound senior to a Vote Center; and
  • Track your ballot. You can sign-up to receive personalized text messages, emails, and/or automated voice messages on your Vote-by-Mail ballot (whether sent by mail or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box or Vote Center) by subscribing to Where’s My Ballot. This is a free service available to all registered voters that provides updated information about where your ballot is and when you can expect to receive it. Sign up to be notified of the status of your ballot at california.ballottrax.net/voter.

City of West Hollywood voters receive complete ballot information by mail directly from the LA County Registrar-Recorder. More election information is available at www.weho.org/elections.  

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For up-to-date information about City of West Hollywood news and events, follow @wehocity on social media, sign-up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar. West Hollywood City Hall is open for walk-in services at public counters or by appointment by visiting www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services are accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via website at www.weho.org. Receive text updates by texting “WeHo” to (323) 848-5000.

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