Long time 33-year West Hollywood resident, 28-year Senior Advisory Board, and 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year, Esther Baum, has passed. She was 98-years-old. The details of her death are not yet known and will be updated when they become available.
A notice of her passing was posted on North Harper & Sweetzer Avenue Facebook group.
“Sad news, Esther Baum, a  year resident of Harper Ave has left us. Esther was 97-years-old and was responsible for our National Night Out event for many many years…Esther was a profoundly active member of our West Hollywood community. She devoted her life to serving others. Even though her health and mobility waned in the last few years, Esther with the help of our dear departed friend, Jeff McKay, managed to host several National Night Out events. We will honor both Esther Baum and Jeff McKay at this year’s [National Night Out].”
Esther Baum was born and raised in Los Angeles, before she moved to the city of West Hollywood 33 years ago. She retired from her job as an accountant in 2017, but she remained active in the West Hollywood community serving on the city’s Senior Advisory Board, in the Seniors in Action program, and she continued to advocate for seniors, and rent control in the city. She was also Neighborhood Watch block captain.
She worked at several public accounting firms that included a garment manufacturer, women’s sportswear shop, a beauty salon chain and an oral surgery practice. Her community volunteer work included service at the cancer center in Santa Monica where she reconstructed the files and payroll records after the building caught on fire. She also volunteered at Project Angel Food, the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, and AARP, where she did tax preparation for senior citizens. Baum also is a longtime member of Congregation Kol Ami. She and her late husband, Robert, have one daughter who is also an accountant.
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff chose her as one of the 15 2020 Women of the Year honorees in his 28th Congressional District. “Every year in March, in honor of Women’s History Month, my office hosts an event to honor our district’s Women of the Year,” said Schiff in an announcement of the 15 honorees. “Unfortunately, we had to postpone our celebration due to coronavirus, but I wanted to make sure these outstanding women get the recognition they deserve. They are all pillars of our communities and I thank them for their invaluable service.”
Schiff acknowledged her as a dynamic force in the community, noting her work for National Night Out gatherings in her neighborhood.
Below is her acceptance speech from 2020:
HON. ADAM B. SCHIFF of california in the house of representatives Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Mr. SCHIFF. Madam Speaker, I rise today in honor of Women's History Month. Each year, we pay special tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our nation's women. It is an honor to pay homage to outstanding women who are making a difference in my Congressional District. I would like to recognize a remarkable woman, Esther Baum of West Hollywood, California. Esther was born and raised in Los Angeles and has called West Hollywood home for the past thirty years. Upon graduating from high school, Ms. Baum attended college and majored in accounting. With an abundance of talent and skill, Esther had a successful career spanning across decades. She worked for public accounting firms, and as an accountant for several businesses including a garment manufacturer, women's sportswear shop, a beauty salon chain and an oral surgery practice. She retired in 2017. While Ms. Baum had a successful career, she never lost sight of the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community. Esther volunteered at a cancer center in Santa Monica, California where she reconstructed the files and payroll records after the building caught on fire. She also volunteered at Project Angel Food, The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills, and AARP, where she did tax preparation for senior citizens. At ninety-four years old, Esther continues to be a dynamic force in the community. She is currently serving on the City of West Hollywood Senior Advisory Board and is active in the West Hollywood Seniors in Action program, where she plans programs for senior citizens to come together, make friends and share memories. In addition, Esther is a Neighborhood Watch block captain in her area and enjoys hosting National Night Out gatherings in her neighborhood, which she has done for the past twenty-nine years. She has made it a tradition to take all the remaining food to serve to the homeless. Esther is also a longtime and valued member of Congregation Kol Ami. Esther and her late husband, Robert, have one daughter who followed in Esther's footsteps and is an accountant. The entire community has benefitted immensely from the generosity and invaluable contributions of Ms. Baum. I ask all Members to join me in honoring this exceptional, well- respected woman of California's 28th Congressional District, Esther Baum.