Newly appointed commissioners Chiedu Egbuniwe, Alec White, Renee F. Sotile, Patrick Ryan Blood, Nik Kacy, Amber Whittington, and Ron Z Cortes took the Oath of Office to serve the newly formed West Hollywood LGBTQI+ Commission. The meeting took place at City Hall Community Meeting Room, 1st Floor, on Thursday, July 13, 2023.
Council members John Heilman and John Erickson had prior commitments and were not able to attend the meeting to swear-in their appointees. West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne swore-in her direct appointee, Commissioner Kacy and Commissioner Cortes who is Mayor Pro Tem Erickson’s appointee; Council members Chelsea Byers swore in her appointee Whittington and at large commissioner White; Council member Meister swore in Commissioner Sotile and Commissioner Ryan Blood who is John Heilman’s direct appointee, as well as Commissioner Egbuniwe who is at large.
The LGBTQ+ Commission consists of seven members who will have a significant interest in the city such as residency, business or residential ownership, economic involvement, or some other valid link, to be determined by the City Council, to the purpose of the Commission. Members cannot be officers or employees of the city.
Each member of the LGBTQ+ Commission appointed directly by individual Council members will serve a two-year term commencing on March 1st following a general municipal election. Upon expiration of the term of office, each Commission member will continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. Each such member of the Commission serves at the pleasure of the appointing councilmember and may be removed by that councilmember at any time. In the event the office of a councilmember becomes vacant during the term thereof, and until the office is filled, the Commission member appointed by such councilmember may be removed by a majority vote of the City Council.
The two Commission members appointed by the Council as a whole shall serve two-year terms commencing on March 1st following a general municipal election. Upon expiration of the term of office, each such Commission member shall continue to serve until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. Such members may be removed by a majority vote of the City Council; provided, however, that no member of the Commission may be removed prior to March 1st following any municipal election. Commission members are also subject to term limits as set forth in Section 2.30.040 of this code.
The LGBTQ+ Commission shall have the power and be required to:
- Evaluate and make recommendations to the City Council on service and funding needs and potential service gaps impacting the LGBTQ+ community and related to LGBTQ+ related city grants and social services.
- Review and recommend to the City Council legislation at the local, state, and federal level, policies, programs, procedures, or administrative actions that advance social, economic, and political equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Serve as an available resource to city staff, city commissions, advisory boards and the City Council to provide guidance on ensuring LGBTQ+ community inclusivity in significant community programs and events, such as but not limited to West Hollywood Pride events.
- Review and provide recommendations to the city staff and/or City Council on the city’s annual Pride celebration.
- Promote citizen participation in the decision-making process and bring the governmental process closer to the residents of West Hollywood in regards to LGBTQ+ programming.
- Review and recommend to the City Council policies to enhance economic development for LGBTQ+ businesses.
The LGBTQ+ Commission will meet on the 2nd Thursday of every month. The meeting will not be televised via the City’s Zoom channel like other commissions.