The City Council of the City of West Hollywood presented a Key to the City to Barbara Poma, Pulse nightclub owner and founder of the onePULSE Foundation. The presentation took place during the regular teleconference meeting of the West Hollywood City Council on Monday, February 7, 2022.
The West Hollywood City Council also issued two Proclamations on Sunday, February 6, 2022 – one to Barbara Poma, and one to the onePULSE Foundation – in recognition of their dedication and commitment to preserving the legacies of lives lost at the Pulse nightclub mass shootings. The proclamations were given by council member John Erickson during a drag brunch fundraiser at Rocco’s WeHo. Mayor Lauren Meister presented Poma with the Key to the City.
“Thank you so much,” Poma said via ZOOM at the City Council meeting. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion and I’m grateful for the hospitality in the city and your council. It means the world to us and we will continue to come back here and we appreciate all the support. Thank you so much.”
Pulse nightclub was the location of a tragic mass shooting that took place on June 12, 2016 that left 49 people dead, 68 people injured, and countless other lives affected. Barbara Poma established Pulse nightclub in 2004 as a tribute to her brother, John, who passed away from HIV/AIDS. The Orlando, Florida club was embraced by the LGBTQ community for its culture of love and acceptance. Sadly, it became known as the site of the deadliest mass shooting in US history, as well as the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ people in the nation.
In the aftermath of the massacre, Poma established the onePULSE Foundation to fund, design, and construct a National Pulse Memorial & Museum at the original site of the Pulse nightclub. In the interim, the onePULSE Foundation has established a memorial as a sanctuary of quiet reflection and love dedicated to honoring the senseless loss of innocent life. The onePULSE Foundation has also created 49 individual annually awarded college scholarships named in honor of each victim and designed with input from the victims’ families to highlight their specific vocations, hobbies, or life aspirations. Poma now serves as Executive Director of onePULSE Foundation and works as an LGBTQ rights advocate.
Video of the presentation is available as part of the City Council meeting, which is available for viewing through the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv(or use this direct link: https://youtu.be/jAfadeCn4gw) and through the City’s website atwww.weho.org/wehotv (or use this direct link: https://weho.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=16&event_id=1331).