The City of West Hollywood released a statement today congratulating President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris on today’s inauguration.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape the reality of life in the City of West Hollywood and in communities around the world, our city understands the many priorities the Biden-Harris Administration will need to focus upon and we look forward to working with the new administration for positive impact for the West Hollywood community,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “We’ve already witnessed the beginnings of positive change with thoughtful attention to outlining the work ahead and with the selection of extremely well-qualified and incredibly diverse Cabinet nominees and appointees. President Biden has extraordinary qualifications with the character, decency, and experience to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Vice President Harris is an unparalleled leader who is making history not only as the nation’s first female Vice President, but also as the first Black and South Asian American person to hold this high office. I laud the administration for the nominations of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, who, if confirmed, will be the nation’s first openly gay Cabinet nominee, and Dr. Rachel Levine as Assistant Health Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who is poised to be the first openly transgender official to be confirmed by the United States Senate. Representation matters. And it is abundantly clear the new administration is committed to diversity, inclusion, and representation at a time that our country needs all of our voices to move forward.”
“It is with much excitement and relief that I have looked forward to the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as America’s new leaders,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister. “Now, I look forward to a bright, bold, and competent administration to address the immense challenges we face, as individuals, as community members, and as a nation. With upcoming changes to the Senate, I have high expectations that the three branches of the federal government will work together for our nation and will assist states and cities to recover from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new administration and the Congress must also deal with the immense hatred Trump has unleashed and with the deep systemic racism that has long plagued this country. There is much work to be done, but I am confident this administration is up to the task and is poised to make history.”
“I hadn’t realized how much I was holding my breath for the last four years,” said Councilmember John D’Amico, “and how much the installation of the Biden-Harris Administration will help the entire country to breathe easier and heal.”
“The last four years have shown us that we need leaders in Washington that will step up and get to work to help heal and move this country forward at a time when we’re more fractured as a country than ever before,” said Councilmember John M. Erickson. “President Biden and Vice President Harris are the leaders we need. Both historic and forward-thinking, their policies will not only help heal the soul of this nation, but will also ensure that we get to work as a country to overcome COVID-19 and look to the future, together.”
“President Biden and Madame Vice President Harris will not only bring a renewed sense of hope to America at a time we all need it most,” said Councilmember Sepi Shyne, “but also the right plans and policies to heal our country and move us forward.”
The City Council of the City of West Hollywood, at its regular meeting on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, approved the City’s legislative priorities for the 2021-2022 State Legislative Session and the 117th Congress.
The City’s legislative priorities guide the City of West Hollywood’s advocacy efforts and take into consideration the City’s Mission, Core Values and the Vision 2020’s Primary Strategic Goals (PSG) and/or Ongoing Strategic Programs (OSP). Legislative priorities are adopted by the West Hollywood City Council at the beginning of each legislative session of the California Legislature and once a new Congress is installed; the priorities reflect the City’s ongoing commitment to advancing the community’s vision of a fair and just society.
In addition, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts on the community, the City of West Hollywood will work throughout 2021 to continue to prioritize resources and relief to assist residents, businesses, and community members. Information about the City’s response is regularly updated at www.weho.org/coronavirus.
The City’s 2021-2022 legislative priorities include:
Animal Welfare — The City’s concern for the well-being of animals dates back to the first years of Cityhood and is a priority aligned with the City’s core values. The City of West Hollywood is “cruelty-free” and is the first City in North America to prohibit the practice of Onychectomy, popularly known as declawing. The City has also supported many legislative initiatives that advance a more humane treatment of animals.
State Budget — The legislative affairs team monitors the State budget as soon as it is released in January of each year and then provides comments to the City’s State representatives on items that are of interest or concern to the City.
Cannabis — The City of West Hollywood was among the first cities in the country to support medicinal cannabis and California Proposition 215 in 1996. The City has also supported California Proposition 64 in 2016, which legalized the sale, possession, use and cultivation of cannabis.
Education — The City of West Hollywood has long advocated for adequate funding levels for education, supported public education and legislative initiatives to protect all students from harassment and discrimination.
Employment /Economic Development — The City of West Hollywood has advocated for legislation that funds employment training programs and eliminates barriers to entry for Californians. In addition, the City has advocated for raising the California and federal minimum wage rates.
LGBTQ Equality — The City of West Hollywood is home to a large LGBTQ population and leading advocate for full equality. It is one of the first municipalities in the world to implement a domestic partnership program, well before any government had considered treating LGBTQ people equally.
Fiscal Sustainability — The City of West Hollywood has exercised fiscal prudence and successfully managed its financial affairs. The City has made it a priority to maximize revenues and keep liabilities in check. As such, the City has enjoyed very high credit and bond ratings.
Health & Human Services — One of the drivers behind City incorporation was the desire by many community members to have discretion over revenues and how those revenues were invested. The City Council has, since the City’s incorporation, continuously funded health and human services, at a level exceeding what is expected from or legally required of municipal governments.
Housing and Rent Stabilization — Housing and Rent Stabilization is another priority area that is a quintessential part of the City’s history. As the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles voted to end rent control in 1984, area seniors, LGBTQ people and tenants, faced with massive evictions, rallied and organized a successful city incorporation drive in 1984.
Institutional Integrity — The City has made significant efforts to increase transparency in all its affairs and has worked diligently to make City data available to the public.
Public Infrastructure and Open Space — Through prudent fiscal management, the City has built reserves and used some of those funds to build new infrastructure and maintain existing facilities. The City, however, cannot do it all and supports legislative initiatives that fairly distribute State and County funds for infrastructure and public parks.
Public Safety — The City has invested in public safety and has made strides to be fully prepared in case of emergencies. In addition, the City Council is committed to ensuring that law enforcement agencies are diverse, representative of the neighborhoods where they serve and that their practices are oriented to serving the entire community without prejudice and void of discriminatory practices.
Social Justice — The City’s incorporation was also driven by an intense belief in social justice and the need to end discrimination against LGBTQ people as well as minorities. Thus, social justice issues are of concern to the City. In recent years and responding to changes in community needs, the City Council has advocated for laws and initiatives that eradicate systemic racism and that address disparities in the treatment of people of color. In addition, the City Council has supported initiatives aimed at reforming the justice system and its sentencing practices and supported the alternatives to incarceration initiatives proposed by community stakeholders in Los Angeles County.
Sustainability and Innovation — The City of West Hollywood has taken an early lead in adopting forward-thinking policies to reduce its carbon footprint. The City is one of the first municipalities in the United States to adopt a green building ordinance. In addition, the City has long advocated for reduction of waste, maximizing reuse and recycling opportunities, and the use of renewable energies.
Transportation — The City has advocated for and continues to support the creation of new funding sources for transportation programs and maintenance of roadways and bridges across California. In addition, the City has long been a champion of public transportation and advocated for expansion of Metro rail service in Los Angeles County and through West Hollywood.
Urban Balance/Land Use — The City works constantly to balance the needs of local residents and the activities that are customary for a densely populated urban area that is a nightlife and entertainment destination. As such, the City has advocated for State land use legislation that provides for a balanced approach to community development and does not arbitrarily limit local determination.
Additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s 2021-2022 legislative priorities is available at www.weho.org/legislative.