Lauren Meister is Sworn In as Newly Elected Mayor Pro Tempore of West Hollywood

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Council member Lauren Meister was sworn in as the newly elected Mayor Pro Tempore of West Hollywood at a regular city council meeting on Monday, December 21, 2020. The City Council meeting and oath of office, administered by City of West Hollywood City Clerk Yvonne Quarker, is available for viewing on the City of West Hollywood’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv and on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv.

Lauren Meister was next in line for the position of Mayor Pro Tempore this past spring. She was elected by then council member John Duran at a regular council meeting on April 20, 2020. John D’Amico, who was mayor at the time, seconded the nomination––however Meister declined the nomination, saying she wanted to give the role to coun member Heilman, so that she’d be able to focus on small business during the COVID-19 pandemic in the next few months.

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“I appreciate the nomination,” she said back in April. “I actually would like to switch and ask council member Heilman if he would be willing to switch with me. I know that [not] the order of rotation, but I’m going to be dealing with small businesses including my own over the next few months and if possible, I would just rather not have the ceremonial activities, etc that go along with being Mayor Pro-Tem. Although I appreciate the support, I think that it would be better for everyone for these next few months and so the next year if council member Heilman is willing to step in and change the order–shake it up a little.”

John Heilman’s election loss left the Mayor Pro Tem seat open. Mayor Horvath asked Meister if she’d step up for the position this time at a regular city council meeting on December 7, 2020, following the installation of two newly elected council members, Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson.

“While I know how it didn’t happen last time, I think the experience of council member Meister and your tenure and your coming up to leadership, I think it would be great if you were willing to serve as Mayor Pro Tem if you’re open to do that now,” said Mayor Harvath at the virtual council meeting.

“Absolutely,” Meister responded. “Thank you for asking.”

Council member John Erickson stepped in to second the motion, but allowed council member Sepi Shyne to do the honor.

After nearly two decades as a neighborhood advocate, Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015.

Mayor Pro Tem 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.

Among Mayor Pro Tempore Meister’s priorities:

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

Since being elected, Mayor Pro Tem 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.

Mayor Pro Tem Meister joined with mayors from across the nation to show support for preserving the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and protecting immigrant and refugee communities. She also initiated an item to take steps to prohibit West Hollywood City Hall from doing business with entities that provide financial or other benefits to the President of the United States and develop socially conscious banking policies.

Prior to her election, Mayor Pro Tem Meister 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, Mayor Pro Tem 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, Mayor Pro Tem Meister 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, Mayor Pro Tem Meister is the sole proprietor of her own marketing research firm based in West Hollywood. As a businesswoman and market research professional, she listens to public opinion to form action-oriented solutions, understands the importance of budgets and resources, and believes that the City must provide good customer service and be accountable.

A resident of West Hollywood for more than 25 years, Mayor Pro Tem Meister has been both a renter and a homeowner in the City. Mayor Pro Tem Meister’s parents, sister, and rescue dogs, Suki and Sammy, also call West Hollywood home.

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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. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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