LGAB Votes Nay on Recommendation to Rename WeHo Library After Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board (LGAB) voted “nay” on recommending the renaming the West Hollywood Library after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a teleconference meeting this past Thursday, July 8th. The vote was 5-3 not in favor of recommending the name change.

Outgoing Co-Chair of LGAB, Robert Gamboa, drafted the ordinance to read that LGAB supports the renaming of the library after the Supreme Court Justice, but then voted no on the motion.

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One of the biggest issues that came up in the meeting was the lack of community engagement in making the decision to rename the Library after RBG (the names of Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera came up at a West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board meeting).

“I started the motion in the affirmative, yes we support, but it was voted no, and I even voted no in own motion,” Gamboa told WEHO TIMES. “That was just so we could get the process through. We had to give city council a decision one way or another and I don’t think a non-position vote would have sent the right message.”

Gamboa stated that board members have deep admiration and respect for RBG, however, some members feel there should be more community engagement deciding on the name change.

The West Hollywood City Council requested LGAB discuss the naming request for the West Hollywood Library and provide input as solicited by the City’s Public Facilities Commission (PFC), which will hold a public hearing on the name request at an upcoming public meeting of the PFC in the fall of 2021.

On December 21, 2020, the City Council voted to submit a request to the City Clerk to rename the West Hollywood Library the “Ruth Bader Ginsburg West Hollywood Library” in honor of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; directed staff to follow the procedure as outlined in the City’s Naming Policy Guideline and determine if Los Angeles County has additional naming policy requirements; and directed staff to return with the City’s Naming Policy for review and possible revisions.

Under the terms of the lease agreement with the County of Los Angeles to operate the West Hollywood Library, the following covenant applies as it pertains to naming of library facility:

City may name the library facility and/or any portion thereof; provided, however, that (1) the name of the library facility must include the words “West Hollywood”, (2) any name shall not include the commercial name or logo of alcoholic beverages (including beer), tobacco products, firearms, gaming, or any other naming restrictions mutually agreed to by City and County, (3) any name shall be subject to the approval of County, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld. (4) The exterior signage of the Library Facility must include the words “County of Los Angeles”.

On June 9, 2021, the PFC, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Naming Policy, elected to seek input from the following City Commissions, Advisory Boards and Task Force:
• Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission
• Historic Preservation Commission
• Human Services Commission
• Public Safety Commission
• Disabilities Advisory Board
• Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board
• Russian Advisory Board
• Senior Advisory Board
• Transgender Advisory Board
• Women’s Advisory Board
• Social Justice Task Force

Per the Naming Policy, the Commissions/ Advisory bodies have 60 days to respond. Currently, the PFC is only considering the submitted naming request and its designated input period is July 5 to September 2, 2021. Each City body is requested to provide relevant input as it pertains to the current request, that will be forwarded to the City Council to assist in making its final decision.

The evaluation and recommendation can be consolidated as a regular agenda item or through an Ad Hoc Committee process with the final recommendations to the entire body. The final evaluation and recommendation shall be forwarded to the PFC in the form of approved minutes or by memorandum.

The public can give their input via a city survey at: https://wehoforms.seamlessdocs.com/f/NamingSurvey

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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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Jake Mason
Jake Mason
13 days ago

Just to clarify we are still in the public output phase of the naming process. So far the name has been nominated and now it’s a 3-4 month long process. One of those parts was the Public Facilities Commission reaching out to other commissions for input on this name (only, no other name since no other names have been nominated. So the PFC’s directive is only RGB and not our place to discuss other names since there are no nominations for other names) The next steps include community survey regarding this nomination as well as (i beleive) 2 public hearings… Read more »

WeHohubby
WeHohubby
12 days ago
Reply to  Jake Mason

There was no community input. There was no community outreach. The renaming of the library came out of nowhere. Show me the press releases asking for nominations. Where are the pamphlets, or the mailers. OK, so RGB was nominated. Who nominated her? It wasn’t the community. Why is her name the only name in the hat? Because there was no community input. I applaud LGAB for recognizing this and voting NAY!

Enough
Enough
14 days ago

Very good. They are correct. This was done without any public input. At least one board in this city is listening to the public. Now can we get our city council to listen to us?

Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon
12 days ago
Reply to  Enough

Like Jake mentioned above, almost every advisory board and commission is being asked their thoughts/opinions on the RBG name nomination. There will also be a community survey that goes out. Hopefully we can get Weho Times to publicize the survey in order to get the most exposure and feedback.

WeHohubby
WeHohubby
12 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Solomon

Like I mentioned above, there was community input. The list of every community board and commission is bulleted in the article and so is a link to the survey, which I didn’t even know existed until I read it here first. I hope every commission and board nays the heck out of this. The council should start from scratch and let the community decide what name should go on their library or if there should be any name change at all.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
14 days ago

I have to say I don’t agree with there not being public engagement or at least a local referendum. This is a local library that should have people like Elizabeth Glazer or Ryan White or Susan G. Komen or Erin Brockovich that helped bring awareness and funding to AIDS Pediatric AIDS and Breast Cancer or cancers due to exposure and had impact and influenced the state and county with medical advancements that people in this community and around the state and country have been helped, healed, affected and impacted by. Ruth Bader Ginsburg can have federal buildings by virtue of… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Jamie Francis
TomSmart
TomSmart
15 days ago

If there’s going to be a lot of disagreement, simply WEHO LIBRARY it is!

Enough
Enough
14 days ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Yup.

Scott
Scott
14 days ago
Reply to  TomSmart

YES PLEASE! No names – West Hollywood Library works great!