Sepi Shyne and John Erickson Get Sworn-In to the City Council of West Hollywood

473

Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson were sworn in to the city council of West Hollywood. They both took an Oath of Office during the regular council meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020, which took place as a teleconference meeting in adherence to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Councilmember Sepi Shyne was sworn-in by her wife, Ashlei Shyne, and Councilmember John M. Erickson was sworn-in by City of West Hollywood Community Events Coordinator Larissa Fooks.

Councilmember Shyne made history in November 2020 when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She became the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected anywhere globally and locally became the first woman of color elected to West Hollywood’s City Council. Her election also ushered in West Hollywood’s first female-majority City Council. Councilmember Shyne’s priorities include advocating for affordable housing, protecting renters and social service programs, social justice, small business revival, and bringing the people’s voices to City Hall.

Councilmember Shyne received her Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University with a double concentration in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a Minor in Drama with an emphasis in Directing. She received her Juris Doctorate with a specialization certificate in litigation from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

As an LGBTQ+ and civil rights leader for more than 20 years, her leadership has helped secure equal rights for all. Before her election to the West Hollywood City Council, Councilmember Shyne served on the City of West Hollywood’s Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, on the City of West Hollywood’s Business License Commission, and on the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Advisory Council on which she continues to serve. Additionally, she has led many boards and organizations, including the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles and as a Board of Governor and Steering Committee leader with the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles. Councilmember Shyne is a Co-Organizer of WeHo Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a community group created during the pandemic to help get resources to seniors, people with disabilities, and people in immunosuppressed households via social media and volunteer check-in calls. In every board and organization she has led, she has recruited and elevated women and people of color to leadership positions to create more diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Councilmember Shyne lives in the Mid-City area of the City of West Hollywood with her wife and their fur-babies.

Councilmember Erickson first planted roots in West Hollywood in 2010 when he was selected to intern for the West Hollywood City Council. The internship set him on a path that connected his work for social and economic justice with his passion for public service. He went on to become Council Deputy to former Mayor Abbe Land and then served as a staff member at West Hollywood City Hall working to advance policies, initiate programs, and increase awareness around LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, the environment, and civic engagement.

After leaving City Hall, Councilmember Erickson served as a Legislative Representative at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) and is currently the Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

The immediate past Vice Chair of the City’s Planning Commission, Councilmember Erickson’s priorities on the City Council include: overcoming COVID-19 through sensible health practices and economic recovery; creating more affordable housing and protecting renters’ rights; reducing traffic through alternative transportation strategies, fighting climate change and making our city more sustainable; and implementing policies that make the city truly free of prejudice and welcoming to all.

Councilmember Erickson has earned a reputation as a fearless, tenacious, and effective voice for those who need one. His advocacy work includes serving as a National Board member of the National Organization for Women and President of the ACLU Southern California. In 2017, he became Governor Brown’s appointee to the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and served as an organizer for both the Resist March and the historic Women’s March Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation. Councilmember Erickson was part of the End Statute of Limitation on Rape (ERSOL) Campaign, which overturned California’s statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in 2016.

Councilmember Erickson received his Ph.D. in American Religious History from Claremont Graduate University and a Dual-Master’s Degree from Claremont Graduate University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with a B.A. in English and Women’s Studies.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Previous articleJohn Heilman and John Duran Say Final Goodbyes as West Hollywood City Council Members
Next articleAPLA’s 25th Annual Toy Box 2020 Toy Drive Goes Online with Contactless Drop-Off Options
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments