by Scott Olin Schmidt
Four years ago, West Hollywood voters overwhelmingly approved term limits. At the time, opponents claimed, “we have term limits, they’re called elections.” If we want change at city hall on Tuesday, we must think strategically. Should a challenger capture two-thirds of the votes cast for “term limits,” they will likely win.
So, on Tuesday, don’t throw away the one thing you can do to take back control of our city.
Real Estate Developers, lobbyists, and other special interests have invested more than $350,000 in the re-elections of John Heilman and John Duran over the past ten years–including more than $140,000 this year alone.
They’re not spending that money out of the kindness of their hearts. They want something–whether it’s an amendment to the general plan or an exception to the city’s planning codes–that only City Council can grant.
Regular residents of West Hollywood generally don’t have that kind of money to spend on local elections, but we have something more valuable: our vote.
Among the candidates challenging the incumbents, the issues are clear: development and the traffic, construction and parking problems it causes are the most important issues in West Hollywood.
Several candidates spoke articulately about these issues during the candidates’ forum and deserve credit for their thoughtfulness. Based on the campaigns so far, the two most likely candidates to unify the majority of voters seeking change are Steve Martin and Cynthia Blatt, who have rallied neighborhood activists from West Hollywood West to the Eastside.
West Hollywood has an election on Tuesday and can remind our elected officials and those who support them, who is in charge: we the people are!