MY VISION FOR WEST HOLLYWOOD
Protecting Our Residents and Reducing Crime
No matter what side of the aisle you're on, we can all agree that safety is of the utmost importance. With crime on the rise, our residents are nervous to walk outside, especially now that the Sheriff's budget has been cut. I spoke with Captain Moulder and asked what they would do to reduce and deter crime if those funds were restored. Captain Moulder told me that with those funds, they would be able to increase the number of foot patrols, as well as add an additional night to the entertainment division. Those funds would not go to salary increase or other frivolous spending. That's why as a city council member, I will vote to restore the Sheriff's budget.
Addressing the Homelessness Crisis
Homelessness is a growing and urgent problem. The City of Santa Monica has partnered with a company called Akido Labs to create a program called Project Connect. Project Connect has helped identify what they call “high utilizers” of emergency services, and makes it easier to identify them, and find them when a resource becomes available, whether that be transitionary housing, drug and alcohol rehab, or mental health care. After being in Santa Monica for one year, Project Connect has reduced unnecessary arrests by 37%, unnecessary interaction with any emergency services by 33%, and transitioned over 120 people off of the streets. This helps saves resources, time, and money. I want to bring a program like Project Connect to West Hollywood.
Supporting Our Businesses
Our businesses are struggling to get back on their feet after the shut down, and the city hasn't made it any easier. I'm all for making sure workers in our city are paid fairly and given benefits, but what is reasonable to a company with 500 employees is not necessarily reasonable (or, frankly even doable) for a mom-and-pop shop with 3 employees. A blanket ordinance doesn't benefit our businesses OR our employees, there need to be exemptions for situations like number of employees. On top of that, opening a new business in West Hollywood is incredibly arduous. Right now, the permitting process is incredibly disorganized, and the average wait for approval is nine months. I want to create a "dashboard" on the city website that would show what items are due (applications, permit fees, etc), when they are due, when they've been turned in, and who is responsible for next steps. That way when a business owner has turned in all of the required documents, it is clear that it is now the city's turn to review those documents and move onto the next steps, or vice versa.
Helping Renters and Providing Affordable Housing
As an 8-year resident of West Hollywood, I understand that protecting renter's rights is vital to the diversity and success of our city. I have been an advocate for affordable housing for many years, and strongly believe that as new developments are built in the city, we have to make sure that we aren't pricing out our long-term and working-class residents, while still preserving the buildings and places that mean the most to us. In turn, it is also important that we allow new developments to be responsibly built in our city so that we can provide those new affordable units. Allowing new apartments to be built allows us to continue to serve the residents of West Hollywood.
Protecting our Environment
I'm a huge supporter of expanding the metro line through West Hollywood, specifically the Fairfax/San Vicente Hybrid, which would be fantastic for everyone who lives, works, and plays in West Hollywood. And that's a lot of people! The metro extension would be great for not only the environment, but it would dramatically reduce our congestion and parking issues as well.
On top of that, I want to also incentivize people for having electric vehicles. We could incentivize "greener" vehicles by offering perks like free electric vehicle charging in public city lots, and potentially even offering discounted or free parking.
Responsible Use of City Funds for Community Services
We all pay taxes, and we deserve a city that uses our tax dollars responsibly to make our lives better. As a finance major with years of experience managing budgets, I will make sure that our citizens' needs are always being met. Anything and everything from making sure potholes are being filled to helping constituents navigate city hall and its services, I will work tirelessly to make certain that we get the results our city deserves.
Protecting Women's Reproductive Freedom
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, it's now more important than ever that we elect leaders in all levels of government that don't just support a woman's right to choose, but who actually stand up and fight for it. I want to propose that the city waive all TOT's (Transient Occupancy Taxes) for those who are coming to West Hollywood to seek reproductive treatment that may be banned in their home state. It's a small gesture, but it shows that the city does more than just say we support women - we actively work at it. If our own Supreme Court won't do then, then who will?
Revitalizing the Eastside
For too long the wants and the needs of the Eastside of West Hollywood have been ignored. It's time that all of our constituent's are represented in council. I will fight to make sure that those residents who live on the Eastside, and all neighborhoods of West Hollywood, will have their voices heard and their concerns addressed.
Equal Justice for All
West Hollywood was founded on the promise of being a safe place for minorities, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. While it still is, we can't afford to forget our roots. Every day, the rights of minorities are under attack, and it's as important now as in was when the city was founded to continue to stand up for, and fight for those right. As a council member, I will fight for everyone, including LGBTQ+ people, our ethnic communities, women, the disabled, and all other marginalized people, and make sure that West Hollywood continues to be a haven for people who don't have a home elsewhere.