But not you. Not if you’re not rich, or you don’t already live here. West Hollywood has become in some ways a victim of its own success. The waiting lists for those rent-controlled apartments are long, and besides, state law erased the permanent rent freeze that the city passed at its inception.
"Twenty years ago, if you were young and gay and wanted to come to L.A., you had to come to West Hollywood, because you couldn’t live in Santa Clarita" without being harassed, said Councilman Jeffrey Prang. Now, though, younger people can’t move in. The rents are too high. West Hollywood is no longer a place to start out, but a place to aspire to.
Many elderly residents, young aspiring entertainment professionals, and activists who once would have made West Hollywood their home now make it a point to be in "West Hollywood Adjacent" — in other words, Hollywood. Just as people once headed for the patch of unincorporated territory to be near L.A. without being in it, now Los Angeles provides a place for people who can’t quite score a home in West Hollywood.
Even though it’s more costly to move in now, she added, West Hollywood is a success because residents want the city to mean something.
"We really are a city that still to this day is committed to our social values," Land said. "I think it’s because we constantly strive for it. We are willing to be a leader and take a stand. We are a city that is not afraid to do things."
Land and other founding members of the city government will speak on November 29 at an all-day birthday celebration.