West Hollywood Revolt 

Thursday, Feb 24 2011
Our cover story on the West Hollywood elections brought a heap of responses, nearly all of them from residents who say they want incumbents John Heilman, Abbe Land and Lindsey Horvath unseated on election day.

Challengers John D'Amico, Mark Gonzaga, Mito Aviles, Steve Martin, Scott Schmidt and Lucas John are trying to break the City Council's grip on elections that has prevailed since West Hollywood incorporated 27 years ago. Only once since then has a candidate won without the backing of the City Council.

Many readers offered historical context, including Jones Hagopian: "The problem with the current leaders is they committed to the corporate and developer interests rather than that of the common citizen of WeHo. I guess the money finally took hold of Heilman, because when this city was incorporated it was supposed to be the artistic city, a city that was to be creative and affordable to the artist. Now it's about bulldozing old buildings to build bigger buildings with corporate business.

"Local businesses close and property values rise, making it unaffordable for residents that have lived here for decades to continue living here.

Related Stories

  • Weho's History Problem 8

    Plans to build a massive mixed-use development in West Hollywood's Melrose Triangle have been slowed — thanks to some surprising information about a historic building on the site that had been hidden in plain sight. The Charles Company, a development firm owned by Arman Gabay, hoped to build on a...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Weekend

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Friday, July 6 Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Edie Brickell HOLLYWOOD BOWL Lest you think Steve Martin is a mere dilettante when it comes to bluegrass, the comedian has been plucking the banjo since he was 17, when...
  • Smoke.Oil.Salt Review: Spanish Tapas in WeHo 4

    Spanish food has a problem in its American translation. It's not that we don't want to love it — we do. Certain aspects of the cuisine have even become annoyingly ubiquitous (small plates, anyone?). But the long, rollicking meal that stretches past midnight, which exists mostly as a series of...
  • July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular

    @ Hollywood Bowl
  • Buy L.A?

    The folks at real estate website Redfin recently embarked on a fun experiment. They looked at the richest people in America, as ranked by Forbes magazine, and matched them to cities where they could buy all the homes, townhouses and condos. Lucky for us, none of them is rich enough to buy every non-rental residential...

"Not to mention the fact that Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Fountain Avenue are more congested than ever, and what does our current City Council plan to do about this? Deregulate current building code so that taller, bigger buildings can sprout up along Santa Monica Blvd.

"Is this progress? Maybe for the rich, corporate developer, but for the average artist living here it is not."

Reader Woodymcbreairty adds: "When we first began the movement to become a city, the issues were high rents, demolition of affordable housing, displacement of seniors and other longtime residents, traffic congestion, no parking, etc.

"Now 27 years or so later, the issues are still high rents, demolition of affordable housing, displacement of seniors and other longtime residents, traffic congestion, no parking, etc. The 'change' we got is more of the same, only worse.

"What's more, John Heilman and Abbe Land have decided they own West Hollywood and whoever does not do their bidding will be challenged and destroyed if possible.

Finally, reader Dave Atkins offers a different kind of fix: "I suggested over four years ago that the city be divided into districts, with a council member for each one. With each council member having to face unhappy residents, development would have to slow. My poor Eastside would stop bearing the brunt of huge projects. Sunset area residents could rely on someone to stand up for them. Inside, each area's upset gets diluted in the vast NIMBY pool.

"Campaigns would cost less. Local activists could actually meet their neighbors and bring new ideas. Developers' money would have no outlet and projects could get passed or not on their merits.

"Sadly, there is no traction for the idea. And we're faced with multi-thousand-dollar mailers from big money like labor or the Dems piling in to flood our mailbox with mailers. Sigh."

Martinez-Huizar Race

Readers again reacted strongly to a Weekly story about the Los Angeles City Council District 14 race between incumbent Jose Huizar and challenger Rudy Martinez.

The race, unquestionably the nastiest local contest this year, brings this from reader Delsback90065: "Generally, to oust an incumbent,  the voting population has to be dissatisfied with that officeholder's performance. If the Weekly understood the Eastside (at all), they'd also understand that the vast majority of voters here don't believe Jose Huizar is doing a bad job. In fact, they understand and have proof of just the opposite. Agitate from the West, or — in Rudy Martinez's case — from the North (from where he lived in Glendale until just a few months ago before carpetbagging into the district), but don't expect wholesale conversions, and don't be surprised when the incumbent is once again returned. It's because that's what the people who watch his performance most closely actually want."

Reader Robert says a pox on both their houses. "They're both clowns for embarrassing Latinos and behaving like schoolchildren. There's too many serious issue in CD14 they both should be focusing on and grow the hell up. CD14 deserves so much better from these two.

"Huizar shows he's running scared the way he's behaving. He hasn't accomplished a thing and is lying on his mailers. He's not responsible for the new police station and he didn't have anything to do with more cops on streets. In fact we have less cops on streets 'cause Huizar and the clowns on council cut LAPD budget $100 million. The people deserve so much better."

You Deserve Better

So write to us at: Comments, L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230. Or you can reach us at laweekly.com. Full name and contact info preferred.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • 21st Annual Classic Cars "Cruise Night" in Glendale
    On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.