Mike Gerle announced his candidacy today for West Hollywood City Council in the March 2015 election.
A resident of West Hollywood for more than 20 years, Gerle is a former International Mr. Leather titleholder and the first West Hollywood City Hall staff member ever to run for a Council seat. Gerle has been active in the West Hollywood community and worked in various departments within West Hollywood City Hall for 17 years.
“The City of West Hollywood is at a turning point,” Gerle said in a press release announcing his candidacy. “As a community leader and someone who loves WeHo, I know it is time to stand up and fight for my Ccty. The only ‘business as usual’ in the city of West Hollywood should be a collaborative, open process, where every resident has a voice.
“True West Hollywood ‘business as usual’ includes the best, the brightest and the forward-thinking, not just those with the most money and best connections inside the corner offices of City Hall.”
Gerle said that in 1990 he was drawn to the Louise Hay “Hayride” in West Hollywood Park Auditorium. He said he was inspired by the outpouring of love and commitment he felt from the community during the height of the AIDS epidemic to move to West Hollywood in 1991.
Openly HIV positive, Gerle supports the organizations that helped him survive and thrive in spite of an AIDS diagnosis. He has run two marathons for AIDS Project Los Angeles and has been a rider five times in the AIDS/LifeCycle, the seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Gerle also is the moderator of the West Hollywood Gay Men’s Discussion Group.
“Our dedication to the values that made West Hollywood strong is not only our responsibility to each other today. It is our legacy for those who will follow us,” Gerle said.
In March, Mike married his husband, Garrett McClure, on the Great Lawn of West Hollywood Park. At City Hall, he created a “City Academy” he called Community Through Engagement (CTE). Two separate classes of 25 residents selected as “fresh voices” were introduced to every city process and the people at City Hall as well as the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Gerle’s work at City Hall includes service in the Finance and City Manager’s Departments. More information about Gerle’s campaign is available on his website.
Seats held by Mayor John D’Amico and Councilmembers John Heilman and Abbe Land will be up for re-election in March 2015. Other seats may be available, depending on the results of the upcoming June Los Angeles County primary. Councilmember Jeffrey Prang is running for LA County Assessor and Councilmember John Duran is running for the 3rd District LA County Supervisor seat.