Young WeHo Council Candidate Duke Mason Takes His Campaign to YouTube

West Hollywood residents are used to finding their mailboxes stuffed with printed mailers from candidates for office during election campaigns. Over the past few election cycles, candidates have tiptoed into social media, most adding Facebook pages and flooding the email inboxes of local voters with pitches for support.

Now a candidate for a seat on the City Council in the 2015 election is taking local campaigning another step forward into the digital age. James Duke Mason, 22, who has been criticized because of his youth, did a very youthful thing yesterday by posting a video on YouTube in which he explains why he is running for office. When it comes to reaching young people, there may be no better medium than YouTube. A Comscore study last year reported that 41 percent of its traffic came from people from 12 to 34. And YouTube has reported that 34 percent of its users are between 18 and 34.

In the video, Mason argues for “healthy” development that helps keep rent low and preserves West Hollywood’s village feel.

“West Hollywood was founded by a group of activists who wanted to give people a fighting chance,” Mason says in the video. “LGBT people, Russians, seniors, small business owners, women. This city was founded for us. People who were previously voiceless and marginalized.

“Now we’re seeing those very people and the businesses they own being forced out because of increased rent. And with them the spirit and identity of West Hollywood is disappearing.”

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Jane
7 years ago

Clearly Wehoville is a fan of Mason’s. Since Mason announced he was running, he has been featured prominently on Wehoville. Aren’t there laws about this? Is Mason paying for all of the free publicity he’s getting? How come Mason’s opponents aren’t getting compatable screen time?

Henry E. (Hank) Scott
7 years ago
Reply to  Jane

WEHOville covers all newsworthy public activities by political candidates and will profile each of them before the election. Until then, if a candidate doesn’t appear in public, takes no action on important community issues, doesn’t show up at City Council meetings or city commission meetings to address civic issues and offers no opinions on such issues, it’s pretty much impossible to write about him or her.

kab1200
kab1200
7 years ago

Why don’t some of you actually read his bio, he has had other jobs. Stop hating on someone who wants to make a difference. He may be young, but his heart is in the right place. How do you know how privileged his life is? Sheesh. Maybe you are poor and/or working class because you did not get off your ass and do something with your life. I am so sick of the hating on those with any kind of wealth.

Michael
Michael
7 years ago

He sounds great. Not some political hack like the current city council. New voice. Last thing we want are any of the crony developer loving incumbents to return to office.

Manny
Manny
7 years ago

That generic speech must be available somewhere online.

“Hello my name is_____ and I’m running for _____ City Council……”

I’m sure we’ll see slightly tweaked versions of the same coming from other candidates.

Craig
Craig
7 years ago

With all due respect to Mr Mason does he even have a job? Even for a 22 year old he has accomplished very little. He writes an op ed piece for a free magazine does not pay the rent. Hobnobbing with the celebrites and snobs at Beverly Hills Hotel is his life. He will be the first to sell out our city because he has a gigantic ego and bigger aspirations. Had he advocated anything in West Hollywood? This kid would have been better off taking a humbler apprach and getting involved in something before he thinks his mom’s name… Read more »

SaveWeho
SaveWeho
7 years ago

I’m all for new energy and youthful perspective…but seriously…if Mason wasn’t from a privileged family he wouldn’t even be a contender. We need experienced people who truly know how to guide our city. Someone who knows the regulations, how to budget, the struggles of a working individual. What jobs has he had in the past? Any? His celebrity got him on the board at Outfest but that doesn’t make qualified. I agree with the commenter above. He claims 10 years of service? He’s 22yo. He’s only been able to (legally) visit Weho’s bars for 1 year. How can he possibly… Read more »

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
7 years ago

Our city is teeming with conservatives who masquerade as progressive. Progressives challenge the status quo and try to improve it and that’s what Duke seems to be doing here. I’m sure he’ll follow up on this very nice opening salvo with some concrete and specific ideas.

Marco Colantonio
Marco Colantonio
7 years ago

I frankly think Duke Mason’s entering the race for West Hollywood City Council is insulting and presumptuous. How can he possibly relate to issues that concern and plaque the average Weho resident? Many of us do not have trust funds; work 2 jobs and struggle to pay rent, taxes, utility bills, parking tickets and other simple living expenses. Mr Mason states that he has been in public for a decade, so at his current age of 22, this means he began his foray into public service at the age of 12. He also talks about his family living in and… Read more »

JJ
JJ
7 years ago

@ Todd…exactly. How do you legislate gay businesses over straight? West Hollywood is becoming more diversified and you can’t legislate from the City Council to keep more gay businesses (or Russian businesses or whatever) over another. What development has been irresponsible? I see the Target store at our eastern gateway thriving. I see people enjoying our new library and park every time I pass by. I see sites along Sunset and Santa Monica getting redeveloped from under utilized dead zones to new and exciting structures that will bring more dining and shopping options right outside our doors. Hotels are being… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years ago
Reply to  JJ

To Todd and JJ both My response is not meant to speak against you but to keep ideas and conversation moving. Im sure we all want whats best for weho and all take a slightly different path. It is not the responsibility of existing or new council members to have all of the ideas or only his or her ideas as the vision. They should follow the mission statement, plan, guidelines and community input. One irresponsible development example is the new Restoration Hardware building across from Urth cafe it is way out of scale. Go see for yourself It is… Read more »

JJ
JJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m going to make this short and sweet. I have lived in this city for the past 15+years. I love it here and I LOVE the way in which this city has come into its own. I love the fact that I can walk out of my house and within a few blocks I have so many dining and shopping options. I look forward to the development of these under utilized parcels that will bring even more shopping and dining options to me. I would love if the new development proposed for San Vicente & SM Blvd had a movie… Read more »

JJ
JJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Oh, and I’m already PROUD of our City and will continue to be!

Todd Bianco
7 years ago

Mr. Mason’s says the right things, hits hot-button topics and it sounds like his heart is in the right place. Now I’d like to hear some specifics. Just how do we preserve the “urban village?” Is it too late already? Just exactly how does the City say “no” to another large-scale luxury hotel development on Sunset? If the property owner builds within allowed limits and under the Sunset Specific zoning, how do we say build something else or go away. How is traffic going to get any better given the already approved projects and the fact that WeHo sits in… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years ago

This is exactly the vision and energy our city needs. Clearly he has an excellent grasp on what has been voiced here over and over again.
I want to be Proud Again GO DUKE !

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