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.”