You did it! WEHOville’s “Who Owns WeHo” Kickstarter campaign is a success.
In this case, “you” are the residents of West Hollywood who want to stop outside money from deciding what happens in our city (along with a few who live elsewhere but have a passion for WeHo).
You contributed a total of $5,585 to help fund WEHOville’s research into the complicated world of City Council campaign finance. There isn’t room to list all of you. But it’s worth noting that you include candidates in the March 2015 City Council race such as Mayor John D’Amico, Larry Block, Cole Ettman, Mike Gerle, Lindsey Horvath and Lauren Meister.
What will WEHOville do with the money you have contributed? We will use it to pay researchers to find out who the donors are, by which we mean whether they work for city vendors or are someone seeking Council approval of projects or their close relatives.
We’ll also use the money to have the hundreds of pages of campaign finance reports transcribed into a searchable database that allows us to group contributions by candidate, company and interest group (e.g. city vendor, real estate developer, billboard company).
That’s how we were able to calculate and report that during the 2013 election incumbent Council members John Duran and Jeffrey Prang got more than two-thirds of their campaign funding from people or businesses such as real estate developers and city vendors and billboard companies who don’t live in or have a business in West Hollywood.
That’s how we have been able to calculate how much the developers of the controversial project on 8899 Beverly Blvd. have contributed to Council members, who they are asking to set aside existing planning and zoning regulations so that they can nearly double the size of building there.
West Hollywood City Council members refuse to abstain from voting on matters brought before them by major contributors to their campaigns, which seriously taints our city’s progressive image. So the best we can do is shine a bright light on where the money is coming from and who it is going to. That way we can vote in the March 2015 election to ensure that West Hollywood is owned by the residents and business owners of West Hollywood, not outside interests who just want to make a buck off of us.