There are only two women among the 12 candidates for the three open seats in the March 2 West Hollywood City Council race, and only one nearly certain to be on the ballot in the June race to fill Councilmember Jeffrey Prang’s seat.
That leaves the very real possibility that WeHo, a city where women represent 44 percent of the population, might be governed by five men.
Speaking to that possibility is the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee, which has announced its endorsement of Lindsey Horvath in the March 3 election.
“Lindsey Horvath is a dedicated and proven public servant for her community of West Hollywood, California” said Kate Farrar, WUFPAC president. “WUFPAC was proud to endorse Lindsey in her run in 2011 and excited that she is back to campaign for a seat on the Council once again. Lindsey is seeking to bring accountability, affordability and accessibility to the forefront of the city’s priorities.”
“I am honored to have the endorsement of WUFPAC,” Horvath said. “With the only woman on the West Hollywood City Council retiring, we must work together to ensure that women have a voice in local politics.” Horvath’s reference was to Abbe Land, a long-time Council member who is not seeking another term.
According to its website, WUFPAC was started in 1999 in Washington, D.C. by a group of young women who had gathered to discuss the role of young women in politics. “Recognizing that political capital is built by political tenure and frustrated by the low percentage of women currently holding political office, they created WUFPAC to support the efforts of young women running for Congress and statewide offices,” the WUFPAC website says.
Horvath, who was appointed to the Council in 2009to fill a seat vacated by the death of Sal Guarriello, failed in her attempt to win re-election in 2011. She and Lauren Meister are the only women on the March 3 ballot. Heidi Shink, who had announced her candidacy, decided not to run in the March 3 race and is likely to compete in the special election for the seated vacated by Jeffrey Prang.
According to West Hollywood’s 2013 Community Survey, which relied on U.S. Census figures, the percentage of women living in West Hollywood has been in decline since 1980.
Horvath and Meister also are the only heterosexual candidates in the March Council race. Currently the three men on the Council — Mayor John D’Amico and councilmembers John Heilman and John Duran — are gay. Abbe Land is has long been the only heterosexual Council member. For its Community Survey, the conducted a survey in which 39 percent of respondents identified themselves as gay men, three percent as lesbians, two percent as bisexual men and two percent as bisexual women and 43 percent as heterosexual.
Lindsey Horvath has served on the West Hollywood Women’s Advisory Board and now is chair of the city’s Transportation Commission. She was the founding president of the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women and has served on numerous other boards and commissions.