It’s no surprise that most residents of a city like West Hollywood, incorporated in 1984 to protect the rights of renters and LGBT people, are reeling from the results of Tuesday night’s presidential election.
Jason Farone, known for his comedic video series every Thursday, took to the streets in West Hollywood last night to capture the reaction of our community to Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump as president.
As you’ll see in the video above, most still feel shocked and horrified, while a few say they are going to pick themselves up and move forward.
Meanwhile, City Councilmember John Heilman, one of the activists who helped incorporate West Hollywood as a city in 1984, reached out to City Hall staffers with a message of inspiration. That message, in its entirety, is posted below:
“I know many people at City Hall and in the community are not happy about the results of the election. Many people in our community are frightened and disheartened especially many immigrants, women, LGBT people and people of diverse ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.
“While the results are disappointing to many of us, I want to remind you that West Hollywood was founded when Ronald Reagan was president. We have lived through several conservative Presidents and governors. We have dealt with a federal government that initially ignored the AIDS crisis that took so many of our colleagues and friends. We survived a governor who vetoed nondiscrimination legislation which would have protected LGBT people. We survived the anti-immigrant rhetoric and initiatives of former Governor Pete Wilson. We survived a Supreme Court decision which upheld sodomy laws.
“We have moved forward in incredible ways in this country but we also sometimes move in different directions. Throughout these changes, West Hollywood has continued to strive to be a community of inclusion and respect for people of different backgrounds. Much of this is due to your work for the City and the kindness you show in your interactions with everyone in our community.
“We need to continue to be a model city and a beacon of hope for people who feel so disheartened by the results of the election.
“Thank you for everything you do.”
Late this afternoon Mayor Lauren Meister issued her own statement:
“The presidential race is finally over and, like many people in West Hollywood, I have been reflecting on what the results may mean for all of us. And as I’m processing all that has happened this past week, I’ve realized how lucky I am — how lucky we are — to live in a liberal state like California and a progressive city like West Hollywood.
“Yes, there is uncertainty, and I have been hearing from some constituents that they are very concerned about our community and our future.
“Let me be clear, West Hollywood is founded on celebrating people for who they are and we will continue to set an example through our core values, our policies, and our actions.
“In West Hollywood, we treat people with respect, dignity, and thoughtfulness.
“In West Hollywood, we don’t tolerate intimidation, harassment, or violence.
“In West Hollywood, we pull together when we face narrow-mindedness, intolerance, and adversity.
“Our city was founded in 1984 on progressive ideals. Together, we have built a city that’s like no other place in the world. Forty percent of our community identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and 4,000 of our residents are from regions of the former Soviet Union. Our community is unique in its diversity, and our voices are proud. We’ve faced many obstacles in our path — and we’ve never been stronger.
“So, let’s continue to do what we do well — let’s continue our work to uphold principles of fairness, equality, and justice, for everyone.
“West Hollywood will never back down from our core values and we will never stop being a beacon of hope.”