The City of West Hollywood will swear-in Lindsey Horvath as its new Mayor and John Heilman as its new Mayor Pro Tempore in a virtual teleconference on May 18 that will include a few celebrities.
The oath of office ceremony will be administered during the city’s annual City Council Reorganization and Installation meeting, which will take at 5:30 p.m. in a virtual teleconference format. The meeting will be live-streamed on the city website at www.weho.org/wehotv and at www.youtube.com/wehotv.
Horvath’s oath of office will be administered by a special guest who hasn’t yet been named; Heilman’s oath of office will be administered by West Hollywood City Clerk Yvonne Quarker. Gay country music singer/songwriter Chely Wright will perform the national anthem, and there will be video presentations from former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and V. (formerly known as Eve Ensler, the writer of The Vagina Monologues).
The regularly scheduled City Council meeting will follow the installation, and a live DJ set by DJ Asha will conclude the evening.
Residents may view the agenda and live-stream the meeting by visiting the city’s website at www.weho.org/wehotv. The meeting will also available on the city’s YouTube channel; and on streaming services such as AndroidTV, AppleTV, FireTV, and Roku; as well as through broadcasts on Spectrum channel 10 in West Hollywood and AT&T U-verse channel 99 throughout Southern California. Digital streaming platform viewers can easily find programming by searching for “WeHoTV” within the search functions of these services.
Members of the public wishing to provide public comment on agenda items are welcome to do so in the following two ways:
- To participate by providing an e-comment: Members of the public who wish to comment on matters before the City Council are strongly encouraged to submit an e-comment using the online form at www.weho.org/councilagendas by no later than 4 p.m. on May 18. E-comments received by 4 p.m. will be forwarded to the City Council and posted on the city’s website as part of the official meeting record.
- To participate by phone: Members of the public are encouraged to email City Clerk Yvonne Quarker at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of the City Council meeting to be added to the public speaker list for the meeting. Include your name, the phone number from which you will be calling, and which item you would like to speak on. Then dial-in 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting (the meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.) The dial-in number is (669) 900-6833 and the participant passcode is 941 8875 1501 then #. It is important that all callers mute phones until called to speak. Comments from members of the public are limited to two minutes per speaker.
The installation of the mayor and mayor pro tem is an annual event, with the positions rotating among members of the City Council. Horvath is succeeding John D’Amico as mayor. Councilmember Lauren Meister was set to become mayor pro tem this time but, citing work pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, deferred to Heilman.
West Hollywood is a general law city that operates under what is known as a Council/Manager system. The city manager (Paul Arevalo) is the effective CEO of the city and the Council members serve as a board of directors that sets policy and must approve certain items. The position of mayor is largely an honorary one, although the mayor is the council member who moderates the City Council meetings and signs certain checks. The mayor also is often the public face of the city. The mayor pro tempore is the Council member who fills in for the mayor if he or she isn’t available.
Horvath was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015. She previously served as a Council member for two years from 2009 to 2011, having been appointed by the Council to fill a seat vacated by the death of Sal Guarriello. During her time on the Council, Horvath has focused heavily on national and international issues such as women’s rights. She has served as a global coordinator for One Billion Rising, a campaign of the V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls. She also has served as a board member of the LGBT Victory Fund and as a founding board member of the NOH8 Campaign. In 2009, she represented the City of West Hollywood in the National Equality March in Washington D.C. She was the Council member who advanced a proposal that made West Hollywood the first city in the nation to impose financial sanctions on Arizona for its anti-immigration SB-1070 law. She also created the West Hollywood Community Response Team to Domestic Violence.
Heilman was active in the incorporation of the City of West Hollywood. He was elected to the city’s first City Council in November 1984. Heilman was chosen as the city’s second mayor in 1985. He also served in that rotating position in 1990, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2006, and 2010. He was most recently re-elected to the City Council in March 2017
Heilman is known for his support for affordable housing, one of the issues that led residents of the West Hollywood community to vote in 1984 to have it incorporated as its own city. He was instrumental in the establishment of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, a city-funded organization which develops affordable housing in West Hollywood. He also helped develop the city’s rent stabilization ordinance and inclusionary housing policy.