West Hollywood Planning Commissioner John Erickson has officially announced he’s in the running for a seat on the West Hollywood City Council.
Erickson, 33, is the director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. He has lived in West Hollywood for 10 years and served as a City Council intern and as deputy to former Councilmember Abbe Land. He then became the city’s community affairs technician, where he worked putting on producing events for the city.
“With his experience at City Hall, and strong working relationships with civic leaders, and organizations across Southern California, Erickson will bring a new era of leadership to the city,” says the announcement of his candidacy.
Council seats currently occupied by John Duran and John Heilman are up for election on Nov. 3. Both Duran and Heilman have filed statements indicating their intent to run for re-election.
Erickson had long been rumored to be planning to run for election to the Council, although some people close to him say he wavered back and forth out of concern that his candidacy might hurt the re-election campaign of Heilman, who appointed him to the Planning Commission.
Erickson serves as president of the board for the ACLU of Southern California and president of the Hollywood chapter of the National Organization for Women. He is a graduate of Claremont Graduate University with a Doctor of Philosophy degree focused on American religious history with an emphasis on women, gender, and sexuality studies. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
Erickson’s announcement contains a long list of endorsements from state and local politicians and 34 member of various West Hollywood board and commissions. The full list can be found on his campaign website – erickson4weho.com.
Among them are former U.S. Congresswoman Katie Hill, Los Angeles City Council members David Ryu and Monica Rodriguez, LA Unified School District board member, and Nick Melvoin. He also is endorsed by WeHo Mayor Lindsey Horvath and 11 prominent members of city boards and commissions.
In addition to Duran and Heilman, candidates in the running include Sepi Shyne, an attorney and member of the city’s Business License Commission; Noemi Torres, a real estate agent and member of the city’s Public Facilities Commission; Larry Block, owner of the Block Party store and chair of the Public Facilities Commission, and Jack Cline, a nurse who is campaigning under the drag name “Jackie Oh My Goodness.”
Erickson’s website lists various issues and his stand on them, including protecting renters’ rights, traffic congestion, reducing homelessness, environmental sustainability and public safety.
Moving the City Council election date to Nov. 3, 2020, the date on which state and federal elections will take place is likely to mean a much larger voter turnout, not least because one of the federal candidates will be the controversial Donald Trump. The City Council election date is being moved to the general state and federal election date of Nov. 3 to comply with a state law that applies to cities like West Hollywood that have a traditionally low voter turn-out. The Nov. 6, 2018, mid-term general election attracted 67.46% of West Hollywood’s 27,653 registered voters.
Candidates for the Nov. 3 City Council election can begin officially registering on July 13, 2020. The deadline for registering is Aug. 7, 2020. Candidates must contact the City Clerk’s office to begin the registration process. To register, a candidate must obtain the signatures of 20 West Hollywood registered voters on a nomination form that will be verified by the L.A. County Registrar Recorder.