The West Hollywood Voter Survey: Part 1 of 3

EDITOR’S NOTE: The first part of the survey — covering general themes, hotels and minimum wage — is reprinted below, with the second and third parts to be published Sunday and Monday, respectively.

The survey wasn’t expected to generate controversy.

In his 30-year career in public policy, Keith Kaplan has conducted many similar surveys of public opinion without much ado.

“It’s a key tool of the Democratic process,” he said. “You’d be hard pressed to turn on the TV news on any night and not see the results of a survey. They’re done to assess voter opinion on policy direction, legislative job performance, and they’re not uncommon at all.”

The West Hollywood Voter Survey was initiated by Kaplan and his colleagues on the Pandemic Recovery Coalition, a new nonprofit composed of local business leaders concerned about the direction of the city. The results, which were published on Aug. 31, led some city council members and their supporters to speak out against it on their social media, describing it as “right-wing,” “anti-Trans” and “anti-WeHo.”

Tensions have run high between the Council and WeHo’s business community, including the Chamber of Commerce, over the passing of several recent ordinances. Kaplan is a former chairman of the Chamber, but the survey was an independent effort, he said.

The survey — which contacted 300 respondents using live, professional interviewers, speaking Spanish, Russian and English languages, calling both mobile and landlines — polled the public on their satisfaction with city government and asked which issues facing the city were most urgent to them.

No council members are named in the survey, nor does it contain any mention of a recall election.

Homelessness emerged as residents’ top concern by far. The results even surprised Kaplan.

“You never ever, ever, ever see numbers like 85 percent in a survey like this,” he said, referring to the number of respondents who believe homelessness has gotten worse in West Hollywood.

“It is a community shouting that Council should do almost nothing else but resolve this problem. And 60 percent saying it’s much worse? It’s huge.”

He believes it’s a sign that the City Council is not focusing on the problems most pressing to West Hollywood voters.

“We were a city founded on a shared set of social values: LGBT rights, rent control — but we’re now working in the realm of issues that are not just social but they have significant economic impact on our city. Suddenly it becomes a lot cheaper for businesses to go across the street and do business.”

He worries the recent hotel worker and minimum wage increase ordinances will hamper economic growth, resulting in job losses and higher prices for consumers, affecting low-income residents most acutely.

“I’ve watched our city increasingly be used as a platform for vanity legislation,” he said. “Even if you increase the minimum wage by $2, that’s not going to put people in the realm of being able to afford to live in West Hollywood,” he said. “What will? Affordable housing.”

Affordable housing and crime were also at the top of respondents’ minds.

While a slim majority of the respondents were not satisfied with City Council’s job performance, they earned high marks for their pandemic recovery operations, and their efforts to increase minimum wage received broad support.

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WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 month ago

“In his 30-year career in public policy, Keith Kaplan has conducted many similar surveys of public opinion without much ado.”

Keith (a) sells real estate, and (b) represents the fur industry as a lobbyist.

He surely didn’t write the survey – unless it’s to support his lobbiest ass.

Will
Will
1 month ago

“…But the council spends more time passing local Vanity Legislation designed to get maximum state and national news exposure, often at the expense of our City’s residents and businesses. Meanwhile, issues such as homelessness, affordable housing, and renters rights and helping our struggling residents and businesses rebound from the pandemic are ignored. The Council seems more interested in supporting their own political aspirations than doing the job they were elected to do.” Is there a question in there? I was part of this poll and it was laughable. I’m not sure what qualifies as “Vanity Legislation.” Giving Stormy Daniels the… Read more »

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[…] Wallin Research, sponsored by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition and initiated by Keith Kaplan. Read Part 1 and Part 2 […]

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[…] Wallin Research, sponsored by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition and initiated by Keith Kaplan. Read Part 1 and Part 2 […]

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[…] Wallin Research, sponsored by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition and initiated by Keith Kaplan. Read Part 1 and Part 2 […]

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[…] Wallin Research, sponsored by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition and initiated by Keith Kaplan. Read Part 1 and Part 2 […]

John Fitzgerald Keitel
John Fitzgerald Keitel
1 month ago

Speaking of push polls, wasn’t anyone else irked by the one the City sent out about naming the library after RGB? “Do you approve of naming the library for RGB?” That’s not leading, noooo.

John Fitzgerald Keitel
John Fitzgerald Keitel
1 month ago

Two years ago, I made the video at the link below out of frustration. I had just learned how many contacts it takes between a city representative and a person experiencing homelessness before a housing match is made. 159? No way! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EwJY20_ozVT5OSnA0ztw67QHu2Gq8CJw/view?usp=sharing   But then I called City Hall, myself, with an idea about how to improve our homeless neighbors’ prospects. And before I knew it, I was the one trapped in something by Kafka. It took weeks of empty leads, dead ends, and unreturned calls! With the name of the appropriate official finally in-hand, it took weeks more to be granted an… Read more »

Left Field
Left Field
1 month ago

Yes, the city hall employees are remarkably entrenched. And the city’s commission and board appointments are filled with well paid employees of non profits supported by the city..
I’m sure what you mistook for a month long run around from city hall was actually a World Class month long run around from city hall.
Before the pandemic, you could just show up at city hall. Eventually, someone with a clip board would be forced to come out and deal with you.

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 month ago
Reply to  Left Field

Would you care to name any of them?

Left Field
Left Field
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

How about the street theatre group that performed ” the fake stabbing” inside Target in 2010. That was a world class run around If I ever saw one..

WeHoMikey
WeHoMikey
1 month ago

Why are you calling Staff and demanding policy changes? Staff takes direction from the City Manager – and the City Manager takes direction from Council.
If you’re calling Staff and ‘demanding action’, I would understand their ducking your calls.

John Fitzgerald Keitel
John Fitzgerald Keitel
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHoMikey

I started by calling the council members Mikey. No demands were made but they should be.

radii
radii
1 month ago

The City officials have for quite a long time been the lackeys of the developers who have Beverly-Hills-ized west West Hollywood … more and more high-end housing and hotels and restaurants popping up everywhere bringing more soulless materialists to West Hollywood. So few creative, interesting people left.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

Clearly this is a “push poll”; the “question” regarding minimum wage pretty ends by telling people that an increase would jack up the prices at restaurants and for your groceries. But even with this bias the poll came up with 63% in favor. It trivializes the issue by minimizing the impact of any minimum wage increase as 94% of West Hollywood residents would not be be subjected to it, except by higher prices for goods and services. So I don’t get how the Chamber is crowing that this poll is somehow a validation. While the poll was clearly an attack… Read more »

Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
1 month ago

The fact of the matter is that homelessness and affordable housing are mirror images of very similar problems. Most of the homeless either can’t find or can’t afford a place to live.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill G Skywatcher
Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
1 month ago

Most of the homeless are substance abusers, mentally ill, or both and wouldn’t take affordable housing if it were given to them.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Bingo.

Michael On Havenhurst
Michael On Havenhurst
1 month ago

Blame falls on the way this city is heading belongs at the foot of the SHE (Shyne, Horvath and Erickson) aka the unisex toilet three. Busybodies telling everybody how they should live their lives. As if these three were a prime example of anything but a trio of self-promoting political hacks. The poll will be great to be sure that Lindsay Horvath doesn’t end up as an LA County Supervisor but basically a middle-aged dog walker EX council woman. I can’t wait to read part two and three. Nails in the casket of the Wokeites!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago

Wow, never did I ever think someone would be so triggered by unisex one person bathroom stalls.

Why do you care so much? And what is with the nasty attacks on Lindsey Horvath?

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
1 month ago

Hear, hear to your comments on mayor Lindsey Horvath. She deserves no higher office.

John Fitzgerald Keitel
John Fitzgerald Keitel
1 month ago

Dude, Deal with it. Unisex bathroom are everywhere! They’re here to stay, too. So, there will be no nails in any Wokeites caskets. As for SHE, that’s another story. You’re conflating good and just public policy that American business has already vetted and greenlit with the politics of personal animosity and destruction.

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