OpEd: A wake-up call to the residents of West Hollywood

The recent histrionics displayed by John Erickson and Lindsey Horvath regarding the poll conducted by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition should raise concerns among all the residents and businesses in West Hollywood.

Upon hearing rumor of a poll, before any real idea of its contents or who was behind it the false accusations and allegations came ripping from John and Lindsey. What could they be so afraid of? Surveys like this are done almost every day across the US and their results are shared regularly in the news media. It is, in fact, an important part of our democratic process to take the temperature of voters on issues and job performance. There is nothing unusual or suspect about this kind of polling. So why did they feel so compelled to try to strike down this poll and the people they believed to be behind it?

To be clear, this poll was not commissioned by the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as they were claiming, but by the Pandemic Recovery Coalition, a 501 c (6) organization that was created by a group of us (now growing) that were concerned about the direction our city was going in terms of policies that impact our businesses and residents. With a nearly 30 year career in public policy and public relations I was one of the core founders of this coalition and I worked closely with J. Wallin Opinion Research in drafting and executing this survey. For those who claim it is a “push poll” or there are “leading questions”, where Council provided no study nor allowance for discussion on an issue facts were provided for context. It is fair and normal to provide this kind of background to allow an honest consideration of an issue. And now for an interesting side note, I did reach out to Ms. Horvath via text to advise her of this and invited her to reach out to me with any questions or concerns. I have not heard back from Ms. Horvath.

If you read WeHoVille regularly you have likely seen the survey including the questions asked and the results. The questions prove the absolute falsity of allegations made by Ms. Horvath and Mr. Erickson that the poll intended to push for a recall election or included discriminatory comments about our trans community. What it did show was how voters feel about our city’s handling of issues like homelessness, crime and response to COVID. On some issues the response was very positive, on others it was not. It also showed how voters prioritized the issues facing our city. And it showed that while a majority approved of the job our city was doing, less than a majority approved of the job our Council was doing. There is a good deal of valuable information here if the Council were open to reviewing and accepting the results. On specific policy issues such as the recent Hotel Worker’s ordinance put forth by Unite Here, when educated on the facts surrounding the issue, voters were not supportive of Council’s actions

AHA! Could this by why Ms. Horvath and Mr. Erickson were so concerned? After virtually no discussion of the proposed policy and little community engagement the matter was moved swiftly to the consent calendar and approved. Could this have anything to do with the rather significant campaign support Horvath, Erickson and Shyne received from Unite Here, or the promised support for Lindsey’s campaign for LA County Supervisor? Frankly I am at an absolute loss to come up with any other reason how or why our city council would propose such an egregious ordinance on our hotels at this moment in time as they struggle to recover from a year and a half of tremendous business losses due to COVID and now another hit resulting from the Delta variant. Is this why they fought so hard against the poll before it ever went into field?

Now the fallout continues as Council has added a discussion of eliminating Chamber contracts to its agenda. These are contracts for which the Chamber performs specific functions quite effectively and efficiently for the city and has done so for many years. It smacks of retaliation. It is a blatant attempt to try to silence discordant voices. And for that, every resident and business in the city should wake up and be concerned.

Our five council members are elected to represent a constituency of local residents and businesses, not special interest groups from outside our city who provide little to no benefit to residents or businesses within our city. They are accountable to us. It is time for the residents and businesses of our city to wake up, see what is happening and force this accountability.

Keith Kaplan is a resident and property owner in West Hollywood for over 35 years. This reflects his voice, not the voice of any other individual or organization.

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A. Deru
A. Deru
1 month ago

I am lost. Why is protecting hotel workers’ rights a problem?

Thom Cook
Thom Cook
1 month ago

Ive said it before {WeHoville article dated 9/2/2021 by L. Block) and I’ll say it again: I love Keith Kaplan!

HatersBGone
HatersBGone
1 month ago

S.H.E. strikes again. They are not amused!

hifi5000
hifi5000
1 month ago

The man who backed this poll is not some loud apartment character.He is a thirty-five year long established resident who sees things going wrong with the city and cares about it.

Maybe you should take note of what was found and correct it.Arguing amongst yourselves will not fix anything

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
1 month ago

Quid pro quo.

WeHo Rocks!
WeHo Rocks!
1 month ago

Knowlege is power. The WeHo Council is afraid the more the voters know, the less power the council has. #BackRoomDeals #DarkenessDiesInLight

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago

Mr. Kaplan has an elegant and eloquent defense of that which he should not have to defend. He is participating in our civic discourse and thinking in a way that I fear will be attacked in these pages with the usual name-calling, conjecture, spin, deflection, denial and diversion, or just plain hissy fits! The thin-skinned members of council and their legions of sycophants in the incestuous cabal of WEHO municipal governance fear the truths that this worthy and worthwhile poll exposed. I applaud Mr. Kaplan for caring enough to put up the money to take the pulse of the city… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Keith has a long history of civic engagement in West Hollywood. He may not weigh in on every controversy that annoys him, when he does he is a fierce, passionate and effective advocate. Keith also respects opposing opinions that are honestly held and thoughtfully presented. While I do not agree with the premise of this “push poll”, Keith did not have to release the polling questions or identify his role in it, but he did so for principled reasons to insure an open public debate.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

We are very concerned. Thank you for this piece. It seems that more and more residents are becoming displeased with the actions of our city council, specifically Horvath, Shyne and Erickson. I’m hoping the next election they are voted out. They’re doing far much more harm than good for our city. Great to see more and more speaking up and it’s great to see neighborhoods coming together to strengthen their muscle.

FREE WEHO
1 month ago

WeHo deserves real leaders, not bully tyrants. Sign the petition to recall John Erickson NOW!
Go to tinyURL.com/FreeWeho
[or click username for link!]

DesertBob
DesertBob
1 month ago
Reply to  FREE WEHO

WeHo deserves revocation of cityhood. Things weren’t NEAR this screwed up when it was “the county.”

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago

While Keith Kaplan is as articulate as usual, it would be nice if WeHoville would label opinion pieces as “commentary’. It is just more professional. While I enjoy reading the commentary we are seeing the blurring of the lines between “news” and “commentary” which is making this otherwise informative publication look like a tabloid. Just trying to be constructive.

Larry Block
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

correct, its been updated and ive forwarded a message to editor.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Thank you Larry; you are always taking things in the spirit of constructive criticism. That is always a good trait.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago

Greeneyedguy ruins every thread with his Trump obsession.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoFan

He probably says that name more than the man himself does.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

Can I ask why you think this is appropriate? To bring me up and harass me when I haven’t even commented on this article?

This is like middle school behavior. Please stop. I’m asking Wehoville to stop comments like this as well.

DesertBob
DesertBob
1 month ago
Reply to  JF1

Anyone who supports a paranoid sociopathic psychotic drug user as president (or anything else except being a convicted felon) might have similar problems themselves, hero worship being what it is.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Please stop harassing me. I haven’t commented on this article at all.

David Reid
David Reid
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

well, now technically…..

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Hadn’t.

Thom Cook
Thom Cook
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

But you’re really wanting to, aren’t you? It’s like an itch you can’t scratch. Come on…do it!

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