No Ruth Bader Ginsburg Library for WeHo, commissioners recommend

West Hollywood residents are fans of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but they don’t really want their library named after her.

That was the impression of the Public Facilities Commission on Wednesday night as they unanimously voted to halt the re-naming process “due to lack of consensus and support.”

In the months leading up to this decision, few in West Hollywood were gung ho on the plan to christen the library after the late Supreme Court justice, who died in 2020. A poll the city conducted showed more or less an even split among the public, but of 13 public speakers who came to share their opinions on the matter, 11 spoke against the proposal.

Their reasons were myriad.

“People in West Hollywood want our library to be named after somebody local,” said Adam Bass.

Many others were praiseworthy of Ginsburg but didn’t feel the name fit.

“I’m an ardent supporter of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and I know that her laws and rulings have had an enormous impact on our community,” said former West Hollywood Councilmember Abbe Land, “but I think as we look to this library if we are going to name it, it should be named after someone who has deep roots in the community.”

Virginia Gillick was one of the few to write in support of the measure.

“I believe that this is a terrific idea for West Hollywood as Justice Ginsburg with someone that most of our residents benefited in one way or many ways by her work while on the Supreme Court,” she wrote.

Others did not have kind words for the justice.

“Although it’s hard for some to hear, possibly unsavory for others to swallow, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s refusal to relinquish her position, to step away from her power in a timely manner, in order to pass the torch on to someone actually deserving of United States Supreme Court appointment, must be acknowledged,” said Michael W. “So yes, rename the library after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but do it in memory of her in glorious, big ego, which ultimately paved the way for permanent damage to fall upon the American people.”

Many of the public speakers (and others in the community) had thoughtful suggestions of who might be more appropriate to honor with the name of the library — but Vice Chairperson Jake Mason reminded the crowd that the Commission was only authorized to discuss Ginsburg’s name. 

Despite his foreword, many potential names were mentioned, including: 

​● John Heilmann, former WeHo Councilmember and a founding father of the city

Rita Norton, described as “the de facto senior librarian for our one-room schoolhouse type library. Over the years, she served as president of the Library Association.”

Ivy Bottini, respected lesbian activist

Nobody.  “Why do we have to name it after people?” asked Jamie Francis Wendell. “There have been so many people who have contributed in this community who have passed on, who didn’t recommend that, “Hey, I want to be remembered!’ It should be named after the city itself.”

In their motion, the Commission recommended that Council keep the name “West Hollywood Library” for now, while undertaking a larger re-naming process that better involves the community in the future. 

On a side note, the Commission had staff members clear up a longstanding local mystery — municipal code does in fact allow for buildings to be re-named in honor of persons who are living, as well as those who are deceased.

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[…] Public polling has been more balanced, but when the Public Facilities Commission met on January 12 to consider the proposal, 11 out of the 13 public speakers that attended voice opposition to the renaming, WeHoVille reports. […]

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[…] Public polling has been more balanced, but when the Public Facilities Commission met on January 12 to consider the proposal, 11 out of the 13 public speakers that attended voice opposition to the renaming, WeHoVille reports. […]

Andrew
Andrew
8 months ago

Perhaps we should rename it the BoysTown Branch. This way we can sit back and enjoy more fireworks over something so unimportant.

Wembroke
Wembroke
8 months ago

The commission got it right this time. Thank you for listening to the public.

#HappyInsurectionDay
#HappyInsurectionDay
8 months ago

So you didn’t bow to the “unisex toilet” queen and king. Shyne and Erickson. Who believe they own West Hollywood. They don’t. Take a look: https://youtu.be/FyU_Y-vXkKg

Jose
Jose
8 months ago

How about focusing on CRIME!!!!
It appears the West Hollywood City Council can focus on “rainbow” crosswalks, transgender happy days, while people are being robbed at gun point, beaten, cars-homes being broken into along with massive homelessness and drugs.
But hey, let’s focus on renaming the library. Jesus F Christ!

:dpb
:dpb
8 months ago

Thank you, Commission for getting it right. Finally a decision about West Hollywood’s future done right.

Last edited 8 months ago by :dpb
JF1
JF1
8 months ago

Whoa, finally it sounds like the city is listening to the people.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago

Such a silly city

J Simmons
J Simmons
8 months ago

Oh yeah, let’s name it after Heilman who destroyed our city with illegal zoning changes and after FINALLY losing, he has money enough to start a FOUNDATION in Malawi, which he flys to frequently. try googling Hiding Money in off shore accounts through Malawi. Where would heilman get that kind of money. most city council members would probably have to save up for a round trip coach ticket to Africa. How can there be a unanimous or resounding no for Ruth Bader Ginsberg. i and everyone I know has cut all non-essential trips to crowds or city hall meetings to… Read more »

Eric Jon Schmidt
Eric Jon Schmidt
8 months ago
Reply to  J Simmons

being a west hollywood city council member is very lucrative. granting contracts for the construction of the library was a huge personal windfall for council members, commissioners and city staff.

voter
voter
8 months ago

I’m glad to hear that this rotten idea has been shelved. Now, where’s the accountability for the fools on the City Council who were behind the push for the name change? Shameful waste of time and money!

TomSmart
TomSmart
8 months ago

I’d always heard the guy who owns the PDC wanted to donate enough money to the library for it to be named after him but it was turned down. Whether true or not, I’d say anyone who’d make a VERY significant donation to a library that, let’s face it, is not that well funded, should receive that recognition.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

That was Charles Cohen. His offer put the City in an uncomfortable position as someone else had a notion about who the Library should be named for.

Observer
Observer
8 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Why do wealthy people always want their name on a building for which they donated a significant amount of money. It’s called ego. They never name it after someone who made a significant and lasting impact on their life. It’s always about them.

TomSmart
TomSmart
8 months ago
Reply to  Observer

Who cares if the library and thus the community benefits? Where would we be if the wealthy didn’t donate money (despite the fact that they most likely made it off the rest of our backs, cheated the IRS with off shore accounts and other scams)?

Observer
Observer
8 months ago
Reply to  TomSmart

I don’t care either about the largesse of the wealthy. My point was naming something always after themselves.

TomSmart
TomSmart
8 months ago
Reply to  Observer

David Geffen was famous for this. Seems he finally stopped at some point.

Last edited 8 months ago by TomSmart
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