Meister needs a majority on Council to fix WeHo

Mayor Lauren Meister told a gathering of supporters Sunday that it will take more than her own re-election to get the city back on track this November — residents who are worried about the direction of the city will need to elect two other like-minded councilmembers to ensure the majority necessary to reverse or alter the unpopular policies enacted by City Council over the past two years — like the controversial minimum wage ordinance.

“Whereas in the old days when when we were running, we would say, ‘Just vote for Lauren’ … we cannot do that this time,” Meister said. “You have got to pick out me and two other strong candidates that can work with me. I’m not saying we have to agree on everything because we will never agree on everything. But to be at least aligned in terms of the direction of the city and what’s important to the city.”

Meister pointed to the minimum wage ordinance passed last year as a prime example of the current City Council’s habit of governing without compromise.

“I believed in raising the wage and did vote for it, but I also believed in implementation that made sense. Although I voted for minimum wage, I voted against what my colleagues decided for the implementation because I didn’t feel like it took into consideration that we just got out of a two-year lockdown with COVID, that we’re possibly going into a recession and we want to bring back and support our businesses, particularly our small businesses. I felt that expecting a business to change the minimum wage every six months until they got where we wanted them to be was just asking too much. I felt that adding another year onto (the timeline) would not have really hurt anybody because we were still ahead of the game in terms of paying the best wages in the region.”

She also felt the same way about the similar hotel worker ordinance also passed last year.

“I believed in all of the public safety aspects of that ordinance,” Meister said. “But then there was a part of the ordinance that basically told the hoteliers how how to run their business, and I just didn’t feel comfortable with (approving that) without discussing it with them in a meaningful way and getting their input.”

She implied some of her colleagues had simply taken cues from “a special interest group who had been helping councilmembers get elected for just that purpose” — likely UNITE HERE Local 11, the labor union that helped propel Councilmember John Erickson and Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne into office in 2020 and coordinated the theatrical protests and barrage of public comments that accompanied discussion of the minimum wage and hotel worker ordinances.

“And I will say, in 2019, I was endorsed by that special interest group — but that did not stop me from voting ‘no’ on an ordinance that I felt would hurt our hoteliers in a city where hospitality is one of the most important industries.”

At its peak, the hospitality industry provided WeHo with more than a quarter of its tax revenues.

Meister elaborated on her top three priorities for WeHo — public safety, homelessness and residential/commercial affordability — before the crowd at the private event held by Patrick Shandrick and Don Freeman at their home.

“We want small business here,” she said. “We want unique businesses here because that’s what sets us apart from other cities. Otherwise we’re just like the city of L.A.”

If Meister successfully defends her seat, she will be rewarded with her third term on City Council. There are two other seats on WeHo City Council that are up for election — they are currently occupied by John D’Amico, who is retiring, and Lindsey Horvath, who is vacating the position in hopes of becoming County Supervisor.

A motley crew of more than a dozen candidates will compete against one another for those three seats. The top three vote-getters win the positions.

Describing herself as a “local gal” who started at the bottom and cut her teeth as a neighborhood block captain, Meister said her independent streak remains her greatest asset on the dais.

“You have to be willing to to go out there and vote ‘no’ when everybody else is voting ‘yes.’ And ‘yes’ when everybody else is voting ‘no.’ You stand by your convictions. I represent the whole city, and I think that no matter who you speak with, they will tell you that my door is always open to hear what you have to say.”

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Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago

Unless any of these candidates are like Ronny D or the Orange Man, this city will continue to go the way of Caracas. Y’all wanted pRoGrEsS and now you got it.

Rose
Rose
1 month ago

OMG! DON’T GIVE HER A MAJORITY, OR ANY VOTES AT ALL.

SHE JUST “DUD A TRUMP”

“ONLY SHE CAN FIX WEHO”. BGEEEEEZZ

SHE GOT IT THIS WAY MORE THAN ANY OTHER PERSON.

IT’S OVERDUE & TIME FOR MEISTER TO GO!

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Rose

So the answer is…no more liberals. Just conservatives. There have to be like 5 of us in this city, no?

JR Birdsong
JR Birdsong
1 month ago

We The People need to help Ms.Meister fix WeHo. Otherwise we will go down in flames.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  JR Birdsong

Dude we’re just smoldering embers at this point.

Stuart Foxx
Stuart Foxx
1 month ago

I will point out that raising the minimum wage is only controversial to mostly fat-cat business owners.

Small businesses too lazy – or who found it too difficult – to file for the extension or waiver have nobody but themselves to blame.

I don’t remember the fear of a recession after lockdown, but please cite some examples, if there are some.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Stuart Foxx

Is the owner of Leonard’s dry-cleaning a fat-cat? I just want to know because the idiots over at Blackrock LOVE paying people as little as possible while they get money directly from the Fed, buy up housing en mass, and shrink the housing supply to force everyone to become renters dependent upon them.

E. Mc
E. Mc
1 month ago

Lauren is the only one I see engaging with citizens around town. Went to a fun little daytime event at the Park and she was talking to everyone whereas the others looked like they were at a middle school dance and only talked to each other – the whole point of the event is to engage!

Sarah
Sarah
1 month ago

I won’t be voting for Meister this year. Her call to action is desperate and tacky. What she’s basically saying is she has a personal problem with Sepi Shyne and John Erickson, and is asking voters, to just have amnesia about John Duran’s sex scandal, forget about Heilman being pimped out by developers – and vote for them anyway! Gurl, BYE!

Ouch!
Ouch!
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah

Here you are again. Lauren is the most analytical person on council although I don’t always agree with her. Sepi Shyne appears to have personal issues preventing her authentic leadership possibilities which remain narrow and John Erickson simply likes to be silly, chatty and likewise full of self interest.

Sarah
Sarah
1 month ago
Reply to  Ouch!

We’re all entitled to our opinion. I respect yours and please respect mine. There was no need for your disrespectful ‘here you are again,’ comment. I guess we will agree to disagree on Lauren’s CALL TO CRONYISM!

Ouch1
Ouch1
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah

Opinions can vary but unfortunately your disrespect flys far and wide.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah

John Erickson and Sepi Shyne are communists, so they gots to go, homie.

P S
P S
1 month ago
Reply to  Sarah

Just to clarify, at this event Lauren didn’t endorse anyone and simply said we need to see who ends up qualifying first and then we need to learn about the people running.

She hoped others would join the Council who were more collaborative, even if they held different views or perspectives than her.

She never said she can “fix Weho”, nor believes she can on her own–thats an editorial headline.

GJD
GJD
1 month ago

Lauren has always been the most reasonable voice for all of Weho. I have not always agreed with her, but she is and has been, by far the most impressive Mayor we’ve had in 10+ years. We need to stop Weho from being hijacked as it has been these past 3-years.

Reid Tucker
Reid Tucker
1 month ago

Hard pass

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
1 month ago

Yes, we must re-elect Meister to save our city! Meister + Martin would be a great team on council!!!

I♥️WeHo
I♥️WeHo
1 month ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

I AGREE!!

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
1 month ago

Be careful “who” you vote for! Even though I did not vote for S. Shyne, it was later shown to me that the Socialist Democratic Party endorsed her & backed her up in 2020. I think many of the new candidates are woke wolves in sheep’s clothing just like Horvath’s appointee to the PSCommission that recently jumped ship & look at the damage that she created! At least we know that Lauren is not a kook & does not want to fundamentally transform WeHo into a city that we don’t recognize any longer! We are right now going down that… Read more »

Susan
Susan
1 month ago

shame on me for supporting and voting for S Shyne. Am disgusted that “wokeness” Seems to have become an excuse to ignore the real needs and voice of people who live in West Hollywood. I am with you

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan

Wokeness has always been a term of avoiding responsibility and fixing actual problems.

No current council members deserve re-election
No current council members deserve re-election
1 month ago

It’s too bad this council secretly bought the Holloway Motel and turned it into homeless housing. The lack of transparency and input for the project means I can not trust any current council members. I will not vote for any of them.

Michael On Havenhurst Drive
Michael On Havenhurst Drive
1 month ago

Totally agree. The Holloway Motel will be new homeless center making Santa Monic and La Cienega a very dangerous intersection. Agree. No on Meister. She voted for it.

Happy Girl
Happy Girl
1 month ago

For clarification on this issue, I had attended many zoom meetings regarding the purchase of the Holloway Motel as did many neighbors who live in the area. It was no secret and I new about it by reading WEHOVILLE and staying informed about our City.

Roy Oldenkamp
Roy Oldenkamp
1 month ago

Lauren Meister has been the absolute best city councilperson in memory. She takes all aspects of any ordinance under consideration, weighs pros and cons and acts accordingly, with honesty and forthrightness.

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