What is WeHo for the People?

We are here today to introduce a new coalition, WeHo for the People, representing residents and businesses who have come together with a shared vision of the issues facing the city and the need for change.  

We have come together because we love our city. It is our mission to educate voters about the real issues facing our city. To help them understand how the misguided policies of our current city council have driven our city further and further away from our core values and the vision of a dynamic and unique urban village upon which we were founded. 

To encourage people to get out and vote this election in what is probably the most important municipal election since the founding of our city in 1984.  The stakes are indeed high as our public and economic safety are increasingly threatened. 

My name is Keith Kaplan. I am a 36 year resident and property owner here in West Hollywood and a local Realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty. 

Over the past 11 years I’ve welcomed many new residents into our city. You might Say that I have been one of West Hollywood’s greatest cheerleaders … I had to be to do my job and I believed in the product I was selling…West Hollywood.But things have changed in the past 2 -3 years and that is what compelled me to bring these groups together to form WeHo for the People.  

My friends and neighbors are increasingly afraid to leave their homes to walk to the grocery or to dine outside at their favorite restaurant.  Two doors south of me on Kings Road, neighbors were held up at 11am as they left their house, their jewelry and handbags stolen.  Up the street at the corner of Kings and Fountain a 66-year-old friend was beaten down at 12:30 in the afternoon as she walked her two dogs. 

Across the street a neighbor was bludgeoned in his home late one night by an intruder that climbed up on his first floor balcony and broke through his window.

Five friends were relieved of their cell phones as they walked down Santa Monica Blvd. in just one week. In just this past month two local businesses were held up the very night of the ribbon cutting celebrating their Opening.  In the midst of a reported 137% increase in serious crime our city council has voted to defund our sheriff, putting our public safety in peril. 

Whose interests are they representing?

As local businesses struggled to recover from two years of the pandemic, enduring increased costs from supply chain shortages and struggling to pay back rents, our city enacted some of the most aggressive economic policies of any city in America.  Several of these ordinances were put on consent, not even agendized as would be the norm…because this city council did not want discussion of these proposed policies.  They did not want to listen to the businesses speak about the potential impacts and threats to their very survival. 

They did not want to listen to the residents, many on fixed incomes and without mobility who feared the impacts these policies would have on affordability…. How they might have to give up treating themselves to breakfast at Joey’s, a drink at La Boheme or a burger at K-24 because they simply could not afford it anymore. 

They did not want to hear from our young entrepreneurs, minority businesses and the LGBT community about how these policies impeded their ability to live and play and launch businesses in this city.  Their aggressive economic policies have resulted in the closure of small, independent businesses…and even corporate owned businesses like Subway and Chop Stop closed their doors and moved out of West  Hollywood. 

The economic policies of this council do not invite people in and encourage the development of new business. Rather they have built a veritable wall around West Hollywood because they have failed to understand the outsized impacts on businesses here in our little 1.9 sq mile island who must compete in a much larger region not facing these same issues. Our economic safety, our future and vitality are at risk.  

And once again we ask…whose interests are they representing?

Our city has been hijacked by several council members who are allowing our city to be used as a petri dish for special interest groups who recognize the value of the huge media visisbility of our city and the relatively minor costs of executing public policy campaigns here. 

Without regard for the real impacts on our residents and businesses. The constituents these council members have been elected to serve.  Without even engaging the community in fair discussion, they have proceeded to enact these “virtue signaling” policies to promote their own personal agendas and political careers at our expense. 

It is time to take our city back. To put our city back on track supporting our core values and the original vision of a dynamic, inclusive and creative urban village. As we approach this vitally important election it is time for the voters of West Hollywood to understand the real issues facing our city. To learn why and how our public and Economic safety has been threatened. And to get out and vote. That is why we are here today.

Alan Strasburg
Nick Rimedio
Keith Kaplan
David Wood
Genevieve Morrill

5 2 votes
Article Rating
About Keith Kaplan
Keith Kaplan is a licensed realtor who works with Sotheby’s International Realty and also is president of the Kaplan Group, a firm specializing in marketing, public relations and public policy work for luxury lifestyle products. Kaplan is former chair of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

View All Articles

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

26 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chef Bernie Guzman
Chef Bernie Guzman
20 days ago

how can WE get involved in WEHO for the people?

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook
22 days ago

What have I been saying all this time?! We need a man like Keith Kaplan to right all the wrongs and get this fair city back on track. Plus, he’s just so gosh-darn cute! And at the end of the day, cute wins.

Heythereall11
Heythereall11
24 days ago

This is interesting but are there any candidates for City Council this group is supporting in this election? It feels like a lot of words to harken back to “simpler times” but doesn’t feel like it’s addressing any specific ideas (other than undoing the reduction for the Sheriff’s Department) or concerns about how to move forward.

I’m not a fan of the current Council as a whole but not sure what the practical agenda for this group is even after reading all of the articles on here and the website.

Larry Block
Admin
23 days ago
Reply to  Heythereall11

WEHO for the people does not endorse candidates. They work on issues. The WEHO PAC, endorses candidates and they are expected to make their final choices by the end of next week.

Joshua88
Joshua88
24 days ago

I have no idea what your values are, Mr Kaplan.
Diversity, inclusion, creativity are all stupendous.

From what I remember, and without asking for input, the city established a nanny state with their no smoking policies.
What did the CC pass that you object to?
What is your agenda other than platitudes?

Thank you.

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
24 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Pay attention and do your homework, Joshua88. It’s all on the record.

Joshua88
Joshua88
24 days ago
Reply to  Joan Henehan

I pay attention.
I have different issues than Mr Kaplan does.

For instance, I believe the minimum wage workers should have raises that come a little closer to a living wage.

THAT Is why I asked, Joan.
Not for facts about the Council work/laws/proposals, etc., but his perceptions of it.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
24 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Keith Kaplan makes a good living from real estate commissions and “consulting” fees. I don’t think he cares about people struggling to survive in this community.

Joshua88
Joshua88
23 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Thank you for your input, geg.

Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
24 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

Joshua, for small business to be able to pay a living wage depends upon the viability of the small business. There needs to be cooperation between business and government to reach that worthy goal based upon the costs of doing business. It’s a very different situation from that of a very profitable, established public company who choose to underpay employees and to therefore force them to seek supplemental public assistance. The economic realities are entirely different. On a small, local, homegrown level the rules need to fit the situation. All of these and other integral factors must be studied and… Read more »

Joshua88
Joshua88
23 days ago
Reply to  Joan Henehan

Businesses (most) will always complain about paying their workers, which is why a minimum wage was enforced in the first place. Unfortunately, for most workers, raises are rarely given (see Federal minimum) because special interests win out. If you cannot afford to pay your workers, then perhaps the business isn’t viable. Or the owners prefer not to sacrifice their own lifestyles. Input from all parties is important, but I read complaints that the waiver process was *too difficult*. Either laziness or disingenuousness is the real reason, or people just like to bitch. There was a way out, but some people… Read more »

Larry Block
Admin
23 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

It is a ridiculous, blanket statement that businesses will complain about their workers or that a business is not viable if they cannot pay a wage dictated by the state or city council. You are obviously not an employer. Any employer needs to pay their rent first, and their employees are the most important asset in any organization and they get paid first, even if the rent has to be late. The owner or employer only gets to pay themselves if there is anything left over. And a business without a profit has no reason to exist unless you are… Read more »

Joshua88
Joshua88
23 days ago
Reply to  Larry Block

I didn’t say all businesses, Mr Block.

Not all employers feel the same way that you do. If the shoe don’t fit, don’t wear it.

David Cohen
David Cohen
1 day ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I agree with you Joshua. I’d like to hear more about Mr. Kaplan’s agenda. Doesn’t higher minimum wage also mean WeHo residents getting paid better? I found data on West Hollywood rent growth over past 12 months (please feel free to correct me if anyone thinks this data is wrong). How do you protect the economic well-being of ALL WeHo residents by reducing their wage?

https://www.apartmentlist.com/rent-report/ca/west-hollywood

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
24 days ago
Reply to  Joan Henehan

The city hall apologists feel no need to do homework or read the record. Theirs is simply a platform to to suck up to the status quo. Crash the status quo. Crash the incestuous cabal. An engaged electorate is inconvenient to the bureaucratic stranglehold. “Do you hear the people sing…..”

Randy
Randy
20 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I would like to know, specifically, and very specifically, what they oppose as well. Kaplan, as a former chairman of the Chamber, I’m sure opposed the hotel ordinance. Meister was the only Councilmember to not vote to pass the 2021 fiscal budget, because the ordinance vote was on the table, two months later. Her argument being that hotels would lose $$, and that the City, in turn, would lose tax revenue. I have yet to see these fiscal year numbers, but I believe a mid-year check showed that hotel revenue was higher than projections from that budget. So, as much… Read more »

Last edited 20 days ago by Randy
Joan Henehan
Joan Henehan
24 days ago

Keith speaks with fact-based knowledge, in the spirit of West Hollywood’s civic ideals. Please join him and raise your hands and your own civic engagement to restore West Hollywood’s safety, security and economic viability. Let your voices and your votes save West Hollywood for the People!

Jack Andrus
Jack Andrus
25 days ago

And it’s time to get the Rainbow crosswalks back. The new design makes no sense, is way out of proportion with little rainbow left, and just an amateur ugly design.

JF1
JF1
25 days ago

FANTASTIC! I love that the people of this city are finally standing up and fighting back! We WILL take back our city! Enough with these thirsty politicians that are using our city and their position as a stepping stone for their grandiose political ambitions. We need public servants that are only interested in giving back to our city and who are dedicated to listening to the people. Let’s take back our city!

Terrific Idea!
Terrific Idea!
25 days ago

Very enterprising idea Keith. Thank you.

:dpb
:dpb
25 days ago

I am signing up to do whatever needs to be done. I had wanted to attended (if I may: most of us work, people. Lets put accurate dates and times in meeting announcements). Is there a link or number to call to volunteer? Let’s save Weho.

Eric
Eric
25 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

Thank you Keith Kaplan! We so need this.

To dbps point, was a bit hard to attend today given then the time for people who had to be at work, but so glad there’s mobilized movement fighting to change the current situation

JF1
JF1
25 days ago
Reply to  Eric

YES!

Joshua88
Joshua88
24 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

You should reference the city website for accuracy on meeting dates/times:
https://www.weho.org

Last edited 24 days ago by Joshua88
:dpb
:dpb
24 days ago
Reply to  Joshua88

This was not a city sponsored event.

Joshua88
Joshua88
24 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

My apologies, dph.

26
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x