Whose side is Ben Savage on?

He got UNITE HERE’s stamp of approval, but he’s a huge fan of their sworn enemy Mayor Lauren Meister

WeHo City Council candidate Ben Savage received a public shoutout this weekend from a hitherto unknown fan — UNITE HERE Local 11.

The labor union’s Co-President Kurt Pederson on Friday released a statement, which Savage shared on his Instagram, praising the actor for his longtime membership in SAG-AFTRA and the Director’s Guild of America, as well as for his support of the minimum wage raises passed by City Council this year with help from Pederson and the union.

“Unlike some current and former West Hollywood Counclmembers who call themselves Democrats but at the same time disparage unions, Ben Savage has not forgotten his roots,” Pederson wrote. “We are glad that proud Union members like him are seeking elected office.” 

Thus far in the campaign season, Savage has positioned himself as slightly right-of-center in the spectrum between ultra-progressives like Chelsea Byers and law-and-order-style candidates such as John Duran. 

The candidates UNITE HERE is supporting — Byers, Robert Oliver and Zekiah Wright — have all expressed varying levels of approval for WeHo City Council’s decision to defund the sheriff’s department this past summer, another strategy hatched by the labor union.

Savage, however, has not advocated for the sort of “re-imagining” of law enforcement pursued by UNITE HERE. 

On his campaign door hanger, Savage writes, “As your City Councilmember, I will support law enforcement officers, providing them with all the resources needed to keep residents, businesses and tourists safe, and increase funding for community safety partners like Blike by Block, MET team health services and clinical case workers.”

At WEHOville’s Fourth of July BBQ, he told attendees, “I want to help (Mayor) Lauren (Meister). I think she needs some support and I think she needs some backup.”

Meister was the only councilmember to vote no on reducing the number of sheriff’s deputies patrolling West Hollywood streets. Her refusal to toe the line incensed UNITE HERE, which had supported Meister in her previous election, and the mayor has now found herself in their crosshairs, with the union having spent thousands of dollars so far to try to prevent her re-election. 

Pederson’s statement mentioned the recent alliance of UNITE HERE and a slew of high-profile Hollywood figures in boycotting the Chateau Marmont, which forced the hotel to agree to terms through highly publicized protests and demonstrations. 

Whether UNITE HERE’s words of support for Savage constitute a full-throated, 11th-hour endorsement — or whether they’re just clickbait — remains to be seen.

When we asked Savage what he thought of UNITE HERE’s statement, Savage told us this: “It was nice of them to recognize my longterm union membership. As a councilmember, I will always do what is best for West Hollywood residents and businesses.”

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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EricA Weho
EricA Weho
20 days ago

Oh give me a break. You guys are in the business of making enemies for no reason. People with different ideas can communicate and even work together without being “bonded” It’s time to grow up.

Eric
Eric
20 days ago
Reply to  EricA Weho

Didn’t work out that way during the last two years, so somewhat feeling burnt and wary, please do forgive me.

Eric
Eric
20 days ago

Oh no, I sure hope we don’t land up with more of the same.

TomSmart
TomSmart
21 days ago

Blike by Block? Or did you mean Bloke on a Bike?

Blocked
Blocked
20 days ago
Reply to  TomSmart

Bloke by Bloke aka Blocked by Blockbuster aka Broke & Broker and so it goes with safety & security in Weho with leaders that don’t give a fig about that pettiness🙄

Stephanie Harker
Stephanie Harker
21 days ago

The Château Marmont is NOT in West Hollywood. It is in LOS ANGELES. But I agree with other commenters on here. Unite Here is not doing a very good job of representing its members. Weho has almost 2 dozen hotels, only TWO of which are unionized. If they would stop trying to decide who should be elected to local government and organize well enough to get their members more jobs, everyone would be better off. Unite Here should be ashamed of themselves. City Councilmembers cannot negotiate contracts with hotels or ANYWHERE else, for that matter. I am a 40 year… Read more »

JF1
JF1
21 days ago

Nice guy, maybe in two years. Happy to hear he is on the side of law enforcement. No happy the union supports him.

Love WeHo
Love WeHo
21 days ago

I did not need another reason to vote for Ben but here it is! Can work with everyone, has real life experience, and is a true member of the weho community. You have my vote, thank you for running.

No More Clip On Campaigns
No More Clip On Campaigns
21 days ago

Candidates need credibility and some sort of discernible record of ability and action. Clip on campaigns, no matter who funds then are passe’

MG on Havenhurst
MG on Havenhurst
21 days ago

Get real so-called Democrat liberal West Hollywood! Ben Savage is an actor. A member of SAG, probably Equity, DGA, etc. These are guilds and unions. West Hollywood depends on the entertainment industry. They would not like an organized boycott.Yes, on Savage, no on Meister. Many residents work in entertainment and don’t need some anti-union Lauren Meister as a council member. The hotel workers union should be in every large franchised hotel in this city, headed by CEOs making $20 to $50 million last year. As a member of the WGA and the Dramatist Guild, I am for Savage.

Last edited 21 days ago by MG on Havenhurst
:dpb
:dpb
21 days ago

Union is not a bad word. The application of union in the right environment can make all the positive change in the world. But when the environment is not right for unionization, when the union becomes a money making entity strictly for the union ‘s benefit. When the union shows up uninvited and becomes the economic competitor to a once thriving business sector there is a problem. Unite Here is that problem.

WeHoK
WeHoK
21 days ago

Savage is the only union member in the city council race. He has my vote. We need actual union members and businessmen in office. Not some propped up candidates that have sold out to Unite Here (or anyone else).

Wehoan
Wehoan
21 days ago

Savage will do anything for publicity. I was considering him for my third vote but he has no core values except himself.

Steven
Steven
21 days ago
Reply to  Wehoan

Other than this article, I don’t see any other press on this matter – so it doesn’t look like he is doing it for “publicity.” Why shouldn’t he be proud of longterm union membership? It shows he knows how to do the work. And all without the insulting mudslinging we have seen from Unite Here. Nice article.

MG on Havenhurst
MG on Havenhurst
21 days ago
Reply to  Wehoan

Get real. Meister is a media hound. Savage is a member of a union. Unlike most of the candidates who seen to be working for no one except themselves. Political hacks all of them. In the tradition of Shyne, Erickson and Horvath.

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