Cold rain ushered in a new dawn Monday night as Mayor Sepi Shyne was sworn in to office during West Hollywood City Council’s first meeting of the year.
Shyne, whose full first name “Sepideh” translates to “dawn” or “first light,” assumed the largely ceremonial role of mayor with full fanfare, including tributes from a string of local dignitaries and rapturous applause from her close-knit coalition of allies and supporters — queer activists, the Iranian community and special-interest unions. Dressed in a striking suit-and-tie ensemble, she asserted her new prominence and authority with skill on the dais, aware that it is now the stage of an extended screen test for the next role of her political career: a candidate for Congress.
“I discovered my own purpose while living here in West Hollywood,” Shyne said, “and that is to illuminate, which means to bring light to the world by serving humanity, uplifting and elevating people, and eradicating the toxicity and darkness that has pervaded our social fabric, especially in politics.”
Shyne was elected to City Council in 2020 alongside John Erickson, who was sworn in as Mayor Pro Tempore on Monday night. She is proud to highlight the “firsts” in her resume — first out Iranian queer woman elected to office in the world, first woman of color on the Council. She speaks with lofty idealism and often seems guided by a sense of destiny.
“I ran for office because West Hollywood had lost its purpose along the way and needed a new dream,” she said. “A dream that represented and elevated more of us. A dream that included those that had been forgotten … those that didn’t feel included those in our community, whose voices were not being heard anymore. A dream that included a brighter and more inclusive vision for West Hollywood … one where the sun would shine on all of us, not just some of us.”
THE LIONESS ROARS
The nation of Iran dominated the evening and injected it with urgency. For months, Shyne has been one of the leading voices in the U.S. raising awareness of the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement, a nationwide uprising against the country’s totalitarian regime, the Islamic Republic. Shyne drew hundreds out to a candlelight vigil this past fall in honor of Mahsa Amini, whose death at the hands of police sparked the massive protests.
“To my Iranian community,” Shyne said, “I was born in the spiritual city of Mashad, 46 years ago. I was 2 when the revolution happened and my childhood and the childhood lives and freedoms of so many Iranians were stolen by this brutal regime that has brought nothing but darkness to Iranians and to the world. My commitment to you is to use every bit of power that I hold … to ensure that democracy is restored in Iran and the Iranian people are finally free of this darkness.”
“It is women that will bring freedom to Iran,” she said. “I will be one of those women taking this darkness down, and one day in our lifetime, each and every one of us who has been ostracized from being in our homeland, whether Jewish, Christian, Bahai, LGBTQ and women who referred refuse to be oppressed. We will once again be free in Iran. That is my promise to you. And I am a woman of my word.”
PROGRESSIVES IN POWER
Many big names from the area’s progressive political circles were on hand to celebrate Shyne’s ascent, as well as their own rise in power and profile.
“I want to recognize the significance of this evening for the housekeepers, dishwashers and servers who make up the backbone of the city that I call home,” said Danielle Wilson of UNITE HERE Local 11, the powerhouse labor union who campaigned heavily for Shyne. “And just two years on this council, the two people who are now at the helm of this body have co-authored legislation to raise the minimum wage to be the highest in the country. They are renters, they are fighters.”
New Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, a former leader with UNITE HERE, congratulated Shyne while looking back on their campaign successes.
“West Hollywood is where we first started community power,” Soto-Martinez said. “It’s where we merge the power of the grassroots with what we can do in politics, and I’m so excited.”
Shyne stirred controversy recently after a heated e-mail exchange with resident Myra Mykie Freedman over the city’s electric scooter program led the longtime Disabilities Advisory Board member to resign her position. Shyne has exhibited a rigid approach to governing and is rarely willing to compromise on issues she feels passionate about.
Freedman, too, is known as a tough negotiator, and not one who easily backs down. Freedman’s appearance at the podium brought some suspense to the night’s proceedings.
Freedman took issue with Shyne’s diplomatic stance on the scooters — “some people like them, some don’t,” she was reported to have said. To Freedman, that sounded like Donald Trump’s infamous “good people on both sides” comment. She made the comparison directly to Shyne, who found it disrespectful and said it would not be tolerated.
Rather than hold her ground, Shyne took the opportunity to show humility and grace, offering a heartfelt apology to Freedman while not going as far as offering her spot on the board back.
“I wanted to let you know that your voice was important and I wanted to hear you out,” Shyne told Freedman. “Regardless of how things transpired, it is my commitment to meet with you and I will be calling to schedule a meeting with you.”
This is the most hostility I have seen expressed towards a City counsel member. Voters here screwed up. How do we take this energy strategically to recall her out of office. She’s never been a clown but head monster.
West Hollywood has officially become another pawn in George Soros’ sick anarchy push across America. Shine The Buffalo Extremist joins the other dirt bags that plop down here for a few years as a stepping stone.
This is broken and people need to take a hard look as the depth of longterm investment these people have here.
Shyn literally hide her Soros funding, buried under multiple shell organizations.
Now, we have an immigrant WHITE woman passing for and tailgating as a “person of color”. It fits the Far Left’s agenda of using American black folks
George Soros is an old, rich man. Let him live the rest of his life without the additional burden of taking a hit for Scooter Shyne. He is hated, he is loved, but I doubt her name or place on earth has ever crossed his mind..
There’s something really screwed up about this woman. She lies to get sympathy for being a brown woman, yet she hides her Muslim given name and identity.
I’m so concerned about the damage she has done to the residents of West Hollywood. Hope someone puts a muzzle on that ugly face.
Septic Shyne needs to be FORCED out of office. Recall. Protest. ANYTHING.
Next thing we know, she’ll want the West Hollywood library named after her.
Oh Woody. Brilliant!
San Francisco is now contemplating lucrative reparations for people of color. Is it possible that Sepi Shyne will somehow stretch her former residence in San Jose to San Francisco for a potential money grab?
Sepi needs to be run out of town on a rail WeHo needs MORE Sheriff’s NOT less.
Ahhhh. Noblesse Oblige. She failed only to don the flowing robe worn by the esteemed barristers in other countries. But I would bet the robe and lambswool wig sit in her closet. And of course, I am waiting for her to use “we” to describe herself. In my experience with Iranian friends, of which I have had many, I did not know a single one who considered themselves a “person of color”. And those I knew well had also escaped the country during the downfall of the Shah. Hers is not a unique experience. As she relates it though, it… Read more »
This is a gem of a “comment”. Clever, a little humorous, but spot on. Woody likes it
Thank you Woody. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. A close and personal friend suggested we give her a nickname and I agree. Nothing appalling; something appealing..I henceforth will refer to her as “Scooter Shyne”. How nice of you to take time to comment. Made my day!
If anyone of the people on this thread start a recall, I’ll sign it.
Yes, wholeheartedly agree. RECALL SMUG CONFLICTED SEPI SHYNE.👏👏
Brave new world, indeed
Most people revert to their original names after a divorce. Does Sepi dislike her ethnic-sounding given name so much that she has to hide her ethnicity behind the lily white-sounding “Shyne”?
Seems as though Sepi thought it advantageous to take the Shyne name for political aspirations so now will she change it again for different political intention? Is Sepi a conflicted weathervane?
Also seems as though she borrowed the “Sips with Sepi” from Lili Bosse in Beverly Hills with her informal “Live with Lili” meets with residents.
What… Horvath turns over her look, glasses and makeup, to Shyne?
As a disciple of Sepi Shyne, Chelsea Byers had full support of the Union taking her “girl next door” message to the voters, canvassing broad swaths of West Hollywood like a military operation. Promising the moon but deceptively installing the disingenuous ideas of Shyne.
Every day the city becomes more unrecognizable as we are laid waste to the ambitions of Sepi Shyne.