Community Matters: Real Solutions for Todays Issues

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“WEST HOLLYWOOD OUT AND PROUD” A PLAN FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Pride takes the lead in our plan to “Bring Back West Hollywood” and bring visitors back to our hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, and brick-and-mortar retail businesses.

  1. Official designation of Pride Square as a main tourist destination
  2. Formation of an emergency economic recovery task force
  3. Expansion of al fresco dining and open-air festival experiences

OFFICIAL DESIGNATION of PRIDE SQUARE

Officially designate “Pride Square” as the name of the entertainment district commonly referred to as “Boystown.” For decades there has been a conversation about an official and more inclusive designation. This will garner national publicity, and there is no better time for West Hollywood to celebrate and share our Pride with visitors from all over the world.

  • Repaint and add more rainbow crosswalks
  • Create a West Hollywood Pride Walk of Fame with our Rainbow Key Award recipients and program events that are a celebration of Pride, equality, and LGBTQ culture and contributions.

EMERGENCY ECONOMIC RECOVERY TASK FORCE

Organize a broad coalition of restaurant, club, and bar owners, hotel operators, marketing professionals, the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Visit West Hollywood, and other stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to promote “new ways to celebrate the West Hollywood experience.”

  • Pride Square and The Sunset Strip as primary areas of focus
  • Facilitate safe reopening of businesses.
  • Expedite permitting and approval process for outdoor dining and retail use.

(While Lisa Vanderpump and David Cooley may raise the ire of some, they are masters in marketing with global outreach and name recognition. Let’s invite them to weigh in as well as Cecconi’s, Catch, Danny Meyer from Shack Shake, Craig’s, the Den, the Viper Room, the Rainbow, Slate House, and all others.)

EXPAND AL FRESCO DINING and OPEN-AIR FESTIVAL EXPERIENCES

  • Expand dining into adjacent rights-of-way as a means to adhere to social distancing requirements.
  • Explore potential options in addition to the use of parklets and parking lots to the closure of travel lanes and full street segments to allow for outdoor dining and retail use.

COVID -19 FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: 10% PAY CUT FOR ALL CITY EMPLOYEES WITH ANNUAL SALARIES OF $120,000. OR MORE

The City Manager estimates that this fiscal year, which started July 1, the city will see a $20 million (15%) decline in revenue.

The city is seeing a greater need for many of the critical services, such as social and senior services, the cleaning and upkeep of public areas, assistance in retaining businesses and jobs in the city who have been hard hit by the economic impacts for COVID-19.

There are currently over 115 City employees in administrative positions with annual base salaries ranging from $120,000. To $400,000. for a total exceeding $20 Million dollars. A minimum 10% pay cut, deferred for at least one year will move more than $2 Million towards essential City services and social programs.

 

Link for Citywide Salary Schedule: https://www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=44068

 

 

 

 

SAFETY: IMPLEMENT SECURITY AMBASSADOR FOOT PATROL TEAMS

Block by Block serves as the City of West Hollywood’s vendor for the Security Ambassador program. Security Ambassadors are currently deployed on bicycles along Santa Monica Boulevard from Doheny to La Brea, the Sunset Strip, Pick Up Line vehicles, special events, alleys, City parking lots, and residential neighborhoods within city limits.

Studies have shown that establishing teams on foot in strategic locations, high- crime areas also known as Hot Spots can reduce violent crime substantially acting as a deterrent and also increasing the public’s sense of safety.

SAFETY: SMART CITY INITIATIVE TO CONVERT ALL STREETLIGHTS TO SMART LED STREETLIGHT POLES

Replacing all old sodium-vapor streetlights with brighter new smart LED versions will provide brighter illumination, use less energy, and save money.

The LED conversion will reduce the load on circuits and offer options for installing EV charging stations to street poles and can include innovative wireless technology to improve cell phone usage.

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES: ESTABLISH A SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERYTASK FORCE

A Resolution to Establish a Small Business Recovery Task Force to focus on the experience that businesses are facing in the time of COVID-19 declarations protecting citizen health and effect recovery in the future.

-Provide City Council with real-time updates on COVID-19 impacts on local businesses and workers.

-Extend and support the City’s outreach and education efforts to local businesses.

-Provide support for gig economy workers, deferral of various City Permit fees, assistance in location State benefits to help Local Business.

HOMELESSNESS: CREATE A MUNICIPALLY FUNDED HOMELESS OUTREACH STREET TEAM ``HOST``

One of the many visible impacts due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 is the ever-increasing number of homeless community members in West Hollywood.  This number will inevitably double and perhaps triple without a program of outreach and engagement.

Creating a municipally funded Homeless Outreach Street Team to provide intensive services to chronically homeless people who use public services can help get these individuals off the streets while reducing spending on services such as Sheriff’s Deputies and emergency medical care.

The CIty’s Homeless Street Team of trained case managers and care specialists will locate and engage homeless individuals, many who have lived in the community for years, and are well known to both residents and first responders.

The Team would try to see homeless community members on a daily basis to gain their trust and build relationships in order to convince them to accept housing, medical services, medical, mental care, and treatment for substance abuse.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: NO ANNUAL RENT INCREASE FOR LOWER INCOME TENANTS IN RENT STABILIZED UNITS

Amend the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to reflect No rental increases (General Adjustment) for lower-income residents.

Lower-income is defined as having an income 80% or less of the area median income, which ranges from $66,198 for a household of one person to $76,790 for a three-person household.

According to the city’s 2019 Affordable Housing Report, a quarter of the city’s residents (5,707) live on very low incomes and 16% (3,613) are designated as low incomes. While a total of 40% of West Hollywood residents live on low to very low incomes.

 

HEALTH: COMMUNITY PARKS INTIATIVE

Parks are at the center of active, healthy living. Through a  Community Parks Initiative, we would engage the Public Facilities Commission in conjunction with community members to create a working plan to enhance sports, fitness, and arts programming in neighborhood parks for submission to the City Council.

The Community Parks Initiative is an investment in neighborhood parks with the greatest needs such as Plummer Park.

AGING IN PLACE: A DESIGNATED FULL-TIME SENIOR ADVOCATE AT CITY HALL

Approximately 5600 seniors are living in West Hollywood, representing 15% of the city’s population. A wide variety of services exist in West Hollywood to support the needs of aging adults and their families and support independent living.

Among the biggest challenges facing aging adults and their families is learning about and accessing those services.

There is a gap in the process of connecting our seniors, many who may feel vulnerable, embarrassed, or suffering from mobility issues or even unfamiliar with technology.

Creating a resource at City Hall with a senior advocacy desk, helpline, and full-time case manager dedicated to advocating for and connecting seniors to available medical, home services, and placement as necessary will help bridge that and make services more accessible.

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