It was a very nasty campaign. People in West Hollywood are a vocal bunch. They always have been. And people are not afraid to share their feelings or ideas. But this year’s campaign for city council with lots of candidates for the three open seats was the nastiest I have seen in a long time. I have to admit I was shocked at how ugly this got on every side. I am not a naïve. Politics is dirty business. But there were new lows this round.
The time has come to take a deep breath. The election is over. The people voted. And now there needs to be a time when people reach out to do the business of the city. Be bigger than a smear campaign. Be bigger than the personal attacks. And our small city council of five needs to figure out how it is going to get business done in a professional manner.
The city of West Hollywood is a great place to work and live. But to move our city forward there needs to be a collective deep breath and perhaps a better way of communicating concerns. All too often temper tantrums and gotcha’ politics rule the day. No one has to be best friends but mutual respect and honor are important.
Our city demographics are changing. We have to have a communal conversation about our city-about the soul of West Hollywood, its values and its vision. There is room for everyone, the gay boys and men, the strollers, the seniors, the Russian community and yes, the young hip straight folks who are increasingly moving to West Hollywood. Our city is not just one thing. It is many things.
I hope this is the path people will take. Electeds, city employees, city residents and those of us who work daily in West Hollywood. We are all stake holders in this town. And we need to heal from the heat. Time to take a collective breath.