West Hollywood Patch has a pretty good summary of the West Hollywood City Council meeting Monday night, March 21. John D’Amico, the top vote getter in the March 8 election, was sworn in along side incumbents John Heilman and Abbe Land, who won re-election.
Reporter James F. Mills writes:
“Residents in the auditorium and at home watching on TV witnessed a peaceful transition, a symbolic passing of the baton from outgoing councilmember Lindsey Horvath to D’Amico. It was a city council meeting filled with joy, laughter, thunderous applause and positive outlook for the future, and about opposing sides coming together for a new start.”
Frontiers asked Renee Sotile (formerly with KTLA News) and Mary Jo Godges of Traipsing Thru Films – who earlier shot and produced the interviews with all nine candidates for Frontiers (cross-posted at LGBT POV) – to attend the council meeting and ask the councilmembers and some of the those attending what they thought of the election and what they think the future portends.
The first edited video includes comments before the meeting by Land, Heilman, D’Amico and Prang. Mayor Pro Tem John Duran and Councilmember Lindsey Horvath were apparently unavailable to be interviewed.
The second video features the perspective of six people who attended the council meeting.
For those who might have missed the council meeting, here are Horvath’s farewell comments:
“As my journey in public service moves me in a new direction, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for all that this experience has afforded me, for I am a better person today because of this honor and privilege to be of service to my community.
Growing up on the east side of Cleveland, OH, I never could have imagined that by age 26, I’d have the opportunity to be of service to such a beautiful community of people. I was called to serve on the Council at about the same age as our City is today. Like our City, I have grown and matured with all the experiences life has afforded me, but I also know that we share great and exciting days ahead.
After the unfortunate passing of Councilmember Guarriello, many residents stepped up to offer their service to our community. At the time I did not know all of the candidates, but now I can say with confidence that we all stepped up because of the wonderful experiences we had working with the City, and each of us knew that we would find tremendous support while answering that call to service. I was probably the most surprised person in this very room when I was asked by my colleagues to serve alongside them. The confidence that they had in me to share this responsibility with them is a gift for which I cannot thank each of them enough. They offered their perspectives, their guidance, and their friendship, and I have grown tremendously from all that I have learned in being of service to our City while working with them.
During the election I was criticized for supporting my colleagues, with suggestions that I was beholden to supporting them for having been appointed to my position. The truth is that even if I had not run for City Council in this recent election, I would still have supported my colleagues because I believe in the leadership they offer our City. Our City will continue to be great because of the combined leadership of each of my colleagues, all of whom bring critical perspectives and raise important issues in our civic dialogue. And I have no doubt that their newest colleague – the 3rd John we’ll call him – will rise to the occasion, and I wish him all the best in doing so.
But I want to strongly caution our community that it is NOT the leadership of these 5 people alone that defines our community. In fact, the moments I have found to be the most “West Hollywood” are the ones where we have come together as a City family – to grieve the loss of loved ones who passed on; to celebrate the birth of new WeHo Family members; to bless new partnerships for life’s journey; and to fiercely advocate for the respect, equality, and dignity of each person who comes to experience West Hollywood. In the Bantu language, this sentiment is called “Ubuntu.” As translated by Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, it means “I am what I am because of who we all are.” As defined by social justice advocate the Most Reverend Dr. Desmond Tutu, “A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”
Now more than ever, our City needs that Spirit of Togetherness. We need to recognize that we diminish our City when we diminish each other. Conversely, when we find ways to support and educate one another – even and especially in conflict – we build a better, stronger, truer West Hollywood. I call upon each community member – starting with myself – to help us collectively stay our course, committed to our core values and dedicated to justice for all.
I will never forget the kindness of our City Staff, our Public Safety services for Sheriff & Fire, and all who work everyday to make West Hollywood a community we can believe in. I thank you for the support you’ve shown me and the dedication you offer to our City. In particular, I want to very publicly thank my incredible Deputy Ivor Pine. Our community is better because of his service. (applause)
I thank the City of West Hollywood for this remarkable experience. Every time you called my office, every time you asked for my support, every time to you took a moment to help me understand your perspective, you offered me the most incredible gift you could offer – your trust. I will forever treasure that gift. I only hope that I have in some small way touched your lives in the way you have profoundly impacted mine.
And these words are my own. They were not texted or written for me. I wrote them myself. (Laughter) As the old saying goes, you can read them and weep…but I prefer you hear them and take action.