By Vic Gerami
There is a saying in 12-Step recovery that goes, ‘If Nothing Changes, Nothing changes.’ It applies to pretty much everything, including small cities like West Hollywood. Not much has changed in West Hollywood City Council for a very long time, but a lot has changed in the City and life for its residents.
Some say that West Hollywood is becoming Beverly Hills East, while others say it already has. Despite resistance from some residents, developers seem to run the show and the band plays on.
‘I am running to serve West Hollywood residents and to put their needs first. I am not accepting a single penny from developers’
Well, change is on its way, that is if people go out and vote. Sepi Shyne, a local attorney and Commissioner on the Business License Commission, announced that she will run for a seat on West Hollywood’s City Council in the November 2020 general election. As part of her groundbreaking campaign, Shyne has pledged to refuse all campaign contributions from Developers.
“I am running to serve West Hollywood residents and to put their needs first. I am not accepting a single penny from developers. I have the qualifications, passion and leadership skills to serve well,” said Shyne, who has developed a longstanding reputation as a community leader and advocate for the residents of West Hollywood. “When we work together, we shine together.” Shyne, 42 years old, was born in Iran. As a child, she and her family fled the country’s violent revolutionary war, immigrating to California in 1977.
Shyne, her wife Ashlei and their four fur babies have lived in West Hollywood for over 10 years. Shyne’s advocacy for the LGBTQ community began in college when she was the victim of a traumatic incident of homophobia, inspiring her to pursue a law degree alongside her passion for social justice and community activism.
‘become a pivotal partner of my progressive,
people powered, history making campaign’
Shyne, a devoted and active Democrat, was a candidate in the city’s 2019 municipal elections, receiving more than 2,300 votes despite her status as a first-time political candidate and her refusal to accept contributions from developers.
If elected, she would be the first foreign-born immigrant, the second lesbian, and the first woman of color ever elected in West Hollywood. As a renter and small business owner, Shyne’s goals include prioritizing renter’s rights and affordable housing over favors to large developers as well as creating a thriving small business environment.
“Join my team by volunteering and/or donating and become a pivotal partner of my progressive, people powered, history making campaign.” Shyne said. “Let’s work together to bring respect, community advocacy and fresh energy back to City Council.”
I close with another saying popular in 12-Step that goes, ‘Faith Without Works Is Dead.’ It means that we are required to do the footwork in order to create positive change. Having blind faith that things will turn out well is fruitless, unless one puts in the necessary work. In other words, register then go out and vote.
The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, alongside the presidential election. For more information, to make a donation and for volunteer opportunities, please visit SepiShyne.com