SEPI SHYNE FIRST LGBTQ IRANIAN WOMAN ELECTED TO OFFICE
Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson were sworn in to the city council of West Hollywood during a teleconference council meeting last month, in adherence to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Councilmember Sepi Shyne made history when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She became the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected anywhere globally and locally became the first woman of color elected to West Hollywood’s City Council. Her election also ushered in West Hollywood’s first female-majority City Council. Councilmember Shyne’s priorities include advocating for affordable housing, protecting renters and social service programs, social justice, small business revival, and bringing the people’s voices to City Hall.
ADDING TRANSGENDER CROSSWALKS AND BROWN/BLACK STRIPES TO RAINBOW CROSSWALKS
The West Hollywood City Council approved painting the transgender flag colors on a crosswalk and adding black and brown stripes to the existing rainbow crosswalks located on Santa Monica Boulevard. At a regular city council meeting on Monday, December 21, 2020, the council directed staff to seek feedback from relevant commissions and advisory boards, including the Transportation Commission, the Transgender Advisory Board, and the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, to identify a crosswalk location. The purpose of the Transgender crosswalk and the modifications of the rainbow crosswalk is to make the city more inclusive to all communities. The item was initiated by council members John Erickson and Sepi Shyne.
GAY RESORT UP FOR SALE
Palm Springs Gay Resort, INNdulge is up for sale. Owners Jon Jackson and his partner, Sandy Miller, are selling the hotel in the Warm Sands neighborhood for $10.8 million. The couple announced that the future buyer must keep the property as a gay resort. Jackson and Miller bought the property from former owners John Williams and Jean-Guy Lachance. They remodeled the interior of the rooms, enlarging the bathrooms without changing any of the mid-century modern architecture of the complex and they commissioned two large modern figure sculptures by artist Mavis McClure to be placed on opposite sides of the resort’s kidney-shaped pool.
SDPD EMPLOYEES CIRCULATE HOMOPHOBIC VIDEO SLURRING MAYOR
Authorities are investigating a video featuring images of Adolf Hitler and a homophobic slur against newly elected mayor Todd Gloria that was created and circulated amongst San Diego Police Department employees. The video consists of doctored images from a 2004 German-language historical film titled “Downfall.” Among the antagonistic statements superimposed over clips of the movie in the form of subtitles is a homophobic comment about Gloria, the city’s first openly gay mayor. The alleged motivation for the video appears to have been resentment over potential disciplinary actions faced by some members of the SDPD. Gloria directed the San Diego Police Department’s chief to continue an internal investigation.
LA LGBT CENTER BLOCKS TRUMP ADMIN EXECUTIVE ORDER
The Los Angeles LGBT Center successfully blocked the Trump Administration’s Executive Order to ban speech about systemic racism, sexism, and implicit bias. A U.S. District Court judge ruled last month in favor of a group of plaintiffs, among them the LA LGBT Center, to issue a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its Executive Order that would have prohibited federal contractors and grantees from conducting workplace diversity trainings or engaging in grant‐funded work that explicitly acknowledges and confronts the existence of structural racism and sexism in our society. On November 2, Lambda Legal filed the federal lawsuit The Diversity Center v. Trump in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of the Center and five other organizational plaintiffs.