Vote Mark Farhad Yusupov For West Hollywood City Council 2020

A vision for a better west hollywood

I'm compelled to bring our community into a future we can all be proud of while maintaining the charm that we all love.
Public Safety Plan
It is important that we work towards crime prevention and dedicate resources to retraining officers to better serve our community.
  • Encourage the police officers who serve West Hollywood to become better engaged with the community that they serve in order to understand the ongoing issues so that they can safely and effectively work to resolve those issues. Whether it is petty theft or more serious crimes, deputies working in WeHo should study the patterns, identify root causes and vulnerabilities in public safety, and work on prevention with the help of our local public safety organizations.
  • Continuous training and retraining of police officers with an emphasis on de-escalation tactics, eradication of racial profiling, and sensitivity training.
  • Increase the number of bicycle and on-foot Security Ambassadors within the city to ensure public safety, especially in the evening hours.
  • Install speed bumps and safer illuminated crosswalks.
  • To boost the amount of adequately trained staff to the Mental Evaluation Unit for those struggling with mental health and substance abuse.
  • A focus on crime prevention will help to reduce sheriff emergency calls. There should be increased community education and awareness about the dangers of domestic violence, human trafficking, and hate crimes.
  • The City Council has decided to engage an outside consultant to look at how law enforcement is conducted in West Hollywood. Hiring an outside consultant is a positive step to reforming policing policies within our community. Coordinating with the Public Safety Department and Public Safety Commission, the consultant should form a council that involves Neighborhood Watch captains, local leaders and city residents to provide feedback on community needs and public safety concerns when it comes to policing. The consultant should also collect input from a vendor that services the city with the Security Ambassador program. The collected data will help the city be better informed and effectively engage with LASD to make necessary changes in its training and policing tactics.
Curb Overdevelopment Plan
Lack of affordable housing is a growing problem and it is not unique just to our town, however, while it is necessary to gain insight on solutions that other municipalities have implemented, it does not mean those solutions are right for West Hollywood.
  • Our city is small, yet it is already one of the densest cities in the country, and what we really lack is a comprehensive plan that looks at the neighborhood as a whole. Unfortunately, when a problem gets too big and somewhat out of control, politicians try to find a fix that fits-all and that can have long term implications. I do believe it is feasible to have a general plan on how to promote the construction of the new housing without changing the character of the city in a negative way, however, without a transparent long-term strategy created with the input of the city's residents, these battles for and against new construction are only going to get worse from year to year.
  • Convert some of the existing commercial office space into work/live residencies.
  • Develop mixed-use buildings along our major streets with charming boutique shops on the ground floors with residential units above, thusly creating more living space while providing growth opportunities for our local economy
  • I do firmly believe that large real estate developers and large corporations do not have the city of West Hollywood in their best interest, and I do believe we can ban together to work with our own community members to sustain the character of our city that we all love. Therefore, I refuse to take any campaign contributions from any large corporate real estate developers.
Affordable Housing Plan
  • Demand more funding from the federal government via various programs that are already available and working with our state and private sector partners to bring more opportunities to provide affordable housing.
  • Work with non-profit organizations to build affordable units with a focus to sell to low and moderate-income first-time homeowners.
  • I am advocating for more mixed-use buildings, with businesses on the ground level and residential above, which can also serve to make room for more affordable housing options.
  • While we do have strong rent control rules established, we must address the fact that there are many cases when those rules are not followed or enforced. Many of these affordable living spaces that are rent-controlled units are not well maintained, the amenities are in dire conditions, and tenants do not see any action from the owners to make improvements that are required to provide a safe living environment.
  • Implement stricter enforcement against short-term rentals as they only contribute to increasing rent prices.
  • Re-establish and expand the tenants' advocacy center where renters have access to assistance that will address their complaints, resolve disputes, and obtain guidance to Section-8 programs.
Reducing Traffic Plan
Traffic is a regional problem and even though it has eased a bit during the pandemic we can predict it may go back to worse once all restrictions are lifted.
  • We do now see that when more people are working from home it has an immediate positive effect on the traffic, so I would advocate for the creation of the expansion of available live-and-work residences.
  • Support the WeHO residents, as well as those traveling through, who are choosing cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative transportation, such as helping bicyclists by not just by increasing bike lanes but also providing secure storage for the bicycles when not in use.
  • Create shuttles that run straight along Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards.
    The current free shuttle has a somewhat more complex zigzag route, which makes the ride times longer and less efficient, so by adding a few new direct routes with hop-on-hop-off buses that run on time along these major boulevards, it will become an efficient alternative that would encourage our residents to ditch their cars, as well as make it much easier for tourists to enjoy all the city of West Hollywood has to offer. Think of it as an Uber pool on a shuttle bus, but for free!
Homelessness Plan
It is true that West Hollywood cannot solve the homelessness crisis on its own and that a concerted effort among all municipalities in Los Angeles County is necessary. A big concern is the increase in homelessness as many people are struggling financially these days due to the pandemic and the impending recession to follow, it will surely continue to be an issue.
  • Demand more funding from the federal government and work with our state and private sector partners to address homelessness, the lack of affordable housing, and provide financing for mental healthcare, and substance abuse treatment
  • Support the AIDS Healthcare Foundation efforts to reduce the number of homeless on the street and provide them better health and safety services
  • Those struggling to live from paycheck to paycheck or those that are currently unemployed will need additional monetary assistance if we are to keep them in their current homes, allowing us to remain focused on efforts to find both transitional or permanent housing for our already homeless.
  • One of the promising building options for transitional and affordable permanent housing the county as a whole should be exploring is modular construction. With advances in its manufacturing technology, modular construction is significantly lower in cost and a faster alternative to providing quality housing.
  • Create a boots-on-the-ground outreach program that connects us with those struggling and living on our streets so that we can provide them access to all of the services that are available to them.
  • West Hollywood, Los Angeles, LA County and the State of California should form a coalition where we can pool our resources to tackle the growing issue of homelessness, substance abuse and mental healthcare issues together.
Helping Small Businesses Plan
There is no time like the present to reevaluate West Hollywood's overall economy. It is more urgent than ever to rebalance the city's economy to make it less heavily dependent on hospitality and nightlife.
  • Right now there is no pandemic relief funding available at the city level to assist the small businesses that were affected, therefore the city is beholden to state and federal grant funding, and very often small business owners are unaware of the resources that are available. Work closely with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (WHCC) to provide support for our small businesses and to go after these state and federal grants on their behalf.
  • Diversify our economy by supporting all types of businesses that are integral to the neighborhood's current character and developing opportunities for new industries and business sectors.
  • Create welcoming environments for innovative start-ups and boutique shops alike.
  • Create a small business help center that would provide support and guidance in accessing the various state and federal funding, as well as providing free legal assistance to small businesses for negotiating/renegotiating leases, as well as resolving any outstanding issues or disputes.
  • Provide additional support to the WHCC in their work to support West Hollywood businesses by holding insurance carriers accountable for covering the costs of the damages to businesses as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, by pushing California State legislature to contemplate a bill to override the virus/pandemic exemption, and help negotiate better terms with B2B vendors, for example with those that provide app-based delivery services to local restaurants.
  • Continue to support the WHCC in ongoing efforts to promote and amplify the work, products, and needs of West Hollywood small businesses for our community via local media and online city platforms.
  • Looking towards the future, the creation of a local relief fund for small businesses with a blend of financing options is vital to preserving economic success for the community of West Hollywood.
Economy Plan
West Hollywood's dependence on transient occupancy taxes (TOT or hotel room taxes) makes us especially exposed to the current type of economic downturn. Diversification of the economy is critically important.
  • Support and incentivize the growth of a multitude of businesses, not just digital.
  • Create welcoming environments and incentives to entice innovative start-ups, small businesses, and boutique shops into WeHo.
  • Innovative business centers, such as the Pacific Design Center, could become home to the next generation of media and technology companies, creating their own incubators that could be developing the next generation of technology.
  • Expanding the available space for small businesses, such as new and exciting boutique and artisan shops in our neighborhoods is also very important to providing services to the community and maintaining our city's charm.
  • By creating partnerships with influential groups within the entertainment, tech and tourism industries is the key to bringing more businesses into West Hollywood, from film festivals that attract guests from around the world, to tech conferences, to supporting our small businesses that tap into emerging travel markets.
Cleaner and Greener Plan
Let's make West Hollywood a leading example in clean living!
  • Strictly enforce city's noise ordinances
    Noise pollution is a big problem in our city. We must reevaluate and update the city's noise ordinances and strictly enforce them.
  • Improve the overall cleanliness of West Hollywood, including target power washing the sidewalks.
  • Reduce traffic congestion and noise pollution by way of bike lane expansion and better public transportation options
  • Create more public green spaces, athletic fields, and playgrounds
  • Adopt renewable energy sources in building projects
    Initiate significant incentives for property owners to adopt or switch to renewable sources of the energy such as solar panels, green insulation and smart appliances.
  • It is important that WeHo continues the fight against global climate change.
    Create better recycling options while continuing to educate residents on what everyone can do or change to fight this global crisis.
  • Create more aggressive requirements for new construction within the city to use materials and technology that helps to reduce carbon footprint.
    Building permit costs issued by the city could vary depending on whether the project is using "green' materials and technology.
  • Work with our current trash collectors to improve pick-up of large curbside items
Community, Childcare, Education, And Recreation Plan
A community that learns together works together and socializes together is stronger together!
  • Advocate for local businesses that offer affordable childcare and preschools, and propose creating additional after school programs based in our parks and recreational facilities.
  • Restart a dialogue with the City of Los Angeles regarding the Poinsettia Park & Recreation Center's long-term lease so that WeHo can get an improved park and athletic fields for our residents to use.
  • Create a west Hollywood Cultural and Educational Center that can also house programs for aspiring young leaders that will create a diverse generation that includes members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
    West Hollywood can not just claim to be one of the most progressive cities, but actually be a tangible place where young democratic and progressive leaders can share, debate, and cultivate their ideas.
  • Improve WeHo schools to better serve the families that live in our city, as well as entice more families to move to our community and encourage our current residents who are planning families in the future by creating a family-friendly community.
Transparency And Accountability Plan
Balancing the city budget fairly and thoughtfully, especially amid a financial crisis, is vital to maintaining resources and services for the citizens of West Hollywood.
  • It should be required for any and all registered lobbyists and city vendors and contractors information to be published regularly to the public to reveal any special interest groups and campaign funding that may influence our city government.
    This should expose any conflict of interest and will help us find misused funds in our city budget.
  • The city must streamline its expenses by evaluating its leases of un-owned property and ensuring it falls within the current market rate conditions.
    A fresh eye is needed to assess and possibly postpone non-essential projects.

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Paid for by Mark Farhad Yusupov for West Hollywood City Council 2020 ID #1430113