2015 West Hollywood City Council Special Election Endorsement: John Heilman

Election day: Tuesday, June 2, 7am-8pm
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On Tuesday, June 2nd, West Hollywood will hold a special election to fill the seat of former West Hollywood City Councilmember Jeffrey Prang, who was elected to become the Los Angeles County Assessor last Fall. Bike the Vote L.A. endorses John Heilman for this seat. Earlier this year, we highlighted John Heilman as a bike-friendly candidate – within a very crowded field of twelve – for one of three open council seats (link). Now, after a narrow defeat, he is back with a chance to add a critical bike-friendly voice to the West Hollywood City Council.

John Heilman has an exceptional history of serving his city: he is a founder of the City of West Hollywood, who went on to serve on the City Council for more than 30 years. Heilman was the leading voice on the council for making West Hollywood a better place to commute by bike and pushed for the addition of bike lanes in the redesign of Santa Monica Blvd in the western part of the city. He was a supporter of the West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force’s recommendations in 2011, which helped ensure bike lanes were installed during a resurfacing of San Vicente Blvd and supported installation of numerous bike racks throughout the City. He is a proponent for bringing a bike share system to West Hollywood, which would be a great step for local and regional mobility.

While the three other candidates in this election have expressed some encouraging comments about bicycling to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition (link), we’ve also seen some misguided focus on encouraging automotive transportation for short trips by further subsidizing car parking. Heilman has recognized that the most effective way to reduce car traffic is to make it easier to choose other options, including shuttles to the planned Metro Purple Line Extension (link), long-term transit improvements (link), safe biking infrastructure (link), and wider sidewalks (link).

With his track record for safe streets and commitment to further complete streets improvements for all of West Hollywood, Heilman will be a great addition to a forward-thinking West Hollywood City Council. We endorse John Heilman as a clear choice for residents seeking a more livable and vibrant West Hollywood.