Measure C is a ballot measure for term limits for the City of West Hollywood. Measure C would establish a limit of three, four-year terms for city councilmembers. It is modeled on the 12-year term limits adopted for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and many cities across California.
Measure C was placed on the ballot by dedicated community leaders. Over 60 West Hollywood residents volunteered to collect signatures in order to get term limits on the ballot. Nearly 3,500 West Hollywood residents signed the petition.
YES on Measure C volunteers are from all walks of life; however, we all agree on at least one thing—West Hollywood needs term limits!
Term limits is certainly not a new concept. In fact, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson supported congressional term limits “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office...”
And, as recently as January 2013, a Gallup poll showed that 75 percent of Americans are in favor of term limits for our elected officials in DC. Yes, even among my fellow Democrats, a strong majority, 65 percent, said they would support term limits.
Term limits have led to more diversity among public officials—making city, county and state governments more representative of the people. Term limits create opportunities that would have been unavailable otherwise.
Non-incumbent community leaders, even experienced ones, face severe disadvantages when up against incumbents who have held their office for over 12 years. The power of incumbency cannot be underestimated.
And, with our current system of no term limits, little is done to mentor qualified candidates because seated council members, who can keep their seats for life, have no incentive to do so. The current system fails in that it neither embraces nor encourages community leadership.
West Hollywood is a unique city that many different people (homeowners and tenants, young, middle aged and senior, LGBT and straight, Democrats, Republicans and Independents) consider home. Having a stake in the community is vital to all of us. That is why we became a city in the first place. But West Hollywood is at a crossroads and we must think about our city’s future.
Our city’s future must not be dependent upon any one individual but, rather, must rely on an informed and engaged community that cultivates a constant stream of bright, eager and involved community leaders.
A community is a living, growing, ever-changing entity. Its governing body must continually be injected with new blood to keep it vibrant and fresh. Unfortunately, our long-time West Hollywood councilmembers are satisfied with the status quo.
Term limits, YES on Measure C, will result in a more active citizenry, and a happier and healthier city for all.