Lauren Meister became involved with the City of West Hollywood as a neighborhood watch captain, took the LASD Community Emergency Response Team “CERT” training, and attended the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Community Academy. She went on to lead the largest neighborhood association in the city, representing residents on issues such as public safety, traffic circulation, parking, and development. She also worked with former Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz to reduce helicopter noise in their adjoining neighborhoods. Since being elected, Lauren has worked on issues that matter to West Hollywood residents, such as public safety, homelessness, neighborhood-friendly planning policies, increasing green space opportunities, and helping our small business community to thrive.
Housing affordability is a serious problem in the City of West Hollywood and the region in general. Ill-conceived, one-size-fits-all housing policy from the state is leading to the eviction of tenants in rent-stabilized units and their subsequent displacement. As a Councilmember for the City of West Hollywood, Lauren has continually advocated for policies that will help protect the city's existing rent-stabilized buildings and also disincentivize developers from evicting tenants in order to build luxury units. In fact, in 2022, she was the only Councilmember to support a policy that would require one-for-one replacement of rent stabilized units to all be affordable. Lauren will continue to advocate for tenants' welfare and oppose state policies that take away local control.
You should be able to feel safe in your neighborhood, your building, and your home. Lauren believes your safety should be the City’s number one priority, which is why she voted “no” on cutting Sheriff’s deputies and voted “no” on allowing alcohol service in the city until 4 am. Since being elected to West Hollywood City Council, Lauren has worked on improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods and keeping you safe. Lauren continues to make safety her top priority, by pushing to increase the number of Sheriff’s deputies in our city, by supporting technology that assists all of our first responders, and by implementing programs to make the community more prepared for emergencies, natural disasters, and active threats. Lauren has also brought forward initiatives to increase training for sworn Sheriff's personnel and enhance communications to address community concerns.
While the City of West Hollywood has invested extensive time and resources in addressing homelessness, the City depends on its partnership with the County of Los Angeles for Measure H resources. As Mayor, Lauren requested that the County provide: additional Mental Evaluation Teams (MET) resources, additional funding to cities that are making progress on homelessness through dedicated local resources, advocacy at the state level for flexibility in conservatorship laws, and support for efforts to expand/clarify the definition of “gravely disabled” to help agencies better meet the needs of individuals seeking service. As many in the homeless population suffer from mental illness and/or substance misuse, it is crucial that the County prioritize adaptive reuse of underutilized buildings countywide for the purpose of creating interim, transitional, and permanent housing with wrap-around services, as well as participate in Governor Newsom’s new state program, Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court.
In February 2010, Lauren was invited by then Congressman Henry Waxman (D-California) to testify on Capitol Hill before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. She served as a key witness at the hearing, which examined proposed increases in health insurance premium rates by Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. The hearing and witness testimony received national attention and highlighted the importance of the healthcare reform debate.
To view Lauren's testimony recorded on C-SPAN, click here (at 1:04:00).
Community resilience refers to the ability of a community to prepare for, withstand, and recover from shocks or stresses, such as natural disasters, climate change, economic downturns, public health crises, and other disruptions. Lauren believes that resilience planning is a critical role of local government. Building resilience to hazards requires a comprehensive approach that involves a range of stakeholders — from local government to state and federal government agencies, to non-governmental organizations, businesses, and neighborhoods, as well as individual community members.
To learn more, click here.