West Hollywood Voters Enact Term Limits Over Opposition From City Insiders
Yesterday, the voters of West Hollywood, in what the Los Angeles Times has characterized as a "milestone" vote, overwhelmingly passed Measure C, a local city measure to institute term limits on their city council. The unofficial tally was 2,690 votes for Measure C, and 1,653 against. The measure was passing in all 11 of the city's precincts.
Measure C was a citizen-led effort by residents and activists in West Hollywood who were seeking a more responsive city government. Of the five council members, four of them have served over a decade in office - some much longer than that. The Measure C was, of course, opposed by all of the "power players" in West Hollywood, who prefer the current system where they simply re-elect the incumbents over and over again.
"The local leaders for term limits in West Hollywood should be proud of their successful efforts," said Jon Fleischman, President of California Term Limits. "Despite being outspent, Measure C passed by a wide margin -- demonstrating yet again that if given the opportunity to place term limits on their elected officials, voters will do so."
"We're grateful for the support of California Term Limits to help us qualify our initiative for the ballot in West Hollywood," said West Hollywood term limits leader, Scott Schmidt. "Their support is a vote of confidence in our volunteer effort. California Term Limits understands that whether it is in West Hollywood or Sacramento, elected officials need an expiration date, or else they lose their focus and ambition and become too cozy with donors and lobbyists."
At the request of West Hollywood Term Limits leaders, Californians for term limits made the largest expenditure in the qualification phase of the measure, deploying signature gatherers throughout the city to help alert voters to their opportunity to place term limits on the ballot -- retaining one of California's top firms for the job - GOCO consultants.
Measure C limits West Hollywood Council Members to three four-year terms. California Term Limits strongly prefers and endorses a two-term limit for local officials, but by the time our organization had the opportunity to assist, it was not possible to go back and re-submit the measure.
California Term Limits, which promotes citizen activism, supports term limits for politicians at every level of government for three core reasons:
- Every politician should ultimately have to return back to private life and live under the laws and regulations that they have promulgated while in office.
- Special interest groups so dominate the political process that often an election to office would become a lifetime gig, as their special interests keep re-electing incumbents.
- We believe that with term limits in place, instead of attracting career politicians, we attract citizen representatives who are more in touch with the people.