The famously liberal city of West Hollywood in California could be taking a more moderate turn after this year’s midterm elections, with residents voting for candidates backed by the local police department and chamber of commerce over young incumbents. progressives.
“It has always been seen as very progressive, but a lot of the residents are also aging towards more moderate positions,” Jessica Levinson, a professor of election law at Loyola Law School, told MSN West Hollywood in a report Saturday.
Levinson’s comments come as the city’s ultra-progressive city council has apparently faced pushback from voters in this month’s midterm elections, most notably on criminal justice issues.
John Heilman was a city councilman for 36 years and was once part of what the Times called California’s “one of the most liberal in the state.” Helped usher in a new era of progressive politics for the city in the mid-1980s as a member of the nation’s first city council with an openly gay majority, passing rent control policies, eviction limits and bans of discrimination against gay residents.
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Heilman lost his council seat to two younger, more liberal candidates after the 2020 election, a result that led the city to take an even bigger turn to the left in the past two years.
But the policies now appear to face pushback from city voters, with Heilman in a strong position to reclaim her seat as the final votes are counted. Heilman and moderate Mayor Lauren Meister were endorsed by local law enforcement and the Chamber of Commerce and have been given a 3,718 and 5,770 vote advantage, respectively.
“When I was first elected in 1984, I never dreamed that I would still have the opportunity to serve the community today,” Heilman told MSN, arguing that city residents wanted “council members to focus on public safety , lack of housing and basic services” and that “see the work of the city in collaboration with the business community”.
The results may signal a pushback against the younger, more liberal council, which recently voted to cut police department cuts and implement what was at the time the highest minimum wage in the country.
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With concerns about rising crime across the country, Levinson argued that even some progressives could be more moderate when it comes to their safety.
“Progressive and non-progressive don’t always neatly resolve criminal justice issues,” Levinson told MSN. “When people feel their security is threatened in some way, they tend not to vote as liberally as they otherwise would.”