Beverly Hills City Council Race Officially Kicks Off
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 6:05 pm
By Bianca Heyward
On Jan. 5, hundreds of residents came out to show their support for the candidates running in the upcoming election for Beverly Hills City Council. Cars lined the streets in the flats of Beverly Hills on the warm Sunday afternoon, where voters parked blocks away to hear candidates speak at their respective campaign kickoff events.
The candidates running for the two City Council seats in March of this year include Councilwoman Lili Bosse, Councilman Julian A. Gold, M.D., Commissioner Lori Greene Gordon, Rabbi Sidney Green, and technologist Robin Rowe. City Council incumbents whose seats are up for election belong to Bosse and Gold, who have both served two four-year terms and are running for a third.
The Courier has confirmed with Mayor John A. Mirisch that he has officially endorsed Bosse and Gordon in the election. Additionally, the Beverly Hills Firefighters ‘ Association has endorsed Bosse and Gold.
Bosse, Gordon and Gold held kickoff events replete with balloon garlands and food platters, hosting as many as 500 people.
Gold’s event was decorated with green and gold balloons, yard banners, hats, branded hand sanitizers, and campaign pins that read, “I’m sold on Julian Gold.” Voters were greeted with goodies and ushered in to shake hands with Gold and pose for a photo with the incumbent candidate behind a custom backdrop. Gold is a physician who has lived in Beverly Hills for 25 years and served as Mayor in 2015 and again in 2018.
He addressed the crowd and began by saying, “The first thing I think about when I think about Beverly Hills is that it’s perfect. At the very first level, the streets are paved, the water works, the electricity works.
We layer on that a second level of achievement the City has had is that we’re fortunate to be able to provide. We just renovated our library; we have a crime impact team and can run programs like ‘Stop the Bleed’ and CPR. We can afford nurse practitioners. By being fiscally responsible, we have been able to provide services that most cities dream of.” If re-elected, Gold intends to focus on continuing to promote advances in public safety by working closely with first responders, and advocate for a police substation at the La Cienega Metro stop.
Gordon, who has served on the Planning Commission for the past five years and was appointed chair in 2017-2018, had pink and white balloons festooned across the front lawn, along with several banners.
Campaign volunteers eagerly handed out branded swag including pink and white ballpoint pens, pins, and sticky notepads. An array of sweet and savory foods was laid out in a buffet surrounded by bright pink tables and white folding chairs. The candidate herself wore a pink skirt suit that matched that exact shade of pink. Gordon’s campaign told the Courier roughly 300 people attended the kickoff.
Gordon has been a resident of Beverly Hills for 50 years and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. She is a businesswoman who received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Business. Gordon told the Courier, “I looked at my background, my experience, and I am uniquely qualified in positions to step into the seat in the city council. The current pair of incumbents that are running have been here for nine years, and they’ve done a very fine job, but as you get to a certain stage in a political career, sometimes an alternative viewpoint or alternative perspective is very important,” Gordon told the Courier.
Gordon is running her campaign with a focus on issues that include City expenditures, cut through traffic on the south side of the City, the need to bring in new commercial opportunities, and protecting residential neighborhoods. “I think the kinds of money that people pay in fees and in their property taxes and all the things that comprise the resident portion of the general fund, should very judiciously be spent by our city council, and right now, I don’t know if that’s the case,” Gordon said. “So that’s another thing I want to look into.”
Meanwhile, the line to get into Councilwoman Lili Bosse’s Linden Drive kickoff event spilled out onto the sidewalk. Supporters greeted each other cheerfully, as campaign volunteers in bright orange T-shirts passed around sign-in sheets and campaign buttons. After making their way past a bright orange balloon archway, attendees found themselves elbow-to-elbow in an energy-filled house and garden area. Inside, a large deli spread beckoned, as did a candy table laden with orange jelly beans, licorice and gummy bears in decorative glass containers. With a crowd estimated at 500 people, it was at times hard to spot the candidate in the crowd, even with her vibrant orange blazer. Supporters swarmed around her on the expansive back yard lawn, where she posed for photos along with a life-size Lili Bosse cutout.
Bosse served as Mayor of Beverly Hills from March 2014 to March 2015, as well as from March 2017 to March 2018. Her substantial achievements — and new goals for the City — formed the framework of her kickoff speech. “We need to begin the new decade with 20/20 vision. We have a strengthened smoking ordinance and have the first tobacco sale ban of anywhere in the world. We have rent stabilization and we’ve established the new City auditor. We have restored our Beverly Gardens Park, and we have done all of this keeping first in mind the residential quality of life and the business quality of life,” said Bosse.
The crowd cheered when Bosse reminded them of the Monday Walk with the Mayor program she re-established. And she spoke of new initiatives, such as one called “Just in Case.” “It is so important that in case of an emergency, we all know what to do,” said Bosse. “If there is an emergency, a fire, an earthquake, something, we have to be not only the healthiest city in the world and the safest city in the world, but we have to be the most prepared city in the world. I can assure you with the ‘Just in Case’ program we will be a world-renowned city that is ready for anything and other cities will follow.”