The WeHo for the People candidate forum introduced residents to Sarah Adolphson-Reimer. Adolphson is a resident of Kings Road and a business owner with offices on Norwich Drive. WEHOville went to meet the rising star on the afternoon after her performance that had everyone in the city talking.
Adolphson is a straight married woman, small business owner and long-term West Hollywood resident. While we had not seen or heard Sarah speak on the issues before her debut last night, she was well informed and had telegenic charisma. She is beautiful and smart.
WEHOville received a number of texts such as “WHOOOOO is Sarah!”
Another text: ” I looooved Sarah.
And yet another comment from an involved resident: “She should stay involved and run in two years, I’d even vote for her against Joe Biden.”
Adolphson’s pitch-perfect tone, warm demeanor and practical, to-the-point perspective lifted the spirit of the debate that anything is possible in the magical city of West Hollywood.
My dream, when founding the term limits initiative, that the voices of the people could rise was awakened. There are new leaders prepared to serve. Some of them have full-time jobs and cannot play politics every day but are “compelled to serve.”
So I set off to meet Sarah. She welcomed me into her office on Norwich Drive. Her team was all busy working.
Sarah, congratulations on an incredible performance last night. Who are you?
I can go all the way back … I was born and grew up in Saratoga, California. My father was always active in the community, he ran for school board. (She shows me an old campaign button of his she found recently and smiles). He ran for school board while I was in elementary school and stayed all the way to my high school graduation. We were very active in the community. I was on the youth commission and worked with the City Council to make sure there were services for the young people in our community, which is also about 35,000 people.
When did you move to West Hollywood ?
My West Hollywood story….. I came down to L.A., went to USC for my undergrad in journalism. I got assigned my junior year, everybody got assigned a city, and I was assigned West Hollywood. I’ll be honest … was a little disappointed, I wanted something a little grittier, something that could really tell a story about. And then I found out West Hollywood had a special story. It has a really special story. I would sit at the city council meetings. Everybody was full of love, full of light. There was interesting stories, there was interesting people, there was no crime. For my crime blog there was a purse snatching. And I thought; ‘This is where I’m going to move as soon as I’m done with college.’ This was the kind of community that I grew up in.
Where do you live now?
North Kings Road. I ended up joining the Peace Corps right after college. I was in the Republic of Georgia for two years, then came back and went straight to West Hollywood. Here is where I’ve been ever since. We moved upstairs from a 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom but I didn’t want to leave North Kings Road.
You have a partner, or a husband?
I found a husband. I met him 2006, shortly after I moved here. Then he moved down from Sacramento. We did long distance. I met him through his Peace Corps friends.
What does he do for work?
He works for real estate finance, he works with developers.
Is that a good thing?
It is a good thing. He gives me a perspective that I don’t have any information or experience in. I’ve learned a lot about developments through him. He is more residential than he is commercial.
So from left field all of a sudden you decided to pull papers and run. What was that motivating, ‘I’m going to do this? ‘
Well I told you about why I fell in love with West Hollywood back when I was in college and studying it. And I lived here and I loved it and then it just took a turn. For the lack of a better term, I don’t know if it was the pandemic, I’m sure it was a mixture of the pandemic and leadership. But we are just focusing on the wrong problems. West Hollywood to me feels like a small town in a big city. I know all my neighbors. I know everyone with a dog within many blocks where I live. Now I don’t feel safe walking my dogs at night. The homeless problem is really bad. It’s not a housing issue. These people are severely mentally ill and we are not taking care of them. They are also making us feel very threatened. We need to do something about that. And then when I heard we are cutting the sheriff department when crime is at an all time high. It’s when I went for it.
Excellent… Your campaign came late to the game. Do you have the funds to compete?
I have zero dollars right now. But I have a lot of friends and family that have pledged support. I should be getting my ID number any day now and open a bank account and be able to fundraise. I’m not going to compete with the folks who have $200,000 raised. I’m a grass roots kind of person. My entire career has been focused on social impact and leveraging limited resources to make a difference in the world. I’m going to take that experience and apply that to my campaign.
Do you have a website set up?
So what is your three biggest issues? Where you been?
I’ve been building a business which is a lot of work but my team is excellent and we are in a really great place to where I can make space to fight for the City of West Hollywood, the same way I fight for my clients.
What kind of business are you in?
Philanthropy. We are a social impact agency. We started off as an agency for celebrities to be able to leverage their celebrity and their influence and their finances for good. I used to run the foundation at William Morris Endeavor, Talent agency. I was working at the time with Lady Gaga and was able to launch Artemis with her as a client and help the Born this Way Foundation. We’ve expanded since, my business partner has worked a long time with Al Gore on his client work, and she brought him into the fold and some others. There are some articles I can share with you.
Any thoughts of the debate last night?
I thought it was interesting. There are so many of us that it’s very hard to get to the heart of any these issues. Trying to solve homelessness in 60 seconds is not easy. I’ve been been working in philanthropy for over 20 years. I have worked with a number of homeless organizations. I can talk about that and my thoughts and my experiences but 60 seconds was not enough to get out all of my ideas and perspectives on that.
Do you have any events planned?
We are working on them. One of them is definitely going to be a service day. I want one of my things to be focused on cleaning the city and picking up trash. Doing good things for West Hollywood. That’s who i am.
I want to run as green as a campaign as I can. I realize it cant be perfect. But that is important to me as well. But I will be sharing on my instagram. And if people subscribe on my website I’ll be sending out mailers of when we are going to get together.