DEI is encoded in the blueprint for WeHo’s next 30 years

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Since 1990, the supposed guiding light of West Hollywood government has been the Strategic Plan, a sprawling document that broadly outlines a vision for the city and contains things like mission statements and goal points. It’s been 23 years since West Hollywood revised its plan, a process which was supposed to start in 2020 but was delayed by COVID. 

City Hall is now ready to resume work on the project, which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, inform city decisions for decades into the future and leave WeHo with DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) dogma essentially written into its DNA. 

Compiling a Strategic Plan is laborious, expensive work that requires a lot of time, participation — and consultants. Workshopping and brainstorming are major features. The finished plan is meant to be thorough and comprehensive, and its goals are supposed to reflect what the community as a whole wants.

Whether WeHo’s Strategic Plan will line up with the future its citizens want is difficult to predict.

But City Council will likely press go on Monday evening, when city staff will propose putting the project in the hands of three consultants, primarily architectural powerhouse Gensler.

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The proposal directs these consultants to embark upon a familiar slew of research industry activities — focus groups, surveys, studies, listening sessions, outreach — each of which comes with a formidable price tag.

Gensler is charging $225,000 to lead the project and is responsible for delivering City Hall with the actual, finished Strategic Plan — but first, a packed schedule of case studies ($12,000), popup workshops ($4,000 for three) and presentations ($3,000). Gensler will also oversee the work of the two other consultants, Designing in Color and FM3.

Designing in Color, a “collective of architects and designers of culture,” is tasked with doing a deep dive into the city’s current DEI practices, after which they’ll “provide an assessment of gaps and opportunities.” They’ll start by assembling “key community stakeholders” and hosting a 2.5-hour workshop on how to “dismantle racism, bigotry, and gender/sex based bias entrenched in the built environment and communities” — both covered by the $28,250 budget for phase one.

Each phase promises a list of deliverables that are mostly intangible and often indecipherable, such as:

  • “A roadmap for the themes and opportunities to explore for the community organizing process based on assessed data with prime consultant and city.”
  • “Translation and manifestation assurance that feedback gathered in outreach meetings is accurately conveyed to prime consultants and corresponds in the planning documents.”
  • “Identification and implementation of location-specific spaces for marginalized identities involved in the project”
  • “A series of site and spatial drawings highlighting key community voices and relationships found during community organizing process”
  • “The development of imagery that repositions power, place, and privileges of WeHo’s image and identify of community/visitors”

Designing in Color’s work will cost taxpayers $130,290.

Finally, the city is looking to sign a nearly $30,000 contract with firm FM3 to conduct a series of polls.

Absent in the staff report is information on the positive outcomes, if any, of adopting city’s first two Strategic Plans. 

Leave an e-comment regarding this item or sign up to speak at the meeting,
which starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in Council Chambers at West Hollywood Library.

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Val
Val
4 months ago

LOL at all these people complaining. Sorry, but you’ll take it AND like it. You don’t have the cajones to do anything about it. So either leave or continue to take it. Oh wait, you won’t leave either. So there is NOTHING you can or will do.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
4 months ago

DEI is dying everywhere else, but WeHo won’t give it up!
Universities and corporations are realizing it isn’t accomplishing what they intended and have, in fact, created a monster. They are getting rid of their diversity departments and appear to be giving the concept of merit its rightful place in the system.

Kevin
Kevin
4 months ago

This is yet another pure B.S. waste of OUR money by the “enlightened” City Council. Is there no end or resolution to this madness? West Hollywood has always been inclusive and accepting without prejudices. We do not need to spend hundreds of thousands of OUR dollars on studying and researching it. Sadly, I am beginning to feel that the only way out of this years long mess – created by multiple City Councils – is to “cancel” the City of West Hollywood, without losing our culture, and return to the City of Los Angeles. It would save millions and millions of dollars and… Read more »

Not Intelligent
Not Intelligent
4 months ago

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) seems the opposite of what our country’s leaders sought to envision. The latest stampede appears to intensify exclusion and if you will, a new phase of segregation and victimhood. Strive for the highest universal ideals.

The elements of this Strategic Plan take the city in the wrong direction by increasing the participants opportunity for preferential treatment.

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
4 months ago

When the charge of racism is made allllll discussion ends and we twist ourselves like pretzels to make amends! There may be 1% of actual racism for every claim of it. There is power and money to be made in victimology, and being a victim of racism pays the most. I stopped buying into that a long time ago.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

There is a reason someone like you works tirelessly to discredit actual instances of racism.

Shame on you

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

What actual instances of racism did I discredit?

The Real Zam
4 months ago

This reads like a series of right-wing talking points on One America News.

Why isn’t this marked as editorial?

questioningeyedguy
questioningeyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  The Real Zam

Editorial is opinion. This article states facts. I think the sky is beautiful is an editorial. The sky is blue is a fact.

The Real Megillah
The Real Megillah
4 months ago
Reply to  The Real Zam

What does the LA Times reporting sound like you?

The Real Zam
4 months ago

Editorials also contain facts. I might suggest you study journalism or defend a doctoral thesis before you attempt to lecture me with your statement which is clearly inaccurate. If you have done either, I suggest you brush up on your education. Just like an educated person would know that the sky is not always blue, in fact it is not blue more than 50% of the time. At night, it is black. On cloudy days, it is either white or grey. Other conditions can make the sky several other colors. My comment is not related to the LA times, conflating… Read more »

Awareness
Awareness
4 months ago
Reply to  The Real Zam

Whoa!!!!! The question seems, regardless of geographic direction from hence they come is were they substantive?

voter
voter
4 months ago

This is institutionalized racism. The anti-white sentiment is scary but kind of pathetic.

:dpb
:dpb
4 months ago

I have major concerns about West Hollywood’s current leadership deciding on anything related to this future blue print.

Elyse Eisenberg
Elyse Eisenberg
4 months ago

Why is Gensler leading this project?!?! They are an architectural firm. This isn’t what they do. https://www.gensler.com/projects/all
Their only raison d’etre for being a part of this would be to identify commercial parcels that could be developed – and hope to get the commissions. As if we don’t already have enough enormous developments going on all over the city. 
This is no different from a lobbyist being involved with hiring our new Community Development Director. Someone needs to investigate who decided Gensler should be the lead on this.

The Real Zam
4 months ago

I think there may be some details missing here as there are other firms involved. Inclusivity does, in fact, involve architecture. This is especially applicable to the area of accessibility. If the city wishes to improve accessibility beyond the minimum standards required by code, they will need to engage the public as part of the cost benefit analysis.

Awareness
Awareness
4 months ago
Reply to  The Real Zam

Perhaps you may have confused inclusivity with awareness inherent in the design of most credible architects beyond code requirements.

Crookies
Crookies
4 months ago

Diversity Inclusion & Equity (DIE yt ppo)

Thomas S
Thomas S
4 months ago

Unbelievable nonsense all done to look politically correct meaning politically ignorant

JF1
JF1
4 months ago

What a bunch of expensive crap… All on the taxpayers dime.

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