Abbe Land honored as trailblazer by Hollywood NOW

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Former West Hollywood Mayor and Councilmember Abbe Land was honored at the eighth annual Hollywood NOW HERstory Awards & Reception on March 13, celebrating her substantial contributions to the community and her pioneering efforts in various social justice issues.

The event, which took place Wednesday evening in the WeHo Library’s community meeting room, drew attention to Land’s impactful career and her role as a stalwart advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, affordable housing, healthcare access, and civil liberties.

Abbe Land, who initially moved to West Hollywood in the late 1970s with aspirations to become an actress, was influenced by the activist-driven films of the time, particularly those starring Jane Fonda. While her career path shifted from acting, her engagement in social issues deepened, particularly when she encountered housing instability and became involved with the Coalition for Economic Survival. This experience galvanized her participation in the campaign for West Hollywood’s cityhood and her eventual election to the City Council in 1986, where she served multiple terms and five times as mayor. 

During her time in office, Land championed progressive policies on rent control, affordable housing, and women’s issues, contributing significantly to the city’s inclusive and diverse character. She also played a pivotal role in the city’s response to the AIDS crisis, drawing a parallel to the urgency seen in more recent health crises like COVID-19 but highlighting the lack of immediate action during the AIDS epidemic due to societal prejudice.

Land’s activism extends beyond her political career, with significant leadership roles in various nonprofit organizations, including The Trevor Project and the Saban Community Clinic, emphasizing her commitment to mission-driven work. Her consulting firm continues to support nonprofits in strategic planning and management, furthering her impact on critical social issues.

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Her influence and mentorship have been recognized and appreciated by many, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath and West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson, both acknowledging Land’s role in their own paths to public service. The accolades she received during the HERstory Awards, including reflections on her achievements and contributions, underscore her legacy as a transformative figure in West Hollywood and beyond.

Alisa Williams, Policy Development & Program Implementation director for the county’s Women’s & Girls Initiative, celebrated Land as a joyful and masterful leader who excels in running meetings with engaging ice breakers. During her tenure as the executive director for the Los Angeles County Women and Girls Initiative, Land influenced significant policy changes for reproductive health and law enforcement training standards, contributing to gender equity advancements across various sectors in the county. Williams said that Land’s impact endures, reflecting her unwavering commitment to fostering connections and advocating for gender equity.

“Abby will never retire,” Williams said. “She has too many great things that she still has left to do.”

Land graciously accepted the award while reflecting on her past as an activist.

“I’m so honored to have this, but oh my goodness, the work is not done,” Land said. “And I am sorry that we all, if some of you thought you were getting to stop, it’s not going to happen because we have to continue to do the work that we do. We have to make things better. And we will because you know what, I can’t accept that we can’t. So just know that. I do want to take one moment; it’s so nice to see so many of you, and I thank you for your friendship. I thank you for your activism. I thank you for being there when I need you, and I’m so happy I can be there when you need me.”

Hollywood NOW is a chapter of the National Organization for Women, focused on advocating for women’s rights and addressing issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and anti-discrimination within the Los Angeles area and specifically within the entertainment industry. It conducts events, advocacy, and educational initiatives to promote these causes. Hollywood NOW also engages in activities supporting legislation for gender equality and organizes events like the HERstory Awards to recognize women’s achievements.

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WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 month ago

Quoting Steve Martin from a Wehoville article, November 10, 2014, “Back in 1994 Abbe solicited $13,000 in campaign contributions for her first Assembly bid from the House of Blues after voting to let the night club open with a 3,000 person capacity with only sixty on site parking spaces. The uproar resulted in her deciding not to run for re-election.” Some “trailblazer”.

Too Funny
Too Funny
1 month ago

Looks like a real glamorous event. I bet there was also a huge crowd gathered outside to meet the fleet of limousines & see the stars arrive. lol

West
1 month ago

Abbe Land: “My body, my choice! Unless you’re unvaccinated, then become homeless and die!”

Dan
Dan
1 month ago

Nepotism again, Hollywood Now was founded by Lindsey Horvath, who appointed by Abbe Alan’s. John Erickson then served as the president of hollywood now, and Karen Ayers, another Horvath employee who lives off her positions in non profits. They get all fees waived on their events, Erickson and Byers even voted to pay the volunteers who participate in the vagina monologues and the city of West Hollywood give the money. Abbe’s self centered mission has left the rest of us behind.

Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

I was in the cast of the vagina monologues in 2020 and no one offered to pay me a penny. I did it just because it was a cool experience and a lot of fun. I played the part of “the angry vagina,“ and looking back on it I guess that’s pretty on target. Lol!

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

There are so many dots connecting the incestuous cabal that is party politics, elected and appointed offices, and the non-profits that form unseemly alliances and insular cliques. So many revolving doors that need to be bolted shut. These self-congratulatory stunts and the sycophancy attendant to them are performative back-scratching exercises that have become trite and mundane. Witness the diarrhea of proclamations emanating from the council dais. There’s no there there.

David Reid
David Reid
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Often your words sing. And are welcomed. Here they drip with bitterness and misuse ,actually. I’m no grammarian but I know you can’t use a noun to modify a noun. a word sputter, I suspect.
I attended this event because I find Abbe Land a big plus and a positive force. From her first election last century.
The bitterness in your rant is telling.
For relationships not to evolve and grow would be a woeful world. It becomes understandable why you are not taking up the calls for you to run for office.

Carleton cro9nin
1 month ago

Long way from Worcester, Abbe. Heartiest congratulations..well done. With affection… Carl.

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