Kate Kigongo is the Innovation Analyst in the City of West Hollywood’s Economic Development Department and part of the Internal Working Group for Vision 2050.
Participating in the Vision 2050 Internal Working Group is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of West Hollywood. As employees of the City, and professionals in our respective fields, we can lend our expertise to tackling current challenges, envisioning future needs, and sharing our vision for a thriving, equitable, and inclusive city of the future.
The working group started off by reflecting on the Vision 2020 document. So many of the goals of 20 years ago are still relevant today: creating open and public space, being adaptable to future change, and promoting economic development while maintaining business vitality and diversity. It’s great to know our values as a City haven’t changed, and we’ve been able to accomplish so much of what we envisioned.
The WeHo Today report shows a City in transition. While the percentage of renters hasn’t changed much over time, rents have become much more expensive for newcomers. As an employee of the City, this makes me proud our Rent Stabilization Ordinance is a strong as it is. Much of the data supports the work of our incredible fellow staff: strong social services, a focus on helping older adults, and a booming dining and nightlife economy.
I appreciate HR&A’s focus on equity in this report. As a participant on the equity subcommittee, we’ve had an opportunity to discuss voices we don’t hear from at City meetings and around town: accommodation and retail employees, younger residents who reside in West Hollywood only a few years, and families with young children. By bringing their data into new light, we’re able to better serve the whole population of West Hollywood.
The Vision 2050 Internal Working Group is an avenue for those of us serve the City everyday to have a hand in drawing it’s future. I’m grateful to be a part of it and look forward to the rest of the Vision 2050 process.