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Mito Aviles for West Hollywood City Council

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:32 am - March 1, 2011.
Filed under: Entrepreneurs,LA Stories

“Politics,” they say, “makes strange bedfellows.”  After surveying the candidates for City Council in West Hollywood, I have found only one who views even come close resemble my own, but a number of others who have similar concerns about the problems facing our “urban village.”  In choosing candidates to vote for (we can vote for up to three), I find mostly men (none of the challengers are female) with political views, at least on national issues, that are (often) polar opposites to my own.

Yet, when it comes to the burdens the City of West Hollywood places on entrepreneurs, I find common ground with at least two of the challengers, one of whom has an unfortunate record when it comes to Sarah Palin.  Indeed, it is that stunt which almost prevented me from withholding my support, much less my vote, from Mito Aviles, but after meeting with him last Friday and considering our conversation about small business, I decided not just to give him my vote, but to endorse him as well.

I am not backing him for federal —  or even state — office, but to serve as one of five councilors here in West Hollywood.  He has experienced both on a personal level — and in conversations with friends and associates — just how the incumbents have failed local small business owners.  Mito Aviles has seen the increasing numbers of shuttered storefronts along our main commercial thoroughfare, Santa Monica Boulevard, and recounts local entrepreneurs’ tales of woe as busybody city officials seek to enforce gratuitous ordinances and collect exorbitant fees.  One entrepreneur was fined for trying to put his name on a storefront.  Others were cited for covering more than 25% of his display window.  (Just how do they measure that, I wonder?  Does it count as covering if they use translucent lettering?)

In West Hollywood, Mito laments, you “can’t have creative signage.”   Or sandwich boards.  He points out that process of getting permits approved takes far too long, saying that it shouldn’t take three or six months for such approval and asking why the city puts up so many “roadblocks for small business.”  He wants to streamline the permit process to “make it more efficient so people aren’t turned off.”

His campaign, he told me, is “about fostering and promoting small business here in West Hollywood.”

For the record, during our conversation, I tried to change his mind about Sarah Palin, detailing her accomplishments in her rise to political power in Alaska.  He was unpersuaded, but did remind me that she is “not an issue in this city.”  He also asked why I was a Republican and I outlined my commitment to freedom, pointing out that our party has similar concerns on a national level to those he has on a local level, challenging the capricious actions of a meddlesome state.

To be sure, Mito has worked for one Democrat, then-Congresswoman, now U.S. Labor Secretary, Hilda L. Solis who has long been a strong advocate of a more meddlesome federal government.  But, I am, I repeat, not endorsing Mito for federal office.  I’m endorsing him for West Hollywood City Council.  Simply put, we need a man with business experience on a council dominated by community activist types, those more concerned with the ideology of community activism than the reality of marketing goods and services to a fickle and discriminating public.  The incumbents see entrepreneurs not as imaginative individuals, creating jobs and promoting development, but as wealthy profiteers, who need the benign guidance of sage councilors to do the right thing for their community and who can provide the needed resources for the lavish benefits these sage office-holders offer city employees.

Mito is far from perfect, but is well aware of the growing distance between West Hollywood’s elected officials and its entrepreneurs, those who have long provided the life-blood of this city.  We need someone with business experience on city council, a man aware of the challenges facing those creative types who move here to set up shop and market their “cutting-edge” wares to an artistic and often iconoclastic community.  Mito Aviles is such a person.  And that is why I, despite differing with him on a number of issues, am endorsing him for West Hollywood City Council.

If you live here, join me on March 8 in voting for Mito Aviles.

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12 Comments

  1. sounds more like overregulation than anything else is the problem. and that means more than just streamlining the process.

    Comment by The Griper — March 1, 2011 @ 5:03 am - March 1, 2011

  2. Sounds good. Even if he fights and loses, it’s still better than having a yes man on the council.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — March 1, 2011 @ 6:36 am - March 1, 2011

  3. Unfortunately my sample ballot arrived yesterday and the process of requesting and receiving an absentee ballot will take about twenty days It will be about March 30th when the returned ballot by the city clerk´s office, long after the election. I wanted to vote for ¨Manny ¨Aldano for Seat No 5 of the LACC District. I knew him from the LA Republican County Central Committee. I see that he is an incumbent. I´m glad to see that. We need more Republicans to get elected to school and college boards to undo the damage done by the left and their hate America agenda and promoting PC.(Christianity is bas and Islam is good) when it is not warranted. Kids that attended Belmont High knew about the 14th Amendment but noting about the Bill of Rights.

    Comment by Roberto — March 1, 2011 @ 11:43 am - March 1, 2011

  4. Griper, believe me, he wants to do more than just streamline the process; he also wants to reduce the regulations.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 1, 2011 @ 1:04 pm - March 1, 2011

  5. Who are the other four councilors, and what are their positions in comparison to Mr. Aviles? Would this become a 4-1 split, or will Mr. Aviles become the 3d vote?

    Comment by DaveO — March 1, 2011 @ 9:39 pm - March 1, 2011

  6. Hmm… maybe if he can see the problem with meddlesome local government, he’ll come around on a state and federal level eventually.

    I’ve found this recent City Council election to be an eye opener to many of my supposed Republican hating friends.

    If you don’t mention the word “republican” but discuss ideas with them, especially relating to the hated city council, they almost always agree. Whether it be the onerous city requirements for small businesses, or the ridiculous smoking ban, or any other issues that have to do with freedom and being left alone.

    Comment by Chris H — March 1, 2011 @ 9:39 pm - March 1, 2011

  7. Chris H, in many ways, you are anticipating my next post on our adopted home town. :-)

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 1, 2011 @ 10:27 pm - March 1, 2011

  8. Dan,

    What’s your take on Scott Schmidt? He’s the only Republican (and he’s gay, too) running for the West Hollywood City Council.

    http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/02/scott_schmidt_west_hollywood.php

    Comment by James — March 1, 2011 @ 11:25 pm - March 1, 2011

  9. James, all I can say for now is keep your eyes on the blog. :-)

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 1, 2011 @ 11:26 pm - March 1, 2011

  10. Yeah Dan, do you ENDORSE Scott or NOT? Sorry, I cannot endorse this moron (MITO), especially since I didn’t hear an APOLOGY for what he did.

    Comment by Jesse — March 2, 2011 @ 3:08 am - March 2, 2011

  11. Mito and his partner put up an effigy of Sarah Palin back in 2008:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/oct/29/local/me-palineffigy29

    Is that the type of maturity and leadership West Hollywood needs?

    One of the other guys running for city council is waging a war on wearing fur. (That’s the most important thing going on in WeHo?)

    Scott Schmidt looks like the best of the bunch.

    Comment by Rik — March 4, 2011 @ 8:38 pm - March 4, 2011

  12. Rik, I’m aware of Mito’s 2008 antics and addressed them in the post above and in my interview with him. Mito does understand the burdens overzealous local regulation places on business — as does Scott whom I have also endorsed.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — March 6, 2011 @ 3:03 am - March 6, 2011

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