New West Hollywood City Council members sworn into office

Wave Staff Report

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The three people elected to the City Council in the Nov. 8 municipal election were sworn into office Dec. 19.

Lauren Meister, Chelsea Lee Byers and John Heilman each took the oath of office, which was followed by the selection of Sepi Shyne to be the next mayor and John Erickson to be mayor pro tem.

They will each take the oath of office at the City Council’s annual reorganization and installation meeting Jan. 9 at 6 p.m.

Meister is beginning her third term on the City Council. After nearly two decades as a neighborhood advocate, she was elected to the City Council in March 2015 and re-elected in 2019.

Prior to her election, she served as a neighborhood watch captain, attended the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Community Academy and then led the largest neighborhood association in the city. She also served on the city’s Planning and Public Safety commissions.

Professionally, Meister is the sole proprietor of her own marketing research firm. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a graduate certificate in public administration, and a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in emergency services management.

Byers first became connected to the city through the Women’s Leadership Conference. She also has served on the city’s Human Services Commission.

She currently works as director of programs and partnership with Women’s Voices Now and is a core team member with Beautiful Trouble.

She also serves on the board of directors for National Women’s Political Caucus as the vice president of education and is a board member of Abundant Housing Los Angeles and president emeritus of the Westside Young Democrats.

She studied at Universidad Internacional Cuernavaca, Franklin University Switzerland and received her bachelor’s degree in political science and women’s studies from Northern Arizona University.

Heilman returns to the City Council after a two-year absence. He has been on the City Council for 36 of the 38 years the city has been incorporated.

He was active in the incorporation of the city and was elected to the first City Council in November 1984. He is one of the longest-serving openly gay elected officials in the United States.

In his professional life, he is a professor at Southwestern Law School and an adjunct professor at USC Law School. An avid runner, he has run numerous marathons and half-marathons for charity.