To pause, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, means: “temporary inaction especially as caused by uncertainty”. Recognizing the concerns of the businesses community and residents the West Hollywood City Council voted on Monday night to PAUSE discussion of the proposed fur ban ordinance for 30 days.
Small victory, no doubt, but this PAUSE bodes well for the legacy of fur apparel in West Hollywood. PAUSE? Perhaps a pregnant one, full of good things to come and hopefully laden and overflowing with common sense. Encouraging to say the least, this is now the time for West Hollywood businesses to scream even louder because the message finally appears to be getting through.
In an issue that started out as a fur vs. no fur issue, the battle has taken on even greater and broader reach encompassing bellwether issues like 1) Freedom of choice for retailers; 2) Freedom of choice for consumers; and 3) Dictatorship Politics. Yes, it is now that serious!
So, with 29 days and counting, let’s think outside of the box here for our good old West Hollywood City Council. Why can’t City Council adopt a program like grocery stores across the nation have whereby they proactively label products that are certified as Organic, fat free or fair trade? The fur industry has such a program backed by extensive consumer education in their OA™ label program. This label, monitored by an independent monitoring agency from ranch to retailers, provides consumers with information about the source of the fur they are buying. Wow, imagine giving that kind of power to the consumer to choose where and how they spend their dollars.
Perhaps the words that sum up what is truly at stake in all of this were said best by John D’Amico, the very councilman who brought forth the ordinance in the first place,
“With over 500,000 square feet of empty storefront space in West Hollywood, there is clearly much room for improvement. Owners of small businesses in our town often say that the problem is not only the high cost for rents, but the number of rules and regulations that act as downward pressure on the small business community and hinder their ability to prosper here.”
It is a sentiment he repeated strongly in his comments about the recent outdoor smoking ban. But, quite hypocritically it does not seem to apply here.
And by the way, has anyone questioned why John D’Amico so deliberately exempted the interior design showrooms and boutiques from this ban? Many of them sell fur too. Was it “politics of the possible” given the huge presence of the design community in West Hollywood? Or was it somehow related to the fact that in his role as Principal Project Manager at UCLA’s Orthopedic Replacement Hospital where he is currently responsible for 330,000 square feet of new construction and over 60,000 square feet of renovation he may work with this very group of design businesses?
Things That Make People Go Hmmm…
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The saga continues…