FICA Official Statement about WeHo fur ban
Tuesday September 20, 2011 (West Hollywood, CA) Though no ordinance was passed last night we are deeply disappointed and saddened by the outcome of last night’s West Hollywood City Council meeting and their attempts to push through an ordinance to arbitrarily ban the sale of fur apparel in West Hollywood, CA.
We are disturbed by the lack of objectivity and the due process that was completely and capriciously abandoned by City Council Members. The very businesses that make West Hollywood a thriving and competitive international shopping destination were not vetted, or given the decency of having their voices and concerns thoroughly considered. The forthcoming detailed Economic Impact Study that was due to be released this morning was overtly ignored despite the fact that City Council was made aware last week of topline results that showed that 46% of apparel retailers, or approximately 90 retailers in the City of West Hollywood, sell fur apparel. The study was deemed useless even before knowing the wide reaching impact that it would have on small and large business owners in the West Hollywood area—especially important when we are facing an unemployment rate of 12.1% in California.
The resulting ordinance presented is merely symbolic. The scope of limitations that exist in this ordinance as it stands ensure that the City of West Hollywood could NEVER claim their throne as truly the first “Fur Free City”. We, along with the Chamber had proposed alternatives to this ordinance that would have allowed for consumer and retailer education and would have allowed all parties to work together. Sadly the city council has chosen to forego this opportunity for a meeting of the minds on such an important issue.
In West Hollywood, where freedom of choice was one of the key principles of our founding fathers, forced restrictions such as this are particularly egregious. With that said, we are currently looking into numerous legal challenges at this juncture.