Saturday, February 2, 2013
Groovy Guy of the Month: Sam Borelli
This month's Groovy Guy is Sam Borelli, an Independent Communications Consultant who is a candidate for West Hollywood City Council in the upcoming March 5th election. He was appointed to the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission in 2003 - and during his tenure as Chair, the commission launched a first-ever Public Safety Education Campaign, enhanced the city’s Neighborhood Watch Program, and increased participation in West Hollywood’s National Night Out Against Crime events. Sam has also volunteered for numerous LGBTQ youth-serving organizations including GLSEN, Project 10, LifeWorks, Angels of Change and The Trevor Project, where he served on the Board of Directors and one term as Vice-Chair. In 2007, he co-founded the LA LGBTQ Youth Advocates Coalition - and in 2008, he became Executive Advisor to The Buddy System, a program to foster intergenerational interaction among LGBT seniors and juniors.
Now I've asked Sam to get Deeper with us here on the Dish by answering a few questions about his candidacy and, of course, pop culture.
What inspired you to run for West Hollywood City Council?
When I was 13 years old, my neighbor asked me if I would help pass out fliers to help get somebody elected to Congress. She said, "You know everybody in the neighborhood, help me out." That person was Barney Frank, and he won that election and became a United States Representative to Congress. The experience of walking my neighborhood, talking to my neighbors about their concerns and issues, and helping to get a member of my community elected to represent us in Washington, D.C. had a profound impact on me. Thus my service to my own community began.
I know that the next logical step is for me to serve the citizens of West Hollywood as a City Council Member. At heart, I am a Public Servant. Whether I am working with Community Members on their Neighborhood Watch issues, launching the Buddy System to foster intergenerational learning within the LGBT community, serving the city on a task force charged with drafting a new ordinance or creating a new streetscape, using my social media platforms to share vital news or information, assisting colleagues with their work challenges or advising non-profits on their best strategic directions, I am using my knowledge and experience to serve the greater good of my local and global community.
What do you hope to achieve if elected?
I want to help restore the public’s confidence in city government by offering leadership which encourages improved accessibility to all constituents and deeper engagement in the decision making process.
I also want to work on more creative ways to improve transportation and parking. Building more parking structures does nothing to encourage a cultural shift where we leave our cars behind and walk or utilize local transportation options. I will quickly work to develop an environmentally friendly nightlife shuttle that decreases the number of vehicles on our streets but has all of the fun and flair that West Hollywood is revered for. I will also push for the implementation of a user-friendly cycle-share program that is mutually beneficial to both residents and visitors.
We must provide opportunities for young people to live in West Hollywood. We have become price-prohibitive to that core-demographic who helped create this city - and who have been left out of the affordable housing equation for too long. I would work with stakeholders to generate opportunities, such as micro-units, and also urge the incorporation of smaller units with our current and future senior living thereby fostering intergenerational interaction.
What are a few of your favorite things to do in West Hollywood?
Eat! Since I don’t cook and love to walk, we are fortunate to have every flavor profile possible in West Hollywood. I can have amazing BBQ at Baby Blues, authentic Mexican food at Los Burrito’s, a world-class steak at BLT on Sunset, classic chicken parmesan and pasta at Rainbow Bar & Grille, a killer burger at Kitchen 24 or a classic American dish at Café D’Etoile.
Be outside. The weather is (mostly amazing) and walking is a must for me.
My five favorite TV shows of all time are:
The West Wing
The Good Wife
The Carol Burnett Show
Today I never miss a television episode of:
The Good Wife
The Big Bang Theory
Five of my favorite movies are:
The Color Purple
Gone with the Wind
The Silence of the Lambs
The Princess Bride
If I were asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
My grandfather (deceased)
Thank you, Sam, for being such a groovy guy! For more information about him, visit www.SamBorelli.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.