Mayor of West Hollywood, California

Interview highlights

00:39 - "Family background and escaping Iran" 03:39 - "Discovering that she is a lesbian" 07:29 - "Becoming an LGBTQ civil rights advocate" 11:40 - "Family life" 13:00 - "Career and professional life" 13:30 - "Overcoming anxiety and depression" 19:53 - "Career in politics" 38:05 - "Words of wisdom for women"

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Mayor Sepi Shyne made history in November 2020 when she was elected to the West Hollywood City Council. She is the first woman of color elected to the West Hollywood City Council and her election ushered in West Hollywood’s first female-majority City Council. She is the first Iranian female Mayor in America and the first out LGBTQ Iranian elected in the world.

At the age of 5, Sepi’s family fled the Islamic fundamentalists that had recently seized control of Iran. In search of a world where Sepi would have the freedom to grow and learn and her brother would be safe from forced military service, Sepi’s parents brought their two youngest children to join their older siblings in the United States.

For more than 20 years, Sepi has worked hard to make that American Dream a reality for all who seek it, leading the fight for equality and civil rights for marginalized communities.

Mayor Shyne served on the City of West Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board, on the City of West Hollywood’s Business License Commission, and on the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Advisory Council on which she continues to serve. She has also led many boards and organizations, including the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, and as a Board of Governor and Steering Committee leader with the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles. Mayor Shyne is a Co-Organizer of WeHo Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a community group that was created during the pandemic to help provide resources for seniors, people with disabilities, and people in immunosuppressed households via social media and volunteer check-in calls.

Mayor Shyne’s priorities include advocating for affordable housing, protecting renters and social service programs, social justice, small business revival, and bringing the people’s voices to City Hall. In every board and organization she has led, she has recruited and elevated women and people of color to leadership positions to create more diversity, inclusion, and equity.

She is currently running for Congress in District 30 to bring the voices of all the communities she represents to the federal government to make sure that everyone has access to the American dream and to fight for freedom and democracy.

Sepi received her Bachelor of Science from San Jose State University with a double concentration in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a Minor in Drama with an emphasis in Directing. She received her Juris Doctorate with a specialization certificate in litigation from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

Sepi lives in the Mid-City area of West Hollywood with her fur babies.