Council Considers Equalize Her Now! Street Fair

At the Oct. 11 Study Session, the Beverly Hills City Council supported a road closure proposal for a new street fair coming to Beverly Hills in December.

The free event is called “Equalize Her Now!” and revolves around the advancement of women in the music industry. The Council also discussed a new appointment process for the Sunshine Task Force. 

The “Equalize Her Now!” proposal was brought to the Council by the non-profit organization Equalize Her and entertainment events promoter Live Nation. Equalize Her is focused on bridging the gender gap in the music industry, advocating for more female representation across all occupations. The non-profit was created by singer, songwriter, musician, and producer Linda Perry and philanthropist Alisha Ballard. Since its launch in March of this year, Equalize Her has held a variety of concerts, discussion panels and other events to develop a collaborative community of women and girls in music. 

“We’re just trying to give young females an opportunity to see the other things they can do in this business besides being over-sexualized pop stars,” said Perry. “There are not enough women occupying the space of live-sound design, lighting, stage managers, tour managers, techs and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The street fair is scheduled for Dec. 3 and will take place at the 9300 block of Civic Center Drive. It will run from 12 to 5 p.m., and planners are expecting anywhere from 500 to 2,000 attendees. Ashlee Margolis, Jill Teleman Collins, Ringo Starr, and United Talent Agency have expressed their support of the event. 

At “Equalize Her Now!” young women and girls interested in the music industry will gain insight from music brands, artists, industry professionals and influencers. Participating companies will be showcasing their work, educational resources and products at their respective booths. Panel discussions will be held on a main stage, where local bands and a DJ will perform throughout the day. 

If successful, the Equalize Her team intends to make Equalize Her Now! an annual occurrence. Council members are looking forward to welcoming the event to Beverly Hills. “I love, love, love this and truly feel very excited and proud that this hopefully will be something annual for our city,” said Mayor Lili Bosse. “I think the message is exactly what we need to be sending out and that’s what we as a city really pride ourselves on… It focuses on diversity, inclusivity, empowerment, everything that we need to be doing not only as a city but as a nation, as a world.”

The Council also addressed the membership status of the Sunshine Taskforce. The Taskforce was created in 2013 as a way of increasing government transparency and public involvement. 

Members of the Taskforce have the opportunity to make recommendations to the City Council through a formal voting process. Currently, anyone can attend the monthly meetings and participate in votes, but the number of active members has recently been declining. 

At a Sunshine Taskforce meeting on Aug. 22, City Council liaisons, Vice Mayor Julian A. Gold and Councilmember John A. Mirisch, recommended that each City Councilmember should appoint three members to the Taskforce. 

At the Study Session, the Council agreed that the Taskforce is due for updates to its parameters. “I don’t think it’s fine as it is,” said Councilmember Lester Friedman. “Attendance has gone down significantly over time. A lot of the residents who used to participate aren’t participating.”

The Council offered some initial direction to the Sunshine Taskforce, on speaking-time limits and residency requirements on voting, and decided that they would each find three members to appoint.