The Indelible Legacy of Lili Bosse

City Councilmember Lili Bosse’s dedication to Beverly Hills is so deep that she literally works for the community in her sleep. 

As mayor, Bosse would regularly go to bed with earbuds in so she could be alerted to any middle of the night emergencies from nine community group chats.

“I can wholeheartedly say that I have left nothing on the table, and I’ve given every ounce of my being to this position,” Bosse told the Courier. “I truly feel that I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have had this honor.”

After she ends her term next week, filling the Bosse-sized hole on the council will be no easy feat. Over her 13 years as a council member and three terms as mayor, Bosse has fundamentally changed what it means to be an elected official in Beverly Hills. 

She’s set a new standard for government transparency, raised the bar for community connection and demonstrated the power of using her platform to speak out on global issues like women’s rights and antisemitism. 

She accomplished all of this by talking from the heart, offering everyone a listening ear and distributing hugs wherever she goes. 

“I really wanted to change the way people interacted with their elected officials,” she said. “In the past, City Hall seemed like a fortress, and you’d have to make an appointment to meet with staff or the mayor. I wanted to bring City Hall out to the community.”

As mayor, that’s exactly what she did. Bosse laced up her shoes and invited all members of the community to join her on the streets of Beverly Hills for her popular “Walk with the Mayor” series.

What started out as a gathering of around 25 people, quickly blossomed into an event several hundred attendees strong where problems were discussed, solutions brainstormed, friendships founded and even marriages formed. 


Attending a Washington, D.C. march in support of the hostages in Gaza
All photos courtesy city of Beverly Hills

“I am somebody that really views being an elected official as being open-hearted, open-minded and part of the community,” she said. “When people meet me and call me by my title, whether it’s Councilmember Bosse or Mayor Bosse, the first thing out of my mouth is always ‘Please call me Lili’.”

Bosse further strengthened her relationship with residents through her “Live with Lili” town hall-style meetings; “Business with Bosse” events and “Sixty Second Shoutouts,” which highlighted local businesses; and her “Mayor’s Mental Wellness Series,” which featured renowned speakers like Deepak Chopra. 

She also sought to make the inner workings of City Hall more transparent. 

She asked for the Mayor’s Cabinet meetings and City Council Liaison Meetings to be livestreamed so community members could watch. She launched the “Text BH” platform so residents could message city staff with questions and the “BHPD Alerts” system so residents could receive live public safety updates. 

And, as if that wasn’t enough, she gave out her personal cell phone number for residents to contact her. 

“Having the ability for the community to have that transparency with the city and that sense of really knowing what’s going on has always been so important to me,” said Bosse. “I’m proud of being an accessible council member and mayor.”

Bosse’s level of commitment has been demonstrated time and time again during her tenure on council, but perhaps no more clearly than during a series of power outages in 2022. 


With Police Chief Mark Stainbrook and members of the BHPD launching the “30 by 30” initiative

At 3 a.m. in the morning Bosse would be on the phone with impacted residents, hotels and the police department to ensure residents were safe and, if necessary, could have a hotel room to sleep in. Then, as soon as the business day started, she would be on the phone with Southern California Edison demanding that they show up to City Council meetings and answer for the electrical issues. 

“I’m proud that we really stayed on top of the outages,” she said. “It’s really important to me that if something is wrong, the community doesn’t feel like their problems are falling on deaf ears.”

Bosse attributes her indefatigable spirit and dedication to the service of others to the values instilled in her by her parents, both of whom survived the Holocaust. 

“I had a mom that told me every day of her life to never give up and to always stand up for what you believe in, so I believe that my work ethic, integrity and moral compass come from being a child of Holocaust survivors and growing up in a community that embraced everyone,” she said. 

While the Holocaust took her entire extended family away from her, Bosse was able to build a new family from the Beverly Hills community. 

“I grew up here, so this is home. This city is my family,” she said. “My parents specifically moved to Beverly Hills for the American dream.”

“They chose it because they had heard about the schools, they had heard about the safety and really wanted to, as immigrants, see their daughter thrive,” she continued. 

So, when it was time for Bosse and her husband Jon to settle down and start a family of their own, the choice was clear: they would live in Beverly Hills and send their children to Beverly Hills schools. 

It was through BHUSD that Bosse first became involved with the city by volunteering for the Beverly Hills Education Foundation from 1995 to 2002 and serving as president from 1997 to 1999.


Meeting with residents at a “Live with Lili” event

From 1997 to 2002, she served on the Traffic and Parking Commission and was the youngest city commissioner at the time of her appointment. She then served on the Planning Commission from 2007 to 2011 and helped craft the city’s updated General Plan, while serving as commission vice chair in 2010. 

Bosse first ran for City Council in 2011, but never in her wildest dreams imagined that she would win. In fact, Bosse tried to talk one of her friends into skipping her own election night party for a girl’s trip to Vegas. 

Fortunately for Bosse, that friend had faith in her campaign and instead pushed her on to the party where she found out she won a seat.

“At that moment I felt, and to be honest I still feel, a tremendous responsibility that I have to give the position everything I’ve got,” she said. “Especially when I first got elected, I felt this moral obligation to honor those people who believed in me and make them feel that they chose correctly.”

Bosse went on to win reelection in 2015 and 2020 and serve as mayor in 2014, 2017 and 2022. 


A “Walk with the Mayor” in 2018

One of the hallmarks of her most recent mayoral term was the launch of BHPD’s Real-Time Watch Center, one of the most sophisticated police surveillance systems in the nation. The center includes a network of cameras, drones and license plate readers that allow officers to keep an eye on every corner of the city, every minute of the day. 

“That, to me, is forever going to shape the safety of our community, and I feel that the key for people to love living in, and working in, and visiting our city is feeling that they are in a safe city,” she said. 

During her third term, she also became a stronger voice than ever in the fight against antisemitism. She spoke out when hateful flyers were distributed on residents’ doorsteps during Yom Kippur, continued condemning antisemitism during Kanye’s rants against the Jewish people and became louder in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks.

Attending the Team Beverly Hills graduation at City Hall on March 27, 2024

“I can assure you to my last breath, I will always speak out against antisemitism and against anyone who is the cause of hate,” she said. “I always have, and I always will. I think that’s part of my DNA.”

Bosse was also a firm supporter of the women’s rights movement in Iran and participated in multiple marches to protest the death of Mahsa Amini. 

As she prepares to step down from City Council after 13 years of service, Bosse has several key pieces of advice to impart to new members.


With her “Mayor’s Mental Wellness Series” guest, Deepak Chopra

First, try your hardest to hear the needs and ideas of community members. 

“There’s a difference between listening and hearing,” she said. “To be effective is to really see the person in front of you or the person who has taken the time to write an email, or call, or come to a council meeting.”

In addition, make yourself as available as possible and dedicate as much time as you are able to study the problems of the city and analyzing proposed solutions. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously; be sure to enjoy being on council and participating in community events.

“Never ever lose sight of how sacred of a position this is but recognize that you’re in this position to be the voice of every single person in this community,” she added. “It’s not about your voice, it’s about everyone else’s voice, and you’re there to help magnify what their vision is.


Bosse at a crowded city event in 2017
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