The City Council has hired a former aide to Assembly Speaker Willie Brown to lobby in the state Legislature on behalf of increased funding to combat AIDS.
The council voted last Thursday to hire Stephen Smith, a Brown assistant from 1980 until earlier this year and an unsuccessful candidate last year for the West Hollywood council. The council, which allocated $9,000 to pay for Smith's lobbying efforts, will review his performance in six months to decide whether to continue the program.
Smith's role, according to city spokeswoman Helen Goss, will be to review the state's budget process and seek funding for AIDS research, and to develop a network of other municipalities interested in supporting AIDS research.
"West Hollywood has a significant percentage of the highest-risk group," Goss said, referring to the city's large population of homosexuals. "The disease's impact on this city is obviously significant."