Steve Martin was born and raised in Pacoima, in the San Fernando Valley. He graduated with honors from UCLA in 1976 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University of Law in Los Angeles and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1979.
Steve is a sole practitioner whose focus is primarily in family law litigation. Steve has real world experience in dealing with issues such as child custody, mental health/addiction issues, housing costs, child care, health insurance coverage and education issues which make him empathic to the challenges facing average Americans. Among his legal colleagues, Steve has a reputation as being a creative problem solver.
Steve has lived in West Hollywood since 1979 and participated in the grassroots efforts to incorporate the new City of West Hollywood in 1984.
Steve and his spouse John Mulcrone have been a couple since 1992 and were married in 2008. They share their home on Poinsettia Drive with their cats, Ginger and Stella.
In 1984 Steve was a founding member of the West Hollywood Democratic Club and later served three terms as its President. An active Democrat, Steve was elected as a Clinton/Gore delegate to the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1996.
In 1991 Steve was elected President of Stonewall Democratic Club, succeeding community icon, Ivy Bottini, who mentored him. Steve took on a club in disarray as Stonewall’s leadership had been ravaged by AIDS. Steve re-vitalized the Club, taking on a high profile role during the 1991 AB 101 demonstrations, the largest public protests to rock Los Angeles since the Viet Nam war. Steve led the effort to fight homophobia in the LAPD and the Sheriff’s Department and was a frequent critic of Police Chief Darryl Gates. Steve worked with the Clinton campaign to open the first Democratic Headquarters in West Hollywood which was one of the most successful in California.
Steve represented West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputy Bruce Boland in his successful lawsuit against his union, ALADS, who failed to provide for any defense when the Sheriff’s Department wrongfully terminated him for suspecting he was gay.
In 1986 Steve’s first foray into West Hollywood politics began when he actively opposed the conversion of several large residential buildings into hotels, that ultimately became Le Park, the Champion, Le Rive and the Montrose hotels, resulting in the loss of hundreds of residential units. Many of the residents of these buildings were tenants who were strong-armed out of their homes.
In 1987 the City Council voted to build a $50 million Civic Center in West Hollywood Park which would have replaced open space with “roof top” gardens and eliminated our only pool. Steve collected hundreds of signatures to qualify a ballot measure to stop the Civic Center and became a spokesperson for the opposition to the project.
Steve was appointed to serve on the Rent Stabilization Commission in 1989. In 1994 Steve ran for City Council as a reform, pro-neighborhood candidate. Steve received the most votes of any candidate when he was elected to City Council. Steve proved to be one of the City’s most effective and independent Council members.
Steve’s first key vote on City Council was to defeat the City staff’s proposal for an Eastside “parking overlay zone”, which would have permitted businesses to demolish adjacent residential properties as long as they used the property for parking.
Steve was the crucial third vote to create the Eastside Redevelopment Agency which was a key turning point in the City’s economic development and which led to the creation of scores of affordable housing units. Steve also worked with residents to keep the Gateway project at La Brea at a reasonable scale and resisted pressures from developers to turn it into a “mega-project”.
Steve aggressively pushed for the City to take over Santa Monica Boulevard from Cal Trans and chaired the forty member Santa Monica Re-Design Committee. Steve also worked with State officials including his friend, Gov. Gray Davis, to secure 90% of the funding for the re-design project. The new boulevard’s design eliminated the necessity of thousands of West Hollywood property owners to carry expensive flood insurance. This project signaled West Hollywood’s coming of age.
As a Council member Steve had a reputation for getting things done. He worked with residents to create Kings Road Park. Steve made the revitalization of the West Hollywood pool a priority so that it could be opened year round. Steve worked with Council Member Sal Guariello to replace the aging and inadequate fire station on Hancock with a modern facility on Cynthia and San Vicente. Steve pushed to create the housing project on Detroit and Lexington as part of an effort to revitalize a blighted area of the City. He worked to create the City’s first off-leash park on Delongpre.
Steve was not afraid to take on the Sheriff on issues of homophobia and deployment. When the City Council majority voted to allow the Sheriff’s Department to remove the City Rainbow logos from patrol cars, Steve led a very public effort to reverse that vote. Steve blew the whistle on the Department’s unauthorized entrapment stings at the Pacific Design Center. The Sheriff’s Department later honored Steve for his pioneering efforts in creating the City’s crystal meth education and recovery programs which were some of the first in the nation.
As a Council Member Steve drafted ethics reforms and the City’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment policy. He also fought to bring protections for tenants with pets and opposed efforts to allow commercial intrusions into residential zones. He enacted the first anti-mansion-zation codes for West Hollywood West.
Steve’s served eight years on the Council’s Budget Sub-Committee, putting the City on a two year budget cycle to enhance long term planning and focus on capital improvements such as the new fire station and City parks. He insisted on making the budget process open and inclusive of the public. He put a successful measure on the ballot to raise West Hollywood’s hotel tax to the same rate as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, which has brought in millions of additional revenue.
In the late 1990s Steve became one of the first elected officials in the nation to advocate for same gender marriage. He wrote a concise and inspiring op-ed in Frontiers Magazine on marriage that was republished nationally. In 2003 he joined the Board of Marriage Equality California. Steve received the Harvey Milk Award for Leadership from Christopher Street West in 2002. Steve was one of the few elected officials courageous enough to speak out against the proposed invasion of Iraq in 2003 before the military was authorized to take action.
After leaving the City Council Steve was drafted into the efforts to “Save Tara”, a cultural landmark on Laurel Avenue. Steve successfully rallied the community to defeat the City’s “Mixed Use Overlay Zone” which would have allowed ten story construction on every major intersection along Santa Monica Blvd.
Steve was active in opposition to the City’s ill conceived plans for Plummer Park and in 2013 he drafted the successful term limits initiative. Steve is committed to maintaining West Hollywood’s unique character.