By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents Westside neighborhoods including Pacific Palisades and Venice, was served with a notice of intent to recall on Tuesday, June 15.
“This latest attempt at a recall campaign is an extravagant waste of taxpayer money, a thinly disguised attempt to derail my efforts to provide real solutions to our homelessness crisis and the latest in a series of recall attempts to silence strong progressive voices,” Bonin wrote in a statement.
The launch of the recall effort, led by local residents, comes on the heels of City Council voting 13-1 on Wednesday, May 26, to move forward with a feasibility study, proposed by Bonin, of temporarily housing people experiencing homelessness in single-occupancy tiny homes, safe camping or safe parking sites at locations across the Westside, including the county-operated Will Rogers State Beach parking lot in Pacific Palisades.
Since the motion was first submitted on March 31, it has drawn opposition from residents and organizations in the area, including Pacific Palisades Community Council and Pacific Palisades Residents Association.
“Council District 11 has witnessed enough inaction, lies and failed policy,” said Palisadian Matthew Reiser, a CD 11 voter, LA native, business owner and family man who was one of the proponents that signed the notice of intent to recall Bonin. “Mike Bonin has repeatedly ignored the rights of working families and taxpayers. He has advocated for defunding LAPD, allowed a costly humanitarian crisis to fester, and now wants to spread the obviously lawless violence and chaos of Venice into our parks and beaches across District 11. Mike Bonin has failed in his duty to his constituents. When an elected official proves unreachable, and unresponsive to the needs of those he represents, the people have a duty to rise and remove that politician.”
The Recall Bonin 2021 website stated that “under Mike Bonin’s watch, the humanitarian crisis of the homeless population is growing exponentially.” It goes on to say that taxpayer money is being “squandered” and local businesses are “struggling.”
“Under Los Angeles’ recall rules, constituents are able to sign petitions to recall council members starting four weeks after the notices were served,” according to a report by City News Service. “In order to get the recall effort on the ballot, the campaigns have 120 days to obtain verified signatures from 15% of the districts’ registered voters.”
At least 27,387 signatures will be needed to get on the ballot: “If recall proponents gather sufficient signatures, and use the maximum time to collect them, their measure would ‘most likely’ trigger an election in May 2022,” Jinny Pak, who manages the city clerk’s election division, told the Los Angeles Times.
“A recall election, held right before regularly scheduled city elections, would be a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer money—dollars that could be better invested in addressing our homelessness crisis and providing essential services to help families and improve neighborhoods,” Bonin’s statement continued.
The notice served to Bonin comes less than one week after a recall notice was served to Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents central neighborhoods, including Hollywood and Silver Lake. That effort alleged that Raman is “putting her personal homelessness ideology over constituent safety,” according to City News Service.
A previous recall effort against Bonin was launched in 2017, but fizzled out, according to the LA Times. Bonin is running in the June 2022 election for a third and final term, currently facing a single opponent.
A copy of the notice of intent to recall will be filed with the Los Angeles City Clerk, according to a press release from Recall Bonin 2021, and will be published in the LA Times within the next few days.
“No matter what they throw at me, I will not be deterred in my efforts to tackle our toughest problems,” Bonin’s statement concluded, “and will keep pushing for the big and progressive change that LA needs and deserves.”
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