By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Locals gathered at Will Rogers State Beach on Saturday, July 31, in opposition of Councilmember Mike Bonin—who represents Pacific Palisades—Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Volunteers speakers led the event, including Palisadians Krishna Thangavelu and Nina Madok. The two spoke against Bonin’s request for city officials to study the feasibility of utilizing the county-operated parking lot at Will Rogers State Beach for temporary housing for people experiencing homelessness.
“On behalf of Pacific Palisades, we want to welcome you to our beach,” Thangavelu said. “This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world … as a Palisades resident, I am so proud of the work that we do to be a steward of this beach for all of you. In April, I heard … that our councilman has decided to turn our parks and beaches into outdoor asylums … this man does not represent us.”
“They want to put temporary homeless housing here for four years … beaches and parks are for all,” Madok added. “Beaches and parks are for recreating, not habitating.”
Event organizer Marc Ang said meeting at Will Rogers State Beach was purposeful, and “ground zero” for the recall efforts.
“Mike Bonin’s policies and moves as a councilman have angered citizens of all party affiliations,” he said.
As part of a recent project by Pacific Palisades Community Council, beachgoers were surveyed about their thoughts on the motion. Interviewees shared they visited Will Rogers State Beach from as far as Sacramento and as close as Venice, and predominantly expressed opposition to Bonin’s proposed motion.
Bonin represents the 11th District on the LA City Council, which spans the Westside—he recently enacted a six-week program to offer housing to unhoused residents of Ocean Front Walk in Venice as a part of his “Venice Beach Encampments to Homes” initiative.
The program will reportedly not be led by law enforcement, nor driven by threats of arrest or incarceration. As of June 28, 19 individuals were moved indoors.
“Homelessness is the biggest crisis of our time,” Bonin said in a recent statement. “There are no easy solutions, and we are working against a deeply flawed and broken system that lets vulnerable people fall through the cracks and onto our streets. The only way to address it is through hard, on-the-ground, person-to-person work to match unhoused residents with the housing resources they need, and that work best for each of them.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder also addressed attendees on Saturday as he joined the race to replace Newsom if voters decide to recall him on September 14.
Elder initially faced challenges as he was ruled ineligible to run due to improperly submitted tax records. But on Wednesday, July 21, a judge ruled that the tax records requirement didn’t apply to the election, allowing the media personality and talk show host onto the ballot.
Elder, who was born and raised in South Central LA, announced his plans to expand school choice, address rising housing costs, homelessness and more.
Palisadian T.C. Macker said it was “a great event attended by citizens who want to help fix broken government.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story noted that Palisadians Krishna Thangavelu and Nina Madok were volunteers of the Recall Bonin campaign. The story has been updated to reflect that they were solely volunteer speakers at the event.
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