Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk
By Sam Catanzaro
The Los Angeles City Clerk has approved a petition for recall of Councilmember Mike Bonin.
Bonin, who represents Los Angeles City Council District 11 encompassing much of the Westside, was served the recall notice on June 15. On Tuesday, the City Clerk approved the petition for circulation.
“Councilmember Mike Bonin has consistently made promises to his constituency and failed to follow through on these promises since he took office,” reads the recall’s Statement of Reasons. “In summary Councilmember Mike Bonin does not engage with the district and did not improve our quality of life or clean up our neighborhoods. Our streets have become de facto campgrounds, sanitation policies are failing, crime is rising, and Mike Bonin remains unresponsive.”
Bonin was not immediately available for comment Tuesday on the approval for circulation of the petition for recall.
In a statement released after being served the recall in June, Bonin called the petition a waste of tax dollars. In addition, the councilmember claimed that the campaign is backed by right-wing forces.
“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,” Bonin, who has announced a run for a third and final term in 2022, wrote in said. “This recall has been championed by the same right wing forces that are trying to erode our democratic process and take down progressive officials across the state.”
In addition to the recall election for California Governor Gavin Newsom, last month recall papers were served to Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents neighborhoods including Silver Lake and Hollywood. Last Friday the City Clerk approved for circulation the petition against Raman. A recall effort is also underway against LA County District Attorney George Gascón.
Under City of Los Angeles recall rules, once the recall paperwork is approved, campaigns have 120 days to collect signatures from 15 percent of registered voters in the district, which in District 11 is at least 27,387 signatures. If sufficient signatures are obtained and verified, a presentation to recall will be made to the City Council at some point in December. Council would then have 14 days to call for an election. If Council does not act within those 14 days, LA County election officials would call for an election.
Bonin has faced backlash in recent months since introducing a motion to explore the possibility of bringing more temporary homeless shelters to a range of public spaces on the Westside, including Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades. The motion, which recently passed City Council initiating a feasibility study, has been met with opposition from many residents and stakeholders in the district. A change.org petition against the proposal has collected over 31,000 signatures.
This is not the first time Bonin–who was first elected in 2013 and reelected in 2017–has faced a recall effort. In 2017 critics of his “road diets” (eliminating traffic lanes as part of an effort to reduce pedestrian and cycling injuries) launched an unsuccessful campaign to remove Bonin from office after the program led to increased traffic and congestion in many residential streets.