Los Angeles City Clerk Holly Wolcott announced this week that the petition to recall Councilman Mike Bonin was approved for signature gathering, becoming the second member of the LA City Council to receive such a notice in the past week.
Councilman Bonin, who was given the notice of the recall last month, has faced increased scrutiny this year by many residents in his Westside district. According to Recall Bonin 2021, the group behind the recall bid, Bonin has failed to curb the homeless situation in the district, allowed trash in the district to buildup, worsened public safety, and has detrimentally made the quality of living worse in his tenure. In particular, advocates have pointed out an extremely controversial beach homeless plan across the city as a main mark of his ineptitude.
“Since he was first elected to represent the citizens and residents of Los Angeles City Council District 11 in 2013, Councilman Mike Bonin’s history of broken promises, terrible and counter-productive public policy proposals, and unwillingness to listen or take action to represent the interests of the people and communities of the westside of Los Angeles have had devastating consequences,” expressed the recall group’s website. “Under Mike Bonin’s watch, the humanitarian crisis of the homeless population is growing exponentially. Tax payer money is squandered. Fires. Struggling local businesses. Crime is rampant and rising. Neighborhoods and schools are unsafe. We feel afraid to visit public beaches and community parks.”
In return, Bonin has countered that recall petitioners are only attempting to remove him because of having homeless housing being proposed in his district, with the effort only being a waste of taxpayer money.
“This 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,” said Bonin. “The recall is backed by people who have repeatedly fought to stop housing, shelter and services, leaving people to die on the streets.”
Bonin has now become the second LA City Council member to have a recall petition be approved by the city clerk, following Councilwoman Nithya Raman’s petition being approved last week. Supporters against Raman have also noted failed homeless campaigns as a main reason fueling their recall effort as well.
Bonin becomes another prominent lawmaker facing a possible recall in the “Year of the Recall”
“The year of the recall continues,” explained California recall researcher Elizabeth Chang to the Globe on Wednesday. “In LA you have major signature gathering efforts now going against Councilmember’s Bonin and Raman, not to mention LA County DA George Gascon. Up north in San Francisco, another DA, Chesa Boudin, currently also has a signature drive against him for another month. San Francisco also has three school board members facing a recall. A bunch of Shasta County Supervisors also have signature drives right now, Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley also has an effort against her, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg barely avoided a petition because of how short his term has been so far, and that’s not even getting more local. Oh, and of course Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall effort succeeding and taking place in September now.”
“There are always recall attempts, especially in California in recent years, but because of anger over COVID-19 restrictions, as well as effects it had, the number has been much higher than normal. This is why so many signature drives are happening at once. And remember, this is just what we have so far too.”
Recall supporters against Bonin now have 4 months to collect 27,387 signatures from voter’s in his district to spur a recall election sometime in 2o22. Similarly, Councilwoman Raman, due to being certified last week, will have until November 4th to get 27,405 signatures.
“You usually don’t see two separate council member petitions go on at nearly identical times like this,” added Chang. “Then again you also don’t see multiple DA’s face recall petitions within the same state face efforts at the same time too. Or the Governor petition have two recalls in less than 20 years. 2020 and 2021 just upended so many things, and we are now really seeing people challenge public officials where it hurts most: money and power.”