Bonin recall effort falls short of needed signatures

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — The recall effort against Councilman Mike Bonin failed to receive enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, the Los Angeles city clerk announced Jan. 18.

The recall campaign, which required 27,317 signatures from registered voters in the district to qualify for the ballot, submitted 39,188 raw signatures to the City Clerk’s Office to verify on Nov. 10.

However, City Clerk Holly Wolcott said only 25,965 signatures were valid, 1,352 less than required.

“Today is the end of a wasteful, distracting abuse of the electoral process — but it’s nowhere near the end of attacks on progressive values and the real solutions to homelessness,” Bonin said. “I believe housing and services end homelessness and make everyone safe.

“Recall proponents and re-election challengers oppose housing and services and insist on doubling down on failed, expensive strategies, like pushing unhoused people from block to block or throwing them in jail. I am pleased by today’s news, and I am going to keep on fighting for what I know is right.”

Bonin was reelected in 2017 with 71% of the vote and is seeking reelection in the June primary to continue to represent the 11th District, which includes Venice, Pacific Palisades, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey and Sawtelle.

The petition for Bonin’s recall was approved last July 13, which made him the second of three council members to be targeted by a recall in 2021, following Councilwoman Nithya Raman and preceding Councilman Kevin de León.

Organizers of all three recall efforts cited opposition to the council members’ handling of the city’s homelessness crisis. All three efforts failed to qualify for the ballot.

Leading up to the recall effort, Bonin faced increased backlash from constituents since introducing a motion to have the city explore housing homeless people in temporary cabins and safe camping sites on beach parking lots, including one at Will Rogers State Beach.

Bonin sent an email to constituents in May in an attempt to dispel what he said were rumors that his motion, which asked only for a report on feasibility, would actually create encampments.

“Some are claiming I have proposed that the city allow homeless encampments at our parks and beaches,” Bonin said in the email. “That rumor is not true. On the contrary, what I have proposed is designed to reduce encampments, so that our public spaces can return to full public use.

In August, the city’s chief administrative officer recommended the city not pursue tiny homes or safe camping sites at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey or a privately owned lot at 5000 Beethoven Ave. in Del Rey.

Bonin responded that he would not push the city to pursue any of the sites deemed “infeasible” and would instead focus on four locations where the report recommended further assessment, including at Marina Del Rey boat launch ramp, a vacant lot owned by Culver City, parcels at Los Angeles International Airport and a recreational vehicle park at Dockweiler State Beach.

Bonin has been praised by progressives for conducting a successful pathway to housing operation over summer on the Venice Boardwalk, which brought 213 people living on the beach and boardwalk indoors with a promise of a pathway to permanent housing.

His office next began a similar “Encampment to Home” program in Westchester Park, which by the end of December had brought 56 people indoors, along with an additional 31 people over summer.


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