(Reprinted with permission from the Westside Current.)
The recall election of second-term incumbent Councilmember Mike Bonin is likely to move forward. Recall Bonin 2021 proponents turned in enough signatures on Wednesday to trigger the first recall election in Los Angeles since 1984.
The Recall Bonin office only needed 27,387 to get the recall election on the ballot. Volunteers exceeded that number by more than 10,000 turning in 39,164 signatures.
Many in Council District 11 were upset when Bonin proposed to take away public spaces such as parks and beach parking lots and turn them into spaces exclusively for the homeless. Other were upset when Bonin voted to defund the police, yet others were upset when calls and messages to his office went unanswered.
Venice residents Nico Ruderman and Katrina Schmidt, who had previously voted for Bonin in Council races, spearheaded the recall efforts. On Wednesday, they said they were proud of the efforts of the entire community.
There are a few more procedural hurdles to clear before the recall goes to a ballot. Upon filing of a petition, the City Clerk issues a Conditional Acceptance of Filing receipt stating the number of signatures claimed by proponents.
The City Clerk then conducts an initial one-two week review of the petition to determine the total number of signatures and that the Circulator Affidavits have been completed.
If the total number of raw signatures meets or exceeds the minimum requirement, the Clerk issues a Final Acceptance of Filing receipt to proponents and proceeds to the signature examination process. That City Clerk then has 30 business days to verify signatures.
If the special election goes to ballot, voters will answer a question about the recall as well as vote for a replacement candidate.
In the 2017 CD 11 race, Bonin received 31,865 votes, with opponents Mark Ryavec receiving 7,047 and Robin Rudisill 5,967.
The Bonin response was quick. At 5:56 p.m., he sent out an email message “This is not a drill,” and stated “I need your help urgently. Earlier today opponents of homeless housing on the Westside submitted signatures to the City Clerk calling for a special recall election to remove me from office.”
Bonin said the recall effort was funded by shady anonymous donors and advised by professional, out of town, right-wing operatives. He then said money was needed and asked those on his email list to donate.