VIEWPOINT: The Real Results of Mike Bonin’s “Reimagining Public Safety” Survey


Councilman MIke Bonin

Los Angeles District 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin recently wrote an Argonaut opinion piece (“Reimagining Public Safety”) in which he presented results of data collected from a June survey of his CD11 constituents.

The survey attempted to crowd-source answers about who should respond to 34 hypothetical public-safety and quality-of-life scenarios, e.g., “Who should respond to reports or phone calls of vandalism or graffiti in progress?” Sadly, Bonin manipulated and deceived his constituents by skewing and misrepresenting the facts.

Here’s how Bonin’s survey worked: A series of questions about what agency one would prefer to respond to something like a domestic dispute was presented in a Google Form.

Constituents were then prompted to select one — and only one — responding agency from a drop-down box in the form that included options such as LAPD Officers, Trained Volunteers, Traffic Enforcement Personnel and Mediators, among others.

Bonin, in his manipulation of the “results”, claimed that, “while a majority of the 2,672 respondents favor an LAPD response to violent crimes and to property crimes in progress, residents overwhelmingly prefer non-LAPD responses to most other situations for which police officers are routinely called.”

Sorry, Mr. Bonin, but that conclusion isn’t exactly true.

I know this because I filed for the raw data of this survey through a California Public Records Act request. Reviewing the data, I found that nearly 30% of the survey respondents declared that they did not even live in CD11! Once again, Bonin appears to allow his own district’s quality of life to be impacted by what those not living in the district prefer.

Further, there were no security or audit controls in place on this survey to ensure users didn’t submit answers more than once. With additional security controls or auditing in place, Mr. Bonin could have removed duplicate submissions from bad actors attempting to skew data that is ostensibly being used to support legislation advancing Bonin’s personal beliefs and policies —  policies that Mr. Bonin’s constituents don’t prefer, according to the data.

Contrary to Bonin’s assertion, an analysis of the data actually reveals that CD11 constituents overwhelmingly preferred the LAPD respond to non-violent crimes like reports or phone calls about loud parties or excessive noise.

This disputes the statement made by Mr. Bonin that “it was clear that my constituents strongly favor narrowing the scope of LAPD responsibilities.”

In fact, LAPD was the most preferred choice to respond to a large number of scenarios presented in the survey, including responding to and investigating reports of graffiti in progress, shoplifting, drug sales, loud parties, domestic abuse, violent crime, shutting down illegal businesses, stolen property, and identity theft, among others.

For Bonin to make legislative decisions affecting the public safety of CD11 residents by looking at data from those that live outside of CD11 is a failure of his civic duty at best and negligence at worst.

At the very least, he should not have resorted to data manipulation to try to convince CD11 constituents that we support his own personal narrative of what needs to be done. Bonin has allowed his personal agenda to drive his constituent representation obligations. The voices of constituents are repeatedly put aside when he does not agree with them. Manipulating and bending data is just another way for Bonin to try to prove his own agenda is in line with those city residents he represents.

But  the data obtained and analyzed tells a different story, and it’s time that Bonin used data responsibly, valuing the input from the constituents he represents — whether he agrees with us or not — to set policy for his district and for those whom he is paid handsomely to represent.

Finally, Councilmember Mike Bonin utilized taxpayer dollars to create, gather and manipulate the data, as well as to send out misleading communications. It is incumbent on him to correct the record, and to send out corrected communication to his constituents admitting that the data he previously presented included input from outside of his district.

Thanks only to a Freedom of Information Act, and our willingness to demand this information, are we able to discover how misleading Bonin had been. If you’re interested in the raw data to run your own analysis, it’s published here (link to raw data).  You can use the Dashboard tab to slice data by Question and by Neighborhood, discover how misleading Bonin has been. One has to wonder, on how else has he been deceiving his constituents?

(Allan Parson is a technologist who has helped some of the largest companies on the internet scale their platforms to millions of users and billions of impressions.  He’s passionate about cloud computing, monitoring, alerting and consumer web architecture.  A Venice resident, Parson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in computer science and business.)

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12 Responses to VIEWPOINT: The Real Results of Mike Bonin’s “Reimagining Public Safety” Survey

  1. David Robinson says:

    Allen, Thank You for your excellent quantitative expert analysis! It’s time to expose the fakers!

  2. Diane says:

    This is disturbing to say the least. No elected official should use his constituents to further a political agenda, especially if it is against their best interests.

  3. John Nordstrom says:

    Thankfully we have a voice of reason to show us the truth.

    Mike Bonin should be ashamed of himself.
    He is a true politician in every sense of the word:

    politician | ˌpäləˈtiSHən |
    • (chiefly US) a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.

  4. Paul Glasgall says:

    Excellent Analysis

    I suggest that Mike Bonin go out on actual LAPD ride alongs for a week, without a vest just the way those “social workers” would.
    Also, all city paid security protection of the council members should cease.

  5. Susie Gilman says:

    Thank you to Allen and Sue for exposing yet another political scumbag who is supposed to be working for and representing US but instead, as is the fashion today, furthering his own agenda (or someone’s to whom he is beholden). Please more of this exchange of investigative journalism so that we the people are aware of what’s happening before our eyes, if we choose to open them.

  6. Chris Casady says:

    I don’t see the point of this. Is the idea to saddle the LAPD with as much responsibility as possible and not develop these other responding services, on the basis that it’s what Mike Bonin’s constituents want? Is the impression that Mike Bonin is anti police? What are you pushing back against?
    I agree, it’s odd the polled living outside his district had less interest in LAPD response that those living inside it. Those results should be removed from the stats if I understand this properly. Still, I don’t see what Mike Bonin is pushing for that you object to.

  7. Dave Borgeson says:

    Excellent analysis. Thanks for that inciteful information. Allen.

  8. C. Jones says:

    Eye opening indeed, thank you. In order for this survey to be taken seriously, we need to eliminate the non-resident category, along with Bonin’s interpretation.

  9. DB Burns says:

    I, too am concerned about the facts presented by Bonin to further his agenda.
    I emailed him of my concerns weeks ago and received no response.

  10. Fed Up With Mike’s Antics says:

    You have all you need to know when your council member schedules a “Town Hall” about ways to “reimagine” public safety – yet his event is not bothering to include LAPD for their perspective on their role in that work. Why not? Why isn’t this balanced with their input? This is a council member who was campaigning for re-election and asking YOU to vote for him on the platform that residents deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods and should see police walking a beat in the name of public safety. If you voted for him he was going to work to make that happen. Now he is not bothering to include those police as a voice at his event. Does he believe they have absolutely no role whatsoever? I guess it sounded good for re-election but now he doesn’t need them in a town hall about the work they do. However he will continue to call them to be posted at his own home when his constituents set up a peaceful demonstration on his sidewalk. Because he expects LAPD to be HIS public safety.

    Mike should be removed from office as soon as possible.

  11. Paul Glasgall says:

    I’ll second that !!

  12. Charlie A says:

    Pl read this. Bonin is either being paid by agenda driven people who are giving him money or he is just dumb. relegating police to only violent crimes pulls them out of communities and the day to day interface interactions and pulling them from certain activities for social workers is dumb wishful thinking:

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