LA City Clerk Confirms Bonin Recall Petition Headed to Verification Stage

City Clerk has until January 2, 2022 to verify signatures 

By Sam Catanzaro

The Los Angeles City Clerk has confirmed that the “raw number of signatures” on a recall petition against Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin is enough for it to proceed to the verification stage, which will occur over the next month. 

The city clerk on Friday did not specify the number of signatures. Recall effort’s organizer, Nico Ruderman, however, said on November 10, when the petition was filed, that the group collected 39,188 signatures. This number is 11,847 more than required, reflecting around 21 percent of the district’s eligible voter base. The 27,317 signatures needed under city code are 15 percent of the registered voters in the district. 

If the signatures are verified and a special election triggered, the timing would be unusual. Bonin is already running for a third (and final) term in an election set for June. According to City Clerk Wolcott, a recall election would likely occur in May. A special election ballot would include not just a question about whether the voter supports the recall but also a list of replacement candidates.

This is the second time Bonin has faced a recall effort. In 2017-2018, constituents launched an unsuccessful recall effort in response to increased congestion resulting from lane reductions championed by Bonin. This initial effort, however, was localized to the Playa Del Rey and Mar Vista areas. This latest effort, however, has drawn support from across the district from voters frustrated by Bonin’s handling of the homelessness crisis.

“Mr. Bonin has ignored the calls of the community for help, particularly with the humanitarian crisis in our streets, as his solutions for the seven and half years he has been in office have proven ineffective and dangerous for everyone, including and especially for the homeless community he purports to champion,” said Katrina Schmitt, the co-head of the recall committee. 

Bonin’s office has not issued an official statement regarding the recall but the councilmember took to Twitter last month to speak out against the effort. 

“If the recall succeeds, it will empower those who think homelessness can be solved with handcuffs, something our city has tried and failed at for decades. We risk giving up on an evidence-based approach of housing and services, which began in earnest in just the past few years,” Bonin wrote. “The leaders of the recall are people who oppose homeless housing in their neighborhood, and people who are angry that I refuse to criminalize homelessness. They’re exploiting legitimate frustration about our crisis, and misleading people about what causes it and what ends it.”

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