Recall Campaign Underway Against Kevin de Leon

Gil Cedillo and de Leon official censured by LA City Council 

By Dolores Quintana

Nury Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo were officially censured by the Los Angeles City Council on October 11 and then the Council held a formal and unanimous vote to censure on October 26. The motion also called for the two remaining and disgraced City Council members to resign like Nury Martinez already has. During a press conference after the censure vote, newly elected City Council President Paul Krekorian said, “Some of the members of the public who demand that we do something should understand that with this vote, we have literally done every single action available to the council in demanding the resignation of our two colleagues. We’ve now done it by formal vote in addition to the censure. So there are no steps remaining for this council to take to demand those resignations.”

Krekorian added, “It is now up to the people of the 14th Council District to really step forward with a recall to remove Mr. de Leon from office.” He explained that since Gil Cedillo lost his seat to City Council member-elect Eunisses Hernandez, he must vacate the office by the end of the year and so cannot be recalled. President Krekorian also said that should Gil Cedillo “resign tomorrow”, he would be willing to put before the council to swear in Hernandez immediately.

In response, a day later, five residents of Council District 14 filed a Notice of Intention to recall Kevin de Leon at the Office of the City Clerk, including the author of two of the previous recall attempts against de Leon, Pauline Adkins of Eagle Rock, who is the petition’s main contact as reported by ABC 7. com.  A recall effort requires that the people who file the petition collect signatures from 20% of registered voters in Los Angeles City Council District 14 in 120 days. Joshua Spivak, senior research fellow and expert on recall elections, noted, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times, that while the amount of signatures needed is 15% of registered voters, most recalls must generate signatures in the 20 percentile to realistically account for signatures that will not be accepted or will be disqualified by the City Clerk and Registrar. 

Recalls have been launched against a number of Democratic officials in the last year including attempted recalls of Governor Gavin Newsom, Mayor Eric Garcetti, District Attorney George Gascón, City Council members Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman and the three previous attempts to recall Kevin de Leon. None of these attempts have been successful.

De León spokesperson Pete Brown said, as quoted by The Los Angeles Times, “After three failed attempts, yet another recall that distorts his record will not distract the councilmember or his office from continuing to serve the people of Council District 14. He will keep moving forward important projects and issues that threaten the communities and the lives of his constituents.” despite the fact that de Leon hasn’t attended a City Council meeting in two weeks since the scandal erupted and the City Council President and the other members of the council have made it clear that de Leon and Cedillo are not welcome to attend.

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