By Suzanne Thompson
At the end of a meeting I recently attended, there was a lively discussion about the proposed recall campaign against Los Angeles CD 11, City Councilman Mike Bonin. One person shared her frustration with traffic. Another passionately conveyed her support for more pedestrian and bike friendly roads and her disdain for people or campaigns that spread lies and misinformation.
A few days later, a Facebook Live press conference caught my attention. A small group gathered on the narrow sidewalk at Pacific and Paloma Court. In the video you can see a couple people standing in the street on Pacific as several cars were speeding by. I thought this was an unsafe location for people to gather near the crosswalk where Damon Eric Shear was killed by a car on October 25th.
Then I saw the Recall Bonin signs. I thought, how insensitive and disrespectful those opportunists are using the death of a pedestrian in Venice to exploit their lies about Councilman Bonin. That really did it for me. And who do I see? The same old face. Mark Ryavec. The diehard comeback loser. Big shock for some to see turncoat Robin Rudisill with this group.
Both Ryavec and Rudisill ran against Bonin in the last election held on March 7th. Real facts! Election results: Mike Bonin with 71.00% = 31,865 votes, Mark Ryavec with 15.70% = 7,047 votes and Robin Rudisill with 13.30% = 5,967 votes. Total votes cast 44,879. More people voted in Council District 11 than in any other district in the City of LA. Now, just eight months after the election, Ryavec (a paid lobbyist who represented Donald Trump in his fight to build a 125-story skyscraper on Wilshire Boulevard) and Rudisill (former Chair of Land Use and Planning Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council), have joined efforts with Alexis Edelstein, (California Democratic Party Assembly District 62 delegate, founded Berniecrats of California, is supported by the racist alt-right KFI AM radio hosts Jon and Ken and alleged to have registered to run for CD-33 against Ted Lieu), Demetrios Mavromichalis (owner of the Venice Grind coffee shop) and Alix Gucovsky to spearhead efforts to recall Bonin.
The Recall campaign’s website states that its initial reason for the recall was after Bonin’s implementation of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative which removed one lane of traffic on Venice Boulevard between Beethoven Street and Inglewood Boulevard in favor of bike lanes and parking. Other streets affected by “road diets” were Vista del Mar, Culver Blvd., Jefferson Blvd. and Pershing Blvd.
The Recall group planned to file a Notice of Intent to recall with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission to start collecting signatures for a recall petition. They must gather about 27,000 signatures from voters in Bonin’s West L.A. council district (10% of total voter registration) over a period of 120 days to trigger a recall. Their website says they’ve already raised $72,000 (Edelstein says $100,000) of the $200,000 goal and have opened a political action committee to raise more. It is estimated that a recall election would cost taxpayers at least $500,000. (www.recallbonin.com/).
I hate seeing people in my community of over 30 years, turn into little “Trumpettes” spreading fake information, telling lies and bullying people. Fake news, folks!
“As with most Big Lies it both resembles the truth enough that it might confuse people and is crazy enough that people would believe it because “hey, who would lie about something that audacious?”
Get the facts! See the rest of Damien Newton’s and Joe Linton’s article “The Big Lie: No, Bonin Did Not Steal Measure M Money for Vision Zero” in STREETSBLOGLA at:
Mike Bonin, one of the most progressive members of the Los Angeles City Council has represented District 11 for the past four years. He served as Chief of Staff under the late City Councilman Bill Rosendahl. He has shown courage, intelligence and compassion and is a champion for public art.
One of Bonin’s biggest political challenges is to house homeless people here in Venice. Bonin said, “What best serves everyone is getting homeless people permanently off the streets by finding them permanent housing.”
The Venice Community Housing Venice-Dell-Pacific housing project does that here in Venice. This is an amazing opportunity to provide permanent supportive housing at the parking lot on Venice and Pacific that also preserves the existing parking and ensures a community process so that the project serves multiple community needs. Get the facts! Affordable and permanent supportive housing (PHS) are primarily being built in other communities. There are more than 8,000 PSH operating Countywide, and only 42 of them are in Venice. In other Westside communities, Santa Monica has more than 350 PSH units and Del Rey has at least 85 PSH units. The large majority of PSH units have been produced in communities in Downtown Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and the Valley. There hasn’t been significant affordable housing production in Venice since the 1990s. See http://www.vchcorp.org/venice-dell-pacific-faqs/.
Mike Bonin is a leader and has a good track record on the issues that matter to most of you progressives reading this article. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy. He is gay, a Courage Campaign leader, a LGBT activist and voted for Bernie Sanders.
Robin Rudisill, states on the Recall website that “…. It appears he doesn’t want to really know how we feel.”
So, what is this Recall all about? Shameful self-promotion, especially from this well-known cyber bully. Arturo Flores concludes, “Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.”
Arturo Flores, a Bernie Sanders supporter wrote in Medium.com, “I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be addressed within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.”
I’m with Mr. Flores and ask you, and the true Berniecrats to join us in denouncing the recall and Alexis’ actions, (as well as the other Recall committee members), and to preserve the integrity of the progressive identity in Venice, the Westside and throughout California. We should be building coalitions to address the issues that impact CD11 residents, such as the loss of affordable housing, homelessness, traffic, the environment, and not embarking on self-adulation campaigns. It’s never been easy in Venice. Let’s get to work!