Recall Statement Fact Check

STATEMENT OF REASONS 

   
Lie #1: “Westside residents have banded together to recall Councilman Bonin because of his poor leadership and disregard for residents and small businesses of District 11.”

The recall campaign is being led by people with their own political agendas. Two of the recall leaders are failed City Council candidates, and a third is running for Congress, while peddling a series of conspiracy theories, accusing elected officials of murder, treason and other crimes. Mike Bonin is just won re-election with 71% of the vote, and is backed by hundreds of neighborhood leaders, residents, and small business owners in Council District 11. Mike Bonin works hard every single day to move Los Angeles forward, do good, and get things done for the neighborhoods of the Westside. You can read what our neighbors really think of Mike Bonin and his work here.

Lie #2: “Bonin has prioritized his political advancement and personal agenda over the wellbeing and quality of life of his constituents.”

Mike Bonin has a proven record a leader who gets things done to improve the quality of life for residents of the 11th District and of Los Angeles. He has secured additional Los Angeles Fire Department resources, added more neighborhood police patrols, improved parks and playgrounds, provided more affordable housing, protected open space, saved nutrition and health programs for our seniors, promoted public art, improved neighborhood services, and forced traffic reductions from major projects. The Los Angeles Times praised him for his “courage, energy, fortitude and intelligence”.

Lie # 3: “He’s made us more unsafe”

Mike Bonin is a leader in enhancing public safety. The neighborhoods of the 11th District are among the safest in all of Los Angeles, and crime is down. Mike Bonin has secured additional beat patrol officers for his district while fighting to increase neighborhood patrols citywide. Mike Bonin has dramatically increased Los Angeles Fire Department resources for Westside neighborhoods, including restoration of Engine Company 69 in Pacific Palisades, additional water-dropping helicopters to combat the threat of brush fires in Brentwood and Pacific Palisades, an additional ambulance staffed with two firefighter/EMTs at Fire Station 5 in Westchester, and special emergency medical response unit at Los Angeles International Airport.

Mike Bonin has also led the City Council in approving funding for a multi-faceted traffic safety program to combat an epidemic of traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. LA’s cops and firefighters support Mike and OPPOSE the recall because Mike has worked with them to make our neighborhoods safer.

Lie #4: Bonin “made traffic worse”

Mike Bonin has been a leader locally and regionally in combating traffic and improving mobility. Mike Bonin helped win voter approval of Measure M, the “Los Angeles Traffic Improvement Plan,” which will create a transformative mass transit network, including rail from LAX to the San Fernando Valley. Mike chaired the Metro Expo Construction Authority, which built the enormously popular Metro Expo Line from downtown to the Westside, carrying 64,000 passengers each year who would otherwise use the 10 Freeway. Mike Bonin has downsized proposed developments so they actually reduce their traffic impacts. Mike Bonin has launched the Sunset Traffic Initiative, which has created strategies big and small to reduce traffic congestion on Sunset Boulevard near the 405 Freeway.  As chair of a key committee of the LA Metro Board of Directors, Mike Bonin has pushed the agency to launch micro-transit programs and expand and improve bus service. Mike Bonin led the fight to successfully connect LAX to the Metro rail system.

Lie #5: Bonin is “seeking to restrict our rights to comment on city matters.”

Mike Bonin is a champion of accessibility and government transparency. He voted to give more time and greater weight to neighborhood council testimony at city hearings, and has fought to expand the city’s “early notification system” about pending projects. Mike Bonin created an ambitious “Access 11” program to bring City Hall closer to the neighborhoods of the 11th District. The program includes hosting open office hours at farmers markets, community festivals, church carnivals, youth sporting events, and popular shopping centers. Mike leads open nature hikes with residents throughout the district. Mike Bonin meets with constituents in large Town Halls of hundreds of people, and in small groups in neighbors’ living rooms and at local coffee shops.

Lie #6: Bonin “misled voters when he promised to decrease traffic.”  

The recall campaign likes to repeat lies in the hopes that people will believe them. This is a repeat of Lie #4.

Lie #7: Bonin implemented traffic plans “unilaterally.”

Neither the City Council nor its individual members do not have the power or authority to implement changes to road configurations unilaterally. The Charter of the City of Los Angeles grants authority for “the location, installation and maintenance, operation and removal of all signs, signals, parking meters, pavement markings and other traffic control devices” to the General Manager of the Department of Transportation. Changes to road configurations and lane markings are often done in consultation with the mayor’s office, council offices, neighborhood councils, homeowners associations, and other interested parties.

Lie #8: Bonin implemented traffic plans “without prior outreach.”

Both the Great Streets project in Mar Vista, and the Safe Streets Playa del Rey Initiative involved YEARS of public outreach, meetings, online surveys, community feedback.

The extensive community outreach process prior to the Great Streets project being implemented in Mar Vista included:

  • Surveys were emailed to more than 3,500 Mar Vista residents through the CD11 email list, the Mar Vista Community Council email list, the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce email list, and lists maintained by local homeowners associations, churches, and schools; and additionally posted to the the Mar Vista NextDoor community of nearly 5,000 residents, and also widely shared on Facebook.

  • Surveys and information were repeatedly included in Mike’s monthly newsletter.

  • Mike and Mayor Garcetti went door-to-door on Venice Boulevard, talking with businesses and discussing potential Great Streets projects.

  • Interactive surveys and “vision boards” were stationed frequently at the Mar Vista Farmers Market, Grand View Market, the Venice Grind, Vineyard Church, and Venice High School.

  • All potential project components, including reduced traffic lanes to increase safety, were described and pictured on the vision boards.

  • The Great Streets project was featured several times in The Argonaut Newspaper, including in a September 2014 cover story.

  • LADOT did a one-day demonstration project of the lane reduction and protected bike lane on Venice Boulevard in November 2015.

  • The demonstration included separated bike lanes and reduced traffic lanes.

Lie #9: Road reconfigurations were done “under the guise of safety.”

The insinuation that Los Angeles does not have a traffic safety problem is absurd and demonstrably false. The epidemic of traffic fatalities in Los Angeles is one of the worst in the nation. More than 250 people in our City die every year as a result of traffic collisions.  No community is immune, but the victims are disproportionately older adults, immigrants, people of color, people who live in low-income communities, people with disabilities, and children. In fact, traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death of children between the ages of 5 and 14 in Los Angeles County. It is unacceptable that the deaths of hundreds of people are treated as the collateral damage of living in an auto-centric city. We can end traffic fatalities through a smart, data-driven approach called Vision Zero. Proponents of the recall have sought to eliminate Vision Zero and its funding, which would strip the city and its neighborhoods of resources to install new and improved crosswalks, pedestrian countdown signals, curb ramps, pedestrian and transit bulbs, median safe harbors, traffic signals, improved lighting, speed surveys, speed enforcement, engineering solutions, and more.

Lie #10: Bonin “raided the coffers of Measure M” to pay for road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista.

This is both false and impossible. Lane reconfigurations were done in May and June. The County did not begin levying Measure M funds until July, and the City of Los Angeles did not receive Measure M funds until the fall.

No Measure M money is being reallocated for purposes other than what voters supported last November.The impartial analysis of Measure M, which appeared on ballots as people were voting, made very clear that a vote for Measure M would provide funding for transportation projects, including improved bike and pedestrian connections.

Mike lead the effort on the City Council to allocate the City’s Measure M “local return” funds for both street reconstruction and traffic safety measures, such as traffic signals, pedestrian crossings, street lighting, speed surveys, speed enforcement, public education about street safety, streetscape redesigns, curb extensions and more. All of those items are consistent with the voter-approved Measure M and approved by the full City Council.

Lie #11: “Bonin’s negligent programs and actions have resulted in an increase in accidents and injury rates, including three deaths.”

It is patently absurd and incredibly hypocritical for people leading the effort to eliminate and defund traffic safety programs to accuse Mike Bonin of being responsible for collisions, injuries or deaths. 

In the case of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, objective data directly refutes this lie. According to the latest LAPD data, injuries and collisions on Venice Boulevard have DROPPED since the Mar Vista Great Streets implementation in May 2017. Compared to the previous twelve months. Collisions dropped 22% and injuries dropped 10%.

Vision Zero policies and programs save lives. New York City, which launched a Vision Zero campaign in 2014, saw traffic fatalities drop by 23% in the program’s first three years. In contrast, national traffic fatalities rose by 14% during that same timeframe, according to the National Safety Council.

Lie #12: “Traffic congestion, known as the worst in the world, increase 28% because of his lane reductions”

According to data gathered by INRIX, travel times through the Great Streets corridor in Mar Vista have increased an average of less than 1 minute. INRIX is an internationally recognized firm providing state-of-the-art, GPS-based, crowd-sourced traffic data and analytics.

Lie #13; “19 more streets are slated for road reconfigurations.” 

There are no other road diets planned on any of these streets.

This has become the most frequent, and most dangerous, of the recall leaders' intentionally misleading statements, because they are hoping to scare neighbors in communities not affected by safety projects in Mar Vista or Playa del Rey to supporting the recall.

The recall effort has shamelessly cherry-picked information and distorted it, and are making claims that any street that in the next 30 years might get transit, pedestrian safety, or cycling improvements or projects is a secret plan to reduce lanes. When pressed on this point, recall leaders relent that not all 19 streets are going to receive road diets.

The Mobility Plan/Vision 2035 creates a menu of options that empowers communities to choose mobility and safety solutions that work for them - such as crosswalks, bike lanes, etc. There are NO planned reconfigurations.

Lie #14: Lincoln Boulevard is “slated slated for road reconfiguration.”

Recall proponents have used this line to try to people that the City plans to reduce capacity on Lincoln Boulevard. In fact, the City is conducting environmental analysis on a potential widening of the Lincoln Boulevard bridge over the Ballona Channel -- a project that would ADD a lane for vehicular traffic. The only project recall proponents could be trying to overturn is the north-south mass transit voters approved overwhelmingly in November 2016.

Lie #15: Sepulveda Boulevard is “slated slated for road reconfiguration.”

There are NO planned road diets on Sepulveda Boulevard.

Lie #16: Wilshire Boulevard is “slated slated for road reconfiguration.”

There are NO planned road diets on Wilshire Boulevard.

Lie #17: San Vicente Boulevard is “slated slated for road reconfiguration.” 

There are NO planned road diets on San Vicente Boulevard.

Lie #18: Centinela Avenue is “slated slated for road reconfiguration.”

There are NO planned road diets on Centinela Avenue.

Lie #19: Bonin allowed allowed “massive new developments” on the Sunset Corridor “worsening already gridlocked traffic.”

Mike has approved no new developments on the “Sunset Corridor” in Brentwood.  Mike approved modernization projects for two schools on Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood. In each case, Mike did something groundbreaking to benefit the community and commuters - he required the schools to REDUCE the traffic they contribute to Sunset Boulevard through more carpooling, busing, ride-sharing services, and strict limits on special events. Additionally, Mike has restriped lanes leading from Sunset onto the 405, secured funds for an innovative new ramp metering program, and launched a series of other efforts to reduce congestion on Sunset.

Lie #20: Bonin allowed “massive new developments” at Bundy and Olympic “worsening already gridlocked traffic.”

False. Mike approved a mixed use project around the corner from the Expo Bundy stop that will produce less traffic than what was allowed under the property’s previous industrial zoning. The project includes affordable housing, homeless housing, neighborhood-serving restaurants, a pedestrian plaza, and parking spaces for commuters using the Expo Line.

Lie #21: Bonin allowed “massive new developments” in the Highlands “worsening already gridlocked traffic.”

Not only has Mike not approved a new development for the Palisades Highlands, no project has been approved by the City. But recall opponents are apparently objecting to a proposed assisted living facility for seniors.

Lie #22: Bonin’s style is secretive, autocratic and divisive. He shows disdain and disrespect for residents who question his actions.

Mike Bonin is remarkably accessible and open, seeks regular feedback from the people he represents, and welcomes all feedback, positive and negative. Mike Bonin created an ambitious “Access 11” program to bring City Hall closer to the neighborhoods of the 11th District. The program includes hosting open office hours at farmers markets, community festivals, church carnivals, youth sporting events, and popular shopping centers. Mike leads open nature hikes with residents throughout the district. Mike Bonin meets with constituents in large Town Halls of hundreds of people, and in small groups in neighbors’ living rooms and at local coffee shops.

Mike listens to his constituents and seeks their feedback. For the Mar Vista Great Streets program, he led two years of community outreach prior to implementation, and has attended meetings with individuals, groups, associations, and neighborhood council meetings since implementation. On homelessness issues, Mike surveyed Venice residents before proposing a homeless strategy at a Town Hall meeting attended by hundreds, and then followed up months later with a second Town Hall meeting with people opposed to his proposed solutions.

Lie #23: Bonin proposed an “ordinance that removes residents’ rights to comment on high density housing projects.”

Mike has proposed no such ordinance, and in fact routinely insists that developers in his district provide significantly more opportunity for public comment than is required by law.

Recall proponents -- which include notorious anti-homeless activists -- may be referring to a draft city ordinance that would streamline the process for building homeless housing -- a necessary step to housing people and eliminating the encampments in Los Angeles neighborhoods. Mike supports such an ordinance, and has been an advocate for providing housing and services to end the homelessness crisis in our neighborhoods.

The Permanent Supportive Housing ordinance, by the way, would not be used by any of the three homeless housing developments proposed for city-owned properties in Council District 11.


These are just the 23 lies listed in the petition being circulated by the recall campaign. They have told many more in public meetings and on their website and social media accounts. If you would like to read about the truth that refutes their other lies, you can do so here.


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