LA WATCHDOG - The City Council wants nothing to do with Councilman Kevin de León. But the Councilmembers have not been willing to devote their time and resources to lead a recall effort to get rid of him.
On October 17, the City Council voted to strip Kevin de León of any meaningful committee assignments, including his role as chairman of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee and as member of the Budget and Finance Committee.
On October 26, the City Council voted unanimously to censure Kevin de León for his participation in a secret meeting where racially insensitive and divisive statements were made.
And despite calls for him to resign from his fellow Councilmembers and other elected officials, including President Joe Biden, numerous Angelenos, and the media, Kevin de León has refused to do so.
On October 27, five constituents of Council District 14 filled a petition (see below) to recall Kevin de León because he is unfit for office.
Unfortunately, these five stakeholders do not have the financial resources, the management capabilities, or access to political machine to conduct a full scale signature drive needed to collect 21,000 valid signatures in a district that has a preponderance of apartment dwellers who are hard to reach. Nor do they have the resources to manage a recall vote, especially if Kevin de León mounts a well-financed campaign to oppose the recall.
The members of the City Council, led by City Council President Paul Krekorian, need to put their money where their mouth is and support the recall effort. This includes devoting the time, manpower, political muscle and know how, and financial resources to collect 21,000 valid signatures need to place the recall on the ballot. This will actually require collecting at least 25,000 signatures to compensate for invalid signatures.
They also need to devote the necessary political and financial resources once the recall is placed on the ballot because Kevin de León will fight to defeat the recall.
Of course, a recall might not be necessary if Kevin de León had the decency to resign and save the City millions.
Note: Unlike the State of California, if a recall is successful, the successor must receive a majority of the votes. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the winner will be determined through a special election between the two leading candidates. This will be another significant expense. (See the Recall section of the City Charter below). In a State recall, the winner is determined by who receives the most votes. There is no special election.
Notice of Intent to Recall
We, the undersigned voters of the City of Los Angeles, do hereby petition The Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office for redress of our grievances and do hereby request a Recall Election to be held for cause against Kevin de León.
Statement of Reasons
This STATEMENT OF REASONS is to inform KEVIN de LEON that recall proceedings are about to begin. On October 9, 2022, the LA Times leaked an October 2021 conversation among three members of the Los Angeles City Council and a prominent labor leader. Thereafter, the Councilmembers were asked to resign by the City Council. The labor leader has resigned. Nury Martinez has resigned, and Gil Cedillo has been defeated for CD1 and has ceased to attend Council Meetings. Even though the City Council has called for his resignation, and have stripped him of his Committee assignments, Kevin de Leon has refused to resign. He currently cannot represent the stakeholders of Council District 14. Further, he has never bothered to represent the communities in CD14. His refusal to represent the community since he won his special election to replace Jose Huizar, questions as to whether or not he even lived in the District, and his casual indifference to the community are proof that he is unfit for office. The black, indigenous, central American and poor people discussed in this secret meeting in which de Leon participated prove that he is unfit for office. These are many of the stakeholders who live in CD14, if he ever bothered to look.
For these reasons, it is our prayer the election officials will accept this Letter of Intent, and show Kevin de León IS NOT RIGHT FOR CD14.
We hereby declare that all of the facts contained in this Statement of Reasons to recall Kevin de Leon are true.
Pauline Adkins, Caroline Aguirre, Helen Misik, Amy Peters, Marcell T. Broomall
Selected Articles from the Los Angeles Times
Sec. 430. Subject of Recall.
Any incumbent of an elected office, whether elected by vote of the people or appointed to fill a vacancy, may be removed from office by the registered voters of the City of Los Angeles, or the registered voters of the School District in the case of removal of a member of the Board of Education. The removal of the incumbent shall be known as the recall.
Sec. 431. Recall Petition.
A recall petition shall comply with the provisions of the Charter and the City Election Code. The following shall apply to all recall petitions:
(a) To qualify for presentation to the City Council, a recall petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least 15% of the registered voters eligible to vote for the office, the incumbent of which is sought to be removed. The 15% shall be computed upon the number of registered voters on the date of filing with the City Clerk of the Notice of Intention to circulate the petition described in subsection (b) of this section. If the recall petition concerns removal of a member of Council, or member of the Board of Education, the 15% shall be computed upon the total number of registered voters within the Council district or Board district from which the Council member, or member of the Board of Education was elected. Only signatures of registered voters living within the Council district or Board district, as the case may be, shall be counted in computing the 15%, and only voters residing within the district shall be entitled to vote at the election. All names signed to a petition must have been secured within the time period described in subsection (d), and any signature affixed outside of this time period shall not be counted in determining the sufficiency of the petition.
(b) Before submitting a recall petition for signatures, its proponents shall publish a Notice of Intention and a Statement of Reasons (Statement) for the proposed recall. No such notice shall be effective if published: (1) before the officer has held his or her current term of office for three months, or (2) within six months of the expiration of the current term of office, or (3) within six months after a recall election at which the officer was retained in office. The Statement shall be served on the officer to be recalled and on the City Clerk, and shall otherwise comply with requirements of the City Election Code. The sufficiency of the Statement shall not be subject to review by the Council; however, the petition, when circulated, shall have attached to it an affidavit of one or more of the proponents that all of the facts contained in the Statement are true.
(c) The officer whose recall is sought, or anyone acting upon his or her behalf, may publish an Answer to the Statement (Answer) in accordance with the requirements of the City Election Code. If an Answer is published, it shall be served on the proponent of the recall and on the City Clerk, and shall otherwise comply with requirements of the City Election Code. The Statement and Answer are intended solely for the information of the voters and no insufficiency in their form or substance shall affect in any manner the validity of the proceedings taken under the Charter.
(d) Within the time after the publication and service of the Statement as provided in the City Election Code, the petition demanding the recall of the officer may be circulated for signatures. The petition shall contain a copy of the Statement and any Answer, and shall otherwise be in a form prescribed by the City Election Code. Signatures shall be secured and the petition filed within 120 days from the first day to circulate.
(e) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this Article relating to the form and to the mode of signing initiative petitions, and to the filing, examining, certifying, supplementing, presenting to the Council and the retaining thereof, shall apply to any petition filed with the City Clerk under this section. The sufficiency or insufficiency of any recall petition shall not be subject to review by the Council.
Sec. 432. Action by Council on Recall Petition.
When a recall petition is presented to the Council by the City Clerk, the Council shall within 20 days, by order or ordinance, call for the holding of a special election, and if necessary a special runoff election, for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the City at large, of the Council district, or of the Board district, as the case may be, the question of whether the officer shall be recalled, and if recalled, for the election of his or her successor. The special election shall be held not less than 88 days nor more than 125 days after the date of Council action on the petition; provided, however, that if any other election for any purpose at which all the qualified voters of the City, of the Council District, or of the Board District, as the case may be, are entitled to vote, is to occur during that time period, the Council shall order the holding of the recall election and the consolidation thereof with such other election.
Sec. 433. Supporting and Opposing Arguments.
Any incumbent of an office whose removal is sought may file with the City Clerk an Argument Opposing the Recall, justifying the incumbent's course in office. The person filing the recall petition, or the person or organization on whose behalf a recall petition was filed, shall have the right to present to the City Clerk an Argument Supporting the Recall. Arguments supporting and opposing the recall shall be submitted to the City Clerk and distributed to the voters in compliance with the requirements of the City Election Code.
Sec. 434. Prohibition on Reappointment.
No person who has been removed from an elected office by the recall, or who has resigned from office while recall proceedings were pending, shall be appointed to any office under the Charter for two years after that removal or resignation.
Sec. 435. Recall Ballot.
In addition to the question of whether the incumbent shall be removed from office, each recall ballot shall also list the names of all persons who have been nominated as candidates to succeed the person whose removal is sought. The name of the incumbent shall not appear on the ballot as a candidate for the office. If a majority of the registered voters voting on the matter vote in favor of the recall, then the incumbent shall be removed from office effective on the date the successor qualifies.
Sec. 436. Nomination of Candidates to Replace Recalled Officer.
Any candidate to be voted for at a recall election, other than the incumbent sought to be removed, may be nominated by petition, which petition shall conform to the provisions of the Charter, so far as applicable, relating to nominating petitions at primary nominating elections. Nominating petitions may be circulated upon the City Clerk’s certificate of sufficiency of the recall petition. Each nominating petition must be filed with the City Clerk within the time established in the ordinance calling the special election. The City Clerk shall ascertain whether or not the petition is signed by the requisite number of registered voters of the City, Council district, or Board district, as the case may be, in accordance with the requirements of the Charter and the City Election Code. The City Election Code shall govern the circumstances under which and process by which insufficient petitions may be supplemented.
Sec. 437. Election of Candidate to Succeed Recalled Officer.
If the vote at any recall election shall recall an officer of the City of Los Angeles, or a member of the Board of Education, then the candidate who receives a majority of the votes cast for candidates to succeed the officer removed shall be declared elected for the remainder of the term. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes at the recall election shall be candidates at a special runoff election, and whichever candidate receives the majority vote at that election shall be elected to succeed the recalled officer.