The Los Angeles Office of the City Clerk announced on Friday that a petition to recall a socialist elected to the City Council in November has been approved for circulation.
Councilwoman Nithya Raman, 39, told Jacobin magazine last year that she is “a member” of the Democratic Socialists of America locally. She reportedly said, “pretty much my entire platform very much overlaps with what DSA has been fighting for here in L.A.” DSA-LA has claimed her as one of their own and was instrumental in her election, as she became the first L.A. council candidate in 17 years to defeat an incumbent.
Raman represents L.A.’s Fourth Council District, an area she says has “been wildly gerrymandered over the years” that includes parts of Hollywood, Central L.A., and the Sherman Oaks neighborhood. A campaign committee formed in May served her with a recall notice outside of her home on June 9, less than six months after Raman took office. According to the Los Angeles Times, “the committee argued that Raman’s office is inexperienced, unresponsive and too politically radical for her constituents to endure a full four-year term.”
She campaigned on far-left policies like defunding police departments.
City News Service reported:
Under Los Angeles’ recall rules, constituents are able to sign petitions to recall council members starting four weeks after the notices were served.
To get the recall effort on the ballot, campaigns have 120 days to obtain verified signatures from 15% of the districts’ registered voters. The petition’s deadline is Nov. 4 and it needs at least 27,405 signatures from qualified registered voters in her district.
A similar recall effort against Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents Venice and other Westside neighborhoods, requires at least 27,387 signatures.
The two council members have led an effort to replace the city’s mandatory encampment cleanups with a more voluntary, service-based approach. Their motion to have the city develop a new method to replace the cleanups, often referred to as “sweeps,” was unanimously passed by the City Council in April.
The lead proponent of the recall effort against Raman is Allison B. Cohen, a constituent and the editor and publisher of a community news source called the Los Feliz Ledger. Cohen has accused Raman of being “in bed” with DSA-LA and backing a plan to eliminate positions from the LAPD. According to CBS2, Cohen alleges that Raman has put her “personal homelessness ideology over constituent safety.”
After Cohen and other critics targeted Raman for recall, the councilmember responded with a statement last month that read, in part:
I’m really focused on the broad progressive agenda that got so many voters in the district excited about my campaign: effectively moving people from the streets into housing, protecting tenants, supporting small businesses, fighting climate change, and improving our city’s response and engagement on the needs of all of CD 4’s constituents…
I love the people and the neighborhoods of this district. That’s why I ran to represent it. I invite the organizers of this recall to work with me on making it an even better place to live, work and raise our children.
Related: L.A. Progressive Who Represents Venice Beach Served With Recall Notice As Tensions Rise Over Homeless Encampments