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City councilor Nithya Raman faces recall offer from LA group

Voters in Southern California have launched a new offer to dismiss a politician ahead of the regular electoral cycle – this time targeting a Los Angeles city councilor who has only been in office for six months.

CD4 for CD4, a campaign committee formed last month, gave City Councilor Nithya Raman a recall notice outside her home in Silver Lake on Wednesday. On its website and elsewhere, the committee argued that Raman’s office is inexperienced, callous and too politically radical for his constituents to endure a full four-year term.

Raman, 39, did not respond to each of the group’s complaints. But in a statement, the city councilor said she was focusing on her “big progressive agenda” – helping tenants, small businesses and homeless people, among others.

“I love the people and the neighborhoods in this neighborhood. That’s why I ran to represent him, ”she said. “I invite the organizers of this reminder to work with me to make it an even better place to live, work and raise our children.”

Assuming his papers are in order, CD4 for CD4 would need to collect over 27,000 valid signatures between July and early November to get a reminder on the ballot in the 4th district of Raman Council, which spans from Hancock Park north to Sherman Oaks and east to Lac d’Argent.

Raman beat city councilor David Ryu by a comfortable margin in November, becoming the first city hall candidate for city hall to oust an incumbent in 17 years. She is far from the only California politician to have been the subject of a recall threat.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is already set to face voters in a recall election this year, while county foes from LA Dist. Atty. George Gascón began collecting signatures for his own county-wide recall offering. Critics of City Councilor Mike Bonin are making plans for a recall effort – an effort that could factor into next year’s election calendar if not launched soon.

Raman won his seat last year with the support of some influential left-wing political groups, including the LA chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Recall contributors highlighted Raman’s working relationship with this organization, which favors the abolition of police services and prisons, saying this is a sign that the city councilor has a “radical far-left agenda”.

Allison Cohen, the main supporter of the committee’s recall, criticized Raman for his office’s approach to homelessness and for supporting a plan to downsize the Los Angeles Police Department by 250 officers. She also questioned Raman’s decision to travel to Echo Park Lake in March, when dozens of activists protested plans to remove a homeless camp with nearly 200 tents.

“Emails are not returned. Calls are not returned. People tried unsuccessfully to get meetings with her, ”Cohen said. “Yet she shows up at Echo Park as part of this protest situation. It’s not even his neighborhood.

Cohen, editor-in-chief and publisher of Los Feliz Ledger, said residents were also upset that Raman spoke out against a Planning Department’s proposal for height limits on stretches of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and Hillhurst Avenue in Los Feliz.

Jesse Zwick, a spokesperson for Raman, has argued in recent months that the councilman’s stance will boost the construction of more affordable housing. Raman, for his part, said his office had helped dozens of homeless settlements that had been “long neglected” and had worked to restore funding to the park.

“We worked with voters in each neighborhood in the 4th arrondissement to effectively address their concerns,” she said.

By city rules, Raman has 21 days to respond to the recall notice, if she wishes. The 120-day period for collecting signatures would begin July 7 – as long as the city approves the petition form, said Jinny Pak, who manages the city clerk’s electoral division.

To qualify for the ballot, supporters of the recall will need to collect valid signatures from 15% of registered voters in the Raman district.

If they are successful in this effort, the LA chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America will likely step forward to help the city councilor. Erin O’Neal-Robinson, co-chair of the group’s political electoral committee, called supporters of the recall effort “right-wing extremists having a tantrum” and said voters made it clear last year they wanted Raman.

“She is one of our candidates. We will support it as we can, ”she said. “But time will tell what form it will take.”

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