Recall De León Campaign Seeks 25K Signatures as Council Disruption Continues

Despite calls to resign, City Council member Kevin de León has yet to step down, leading to a petition to remove him by vote

Organizers of a petition to recall embattled L.A. City Councilmember Kevin de León must collect around 25,000 signatures to proceed with a recall campaign that is now picking up steam as Council meetings see continued unrest.

Despite a chorus of calls for de León to resign, the resident harbinger of “healing” and two-year vet of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 14 has remained in office, leading recall organizers to launch a signatures-collecting campaign. De León has managed to temporarily escape the consequences of the City Hall racism scandal, which began when a leaked audio recording of a racist language-laden conversation between de León and other city leaders and a labor chief.

Last week, organizers submitted a notice of intent to recall de León to the City Clerk’s Office, beginning the lengthy recall process in earnest. Organizers must now collect signatures from 15% of the population of District 14–about 21,006 registered voters—within 120 days of the petition’s certification. In actuality, that number might end up closer to 25,000, leaving a 20% cushion for a likely number of unverified signatures.

Pauline Adkins, who organized previous attempts to recall de León, and four others signed the notice of intent and a website announcing the recall campaign lists Adkins as the main point of contact for the campaign. Adkins has stated that she is “one thousand percent confident” that she and her team will gather the necessary signatures.

“That’s the vibe we’re getting is that there’s going to be a lot of constituents,” Adkins said. “They’re very, very upset. I’m just overwhelmed by the participation of CD 14 in this early stages of the recall.”

Aside from the recall campaign, Adkins has authored posts in support of former President Donald Trump and claimed falsely that the 2020 election was rigged and a “horrible theft.”

Adkins has also proclaimed that her previous attempts to recall de León were “being foiled by the staff of the election office,” writing: “I have been labeled a Trumpster, so they know I’m a Trump supporter and of course, the city of Los Angeles is seriously Democratic.”

Joshua Spivak, a senior research fellow at UC Berkeley’s Law School’s California Constitution Center, has said that the real question is staring voters in the face, “‘Was this behavior OK?’ So, voters may very well say no.”

Meanwhile, protesters on Tuesday were ejected from City Hall after an attempted disruption of the Council’s meeting, demanding that both de León and fellow Council member Gil Cedillo, who was also heard in that nasty, racist leaked conversation, resign. Council President Paul Krekorian had previously allowed the couple dozen protesters to make noise as the council members continued with the meeting, wearing earphones to hear. Today, however, Krekorian gave three quick warnings before having police in riot gear clear the protesters.

Hamid Khan, an organizer with Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, has been among those attempting to shut down Council meetings since the scandal broke.

“This was again an indication of speaking over people’s voices, trying to silence them, intimidate them, threaten them—with a heavy police presence,” Khan told City News Service last week of the Council resuming meetings.

Krekorian cited Council Rule 12, which states in part that “no person in the audience at a Council or Committee meeting shall engage in conduct that disrupts the orderly conduct of any Council or Committee meeting.”

Krekorian, in his third week as council president, had not cited the rule by name during previous protests. He said the Council could not proceed because the protesters were “making noise, including using noisemakers.”

“This is creating an actual disruption,” he said.

City News Service contributed to this report

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