L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin Takes the Coward's Way out, Claiming He Needs to Attend to 'Health and Wellness'

Mike Bonin announcing he will not seek reelection, screenshot. Credit: Mike Bonin YouTube

The fallout from California’s progressive policies is finally hitting the right people. After skirting a recall attempt, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin had a spiritual awakening: He needed to attend to his mental health, and announced that he would not be running for re-election.

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin announced on Wednesday, Jan. 26, he will not run for a third term in the June primary, saying he will instead focus on his health and wellness.

“I’ve struggled for years with depression. It’s a constant companion, and often a heavy one. There are times when this job has made that easier, and times when it has made it more challenging. Instead of seeking another term, it’s time for me to focus on health and wellness,” Bonin announced on Twitter.

On the one hand, it’s wise to know when you desperately need some “self-care.” On the other hand, he should have done it before he helped destroy what used to be a fun and attractive part of the City of Los Angeles. People who visit Southern California used to want one of their tourist stops to be The Strand on Venice Beach.

Not. Anymore.

The District 11 councilman, who is one of the City Council’s most progressive members, won his last election in 2017 with 71% of the vote. He had previously announced he would seek reelection to the district that includes Venice, Pacific Palisades, Mar Vista and Westchester.

Bonin was the target of a recall effort begun in 2021. Los Angeles City Clerk Holly L. Wolcott announced Jan. 18 the effort failed to receive enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The recall campaign was begun by constituents upset with Bonin’s handling of the homelessness crisis. Bonin has advocated for a housing-first approach instead of enforcement to remove encampments.

The recall may have failed, but the taint on Bonin’s reputation remains—as it should. Instead of actually course correcting and making strides to address his constituents’ legitimate concerns, like the coward he is, he refuses to be challenged—health concerns, or no.

Bonin has consistently voted against his colleagues’ proposals to enforce the city’s anti-camping law, which went into effect in September, banning encampments at various locations across the city once a motion for the locations is approved by the City Council.

Venice Beach has recently been cleared of its homeless encampments, and restoration efforts are underway to bring it back to its former glory. But those homeless simply joined their friends under the 405 Freeway underpass, and the rampant crime and toxic traffic continue apace. Bonin digging in his heels and pretending to be on the right side of history has taken its toll. Between Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva calling him out for his lack of leadership, fellow Councilman Joe Buscaino announcing his mayoral run at Venice Beach with the promise of cleaning up Mike’s mess, and the useless Mayor Eric Garcetti with one foot in India and the other on a banana peel, the handwriting was on the wall for Bonin’s chances of re-election.

“This position allows me to make positive, progressive change. It is a great privilege. But in the past few years, the job has forced me to focus much more of my time and energy on battling the negative instead of creating the positive. I need to reverse that dynamic,” Bonin tweeted.

“To those who are disappointed by my decision, I am sorry. It is very difficult to walk away from a third term, and the work we have been doing together, but I need to listen to my heart. This is the best decision for me and my family.”

And unless the people of CD-11 elect someone worse (it’s possible), this is the best decision for the people of Los Angeles.

The CleanLA Movement is right; it’s a larger problem and a bigger battle to keep other activists disguised as do-gooders from running for office and having a hand in public policy. Bonin probably has some six-figure consultancy with some non-profit funded to solve the homeless problem lined up already. He needs to be kept far away from any form of public office, attend to his mental health, and leave the populace alone.

Oh, and Mike: Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out.