July 13, 2021
Earlier this year, Mike Bonin authored a motion seeking a purported “feasibility study” to install homeless shelters at Mar Vista and Westchester Parks, as well as Will Rogers State Beach, Dockweiler Beach, and Fisherman’s Village in Marina Del Rey. Mr. Bonin and his staff then made the rounds to CD-11 Neighborhood Council meetings, selling the false narrative that this was the “beginning of a conversation” and that the motion simply sought authorization to conduct a “feasibility study.”
I attended many of the Neighborhood Council meetings where the “feasibility study” motion was discussed. Overwhelmingly, neighbors and stakeholders showed up to express their opposition and outrage at the idea. Why were people so upset about it? Because Mike Bonin has proven, repeatedly, that he cannot be trusted to “safely” manage such projects. And sadly, his broken promises around the Venice Bridge Home were repeatedly offered up as the shining example of why the community does not trust Mike Bonin.
Remember, back in 2018, Mike Bonin held a townhall meeting in Venice and promised the community that, in exchange for hosting his Bridge Home shelter, the neighborhood would be safer, encampments would be cleared, and the area would become a Special Enforcement Zone. None of those promises were kept. Instead, the Venice Bridge Home spillover encampment grew exponentially, and crime and violence exploded. In just the first six months of operation, there were 114 calls for service to LAPD from the Venice Bridge Home. The surrounding neighborhood was completely abandoned by Mr. Bonin.
Over the objections of the CD-11 communities, on May 26, 2021, Mike Bonin took his motion for a “feasibility study” to the City Council, where it passed 14-1.
Thanks to the excellent investigative reporting of Sue Pascoe of Circling the News, which compiled information obtained through Public Records Act requests, we now know that the “feasibility study” was conducted long before Mr. Bonin started this charade. According to Circling the News, the “feasibility study” had actually been underway since August 2020. Mike Bonin and his staff, in conjunction with various City and County Departments, have already surveyed the locations, studied electrical, sewers, plumbing, sanitation amenities, fire hydrant installation, and other necessary infrastructure. The story can be located here.
Mike Bonin’s claim that this was the “beginning of a conversation” was a lie. The fact is, his motion was never just for a “feasibility study.” He was going to do this all along, regardless of what his constituents have to say about it. The lies and the lack of transparency need to stop.
Keep doing your best, and I will do the same.