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Recall bid targeting L.A. City Councilwoman Nithya Raman collapses

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, pictured last year. An effort to recall her collapsed on Friday.
(Los Angeles Times)

The group that had been seeking to recall Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman ended its signature gathering effort on Friday, saying it would not meet the target by the Nov. 4 deadline.

Organizers of the effort said in a statement that they had encountered “confusing forms” and “overly complex rules” — as well as the challenge of gathering signatures during a lingering pandemic. The group needed nearly 27,500 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Recall proponent Susan Collins said the group had been passionate about making the city “safer, cleaner and healthier.”

“We intend to be back and strategic about making the most impact,” said Collins, who ran unsuccessfully for the seat last year.

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The announcement represents yet another setback for recall drives across the state. Voters decisively rejected an attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday, with experts calling the race less than an hour after the polls closed.

Days later, the group seeking to oust Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced it was pulling the plug on its signature gathering effort. Representatives of that group said they intend to try again.

The L.A. City Council voted to limit protests outside residences, passing a law that lets targets and others seek fines from unlawful demonstrators.

In Raman’s district, which stretches from Silver Lake to Sherman Oaks, recall proponents had expressed unhappiness with the councilwoman over her handling of homelessness, public safety and planning and development.

Raman, in turn, described the recall as a waste of taxpayer money and an attempt to undo an election less than a year after she had taken office. In a June filing with the City Clerk, she said she was proud of her work securing funding for Griffith Park, approving protections for renters and working to address the homelessness crisis.

“This recall attempt never got in the way of doing what we were elected decisively to do,” Raman said in a statement Friday. “I love the people and the neighborhoods of this district and will continue to work with them to make this an even better place to live, work, and raise our children.”

L.A has seen a burst of recall bids announced in recent months. In addition to Raman, voters have launched signature gathering drives targeting Council Members Mike Bonin and Kevin de León.

Such efforts are rarely successful in L.A. Over the last 20 years, recalls have been announced at City Hall against Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Paul Krekorian, former Councilman Jack Weiss and others. None of them reached the ballot.


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