The District 11 Los Angeles City Council race has been called both the most competitive of the cycle and a battle for the soul of the Westside.
The field in the district includes as many as half a dozen candidates thought to have a decent chance of finishing in the top two, thereby earning a spot in a November runoff.
Covering some of the most affluent areas in L.A., the district stretches from Pacific Palisades to Los Angeles International Airport and inland to Mar Vista, Brentwood and West L.A. But one key battleground is Venice, where debates over the homeless crisis have divided residents and sparked a failed recall effort against current Councilman Mike Bonin. Beside homelessness, inequity and housing, crime and development have been big issues.
Bonin, one of L.A.’s most liberal council members, became a lightning rod as homeless camps multiplied in parts of the district, especially the famed oceanside boardwalk in Venice. Bonin has been praised by some advocates for his empathic view of the unhoused. Critics depict him as out of touch and more sympathetic to the unhoused than he is to encampment neighbors.
Whoever wins the election faces a vexing challenge.
As Times columnist Steve Lopez observed: “Whoever succeeds Bonin is going to find that the fractured, multi-agency homeless services bureaucracy is an incorrigible beast. Then there’s the housing crisis, abject poverty, mental health service failures and other forces beyond direct control of a council member. In many instances, helping someone can be complicated.”
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- Erin Darling, civil rights lawyer
- Greg Good, a former member of the city’s Board of Public Works
- Allison Holdorff Polhill, a former aide to school board member Nick Melvoin
- Midsanon “Soni” Lloyd, school teacher
- Jim Murez, president of the Venice Neighborhood Council
- Mike Newhouse, real estate attorney
- Traci Park, an attorney who specializes in municipal law
- Mat Smith, a medical delivery driver.
Readings from other publications
Candidates united in anger of state of the Westside
(Santa Monica Daily Press)
Big money in a council race
Venice and the war over homelessness
Policing and Venice