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Nithya Raman Facing Recall Effort


Last week, a group calling itself CD4 for CD4 issued a statement saying it had delivered an official “Notice of Intent to Recall” to City Council Member Nithya Raman.  The statement is the first step in a formal recall effort announced in May by Los Feliz Ledger publisher Allison B. Cohen.

Cohen told the Buzz this morning that since May, she has been working with the city attorney’s office to correctly follow the legal process for the effort.  According to Cohen, now that the Notice of Intent has been delivered, Raman has 21 days to submit a response or rebuttal statement that would be included on a petition for signatures, along with the petitioners’ Statement of Reasons for the petition.  (If Raman chooses not to submit a statement, the fact that she declined to do so would also be stated on the petition.)

After the 21 days is up, the recall proponents can begin collecting petition signatures.  They would need more than 27,000 signatures (at least 15% of the registered voters in CD4) by November to get a recall vote placed on the ballot.

CD4 for CD4’s official “Statement of Reasons” for the recall campaign, which will also appear on the recall petition when it is circulated, include:

  • You repeatedly put your PERSONAL HOMELESSNESS IDEOLOGY over constituent safety. You have enabled gang members to commit crimes–including drug trafficking, robbery, brandishing and firing of guns and prostitutional extortion, often in full view of families and children—while ignoring months of pleas for safety from the citizens you were elected to serve.
  • CHAOS AND LAWLESSNESS EVERYWHERE: You refuse to acknowledge addiction and mental illness as root causes of homelessness and wrongly insist the city can build its way out of the crisis.
  • You and your staff are hostile and disruptive to LAW ENFORCEMENT, advocating for LAPD defunding despite an increase in dangerous crime and fires—often stemming from homeless encampments—in your district.
  • ABSENT: You claim to encourage dialogue and transparency, yet you and your staff have only superficially availed yourself to constituents, abruptly abandoning meetings, refusing to answer questions and chronically ignoring constituent meeting requests, calls and emails.
  • You also routinely skirt the topic of PROTECTION OF SINGLE-FAMILY ZONE NEIGHBORHOODS. We conclude you favor their destruction. You up-ended a decade of constituents’ work when you unilaterally, with no input from the citizens you purportedly represent, requested the City Planning Commission increase building heights in district neighborhoods such as Los Feliz.
  • Finally, you refuse to disavow your alliance with the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF LOS ANGELES (DSA-LA), WHICH CLAIMS TO “CO-GOVERN” WITH YOU, a group that proudly brandishes the hammer and sickle, whose goals are to end capitalism and abolish prisons and police. Your actions appear scripted by the DSA-LA and its affiliates.

As she noted in her editorial last month, Cohen is spearheading the recall effort, but the campaign must also officially include five “proponents.”  Cohen is one of the five who have signed on;  the others are:

  • Scott A. Meyers – An attorney who lives in the Hollywood Hills
  • Michael Malone – A resident of the Mid-Wilshire area
  • William Newby – A financial advisor who lives in Hancock Park
  • Susan Collins – An opponent of Raman’s in last year’s CD4 election, who lives in Sherman Oaks

Cohen said the CD4 for CD4 committee also includes another two dozen recall advocates, though their names have not yet been released.

While a number of people throughout CD4 have expressed similar dissatisfactions with Raman in recent months (see this poll by the local news website The Eastsider), not all of them are ready yet to engage in a recall.  In a letter printed in the LA Times yesterday, Brookside resident Roy Forbes said he is among those dissatisfied with Raman’s performance so far, but that isn’t enough to justify the recall effort.

“I didn’t vote for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman last November, and do not agree with her policies,” Forbes wrote to the Times, “but that’s not a reason to recall her.”

Forbes’ letter goes on to say that recalls were “designed as a remedy to remove elected officials from office due to criminal behavior or simply not showing up for work,” not “simply because you don’t like their policies and want a second bite at the electoral apple before the next scheduled election.”  Forbes said he thinks voters knew who Raman was when they elected her and “those who do not like this will have the opportunity to vote her out in 2021.  That’s called democracy.”

And finally, Forbes told the Buzz today that in addition to the sentiments printed in the Times, he also thinks such recall efforts are “a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.”

But Cohen disagrees, noting that recall campaigns are allowed after someone has been in office for as little as three months.  “A recall is a legal and democratic form of protest,” she told the Buzz.  “We just feel that she has been in office long enough to show us what to expect.”

Among those shortcomings, Cohen said, are the Council Member’s lack of availability to the community, her close connections to the DSA (“it’s like they have a seat at the table with her and her constituents do not”), her push to build much more multi-unit housing “that could destroy many of the cherished neighborhoods we adore,” and the way Raman “upended years of work” neighbors had put in negotiating updates to the Hollywood Community Plan. (The night before a critical City Planning Commission hearing on the plan, Raman released a statement asking for revisions in the city’s draft of the Plan, calling for more density in certain parts of the area, and greater height limits in others, neither of which had been presented to nor approved by neighbors who had worked closely with the Department of City Planning to develop the city’s proposed new guidelines for their neighborhoods.)

But Cohen said it was Raman’s handling of a troublesome homeless encampment near Hollywood and Berendo, which has reportedly been taken over by serious gang and criminal activity, that pushed Cohen to launch the recall effort.

According to Cohen, Raman’s approach to the camp has been – as with other such encampments – to work individually with each of the residents to research and offer specific services and housing. But that process takes time, and Cohen says that, in this case especially, the dangers are too immediate, and the community can’t afford to wait for a more gradual process to play out.  The final straw for her, Cohen said, was when, after months of community members requesting and organizing a meeting about the Berendo encampment with Raman, the Council Member allotted only 45 minutes for her appearance, and then left the meeting promptly when that short window expired. (Cohen’s editorial about the incident is available here.)

“Everyone gave Nithya a chance,” Cohen says.  “I had no problem after she was elected, but it’s just been one issue after another.”

If the petition effort gains the required number of signatures before the November deadline, Cohen said, a city council action would schedule a special election for the recall vote sometime between April 9 and May 16, 2022.


For Nithya Raman’s response to the recall effort, received after this story was initially published, see our follow-up post at

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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  1. I guess it’s ok to just petition to recall any elected official we don’t like? What’s the point of holding elections if we’re not going to honor the results? If you don’t like her you can vote her out in 2024. That’s democracy!

    • tend to agree, gov newsome recall requested, mike bonin recall requested, nithya recall requested, and whom else out there..

  2. I find the hypocrisy of the anti-density pro-homelessness crowd sickening. Nithya’s “crime” seems to be thinking creatively about the ever increasing cost of housing and the ever expanding number of our unhoused neighbors.

    Our elected officials ought to be tasked with providing leadership on the vexing issues of the day, but many so called citizens want their fear based viewpoints to become the sole acceptable political expressions of the day. This fear mongering is one of the root causes of social decay we are witnessing in this City and in our Nation. The nimby’s must be stopped!

  3. This recall effort against Nithya Raman is based on fear mongering and misinformation. It is outrageous waste of tax dollars and displays a profound lack of empathy to human suffering and extreme nimbyism. Ms. Raman is well qualified and was duly elected. Shame on those who support yet another effort to weaken our democracy.

  4. I personally know one the people trying to recall Nithya and let me just say this from a personal perspective. He is classist and hates poor people. This entire recall effort is founded on misinformation and the fact that he simply hates people of a lower standard. I’d like to hear their plans on what they would do that would fix the homeless crisis in Los Angeles? Put your money where your mouth is.

    • They’ve no ‘plan’, that’s the issue (lest some would call ‘nimbyism’ a plan, which it isn’t..) A plan would require the doing away with sheer capitalism, which is a disaster of a system that like with any ‘drug’, seems to work temporarily before things go south, eventually bigly.
      If it’d had its way so far, things would’ve been even worse than they are now, with including even fewer public services in favor of for profit ones for possibly the most self-serving ppl a human society has to offer.


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