Mike Bonin

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Mike Bonin
Mike Bonin Profile Image.jpg
Bonin at the Venice Canals, 2012
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 11th district
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded byBill Rosendahl
Personal details
Michael Bonin

(1967-03-19) March 19, 1967 (age 53)
Clinton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materHarvard University

Mike Bonin (born March 19, 1967) is an American politician and the Los Angeles city councilman from the 11th District. Bonin took office on July 1, 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, is considered politically progressive. He is gay.[1]

Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, Bonin is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.[2] He briefly worked as a reporter in Massachusetts and California before becoming a politician.

Early life[edit]

Bonin graduated from Clinton High School in Clinton, Massachusetts in 1985. His grandfather William P. Constantino was a state representative and a judge in the town of Clinton. His uncle William P. Constantino Jr. also served as a state representative.[3] Bonin graduated from Harvard University. He had a sister, Maureen, who died.[4]

Professional career[edit]

From 1989 to 1996 Bonin worked as a reporter at Springfield Newspapers in Springfield, Mass., and Wave Newspapers in Los Angeles, CA.

Political career[edit]

Bonin began his political career in Los Angeles city politics in 1996, joining the staff of L.A. City Councilmember Ruth Galanter. During his seven years with Galanter he worked as a legislative deputy, district director, and deputy chief of staff.

From 2003 to 2004 Bonin worked in the Office of Congresswoman Jane Harman as deputy chief of staff and district director.

In 2005 Bonin managed Bill Rosendahl's successful campaign for L.A. city council. Mr. Rosendahl subsequently appointed Bonin as his chief of staff.

2013 City Council Campaign[edit]

During the summer of 2012, Rosendahl announced he had been diagnosed with cancer, and in October announced he would not seek reelection. He endorsed Bonin to succeed him.[5] Bonin ran to replace Rosendahl and won the election with approximately 13% of eligible voters casting their ballots for him.[6]

Re-election campaign for City Council, 2017[edit]

Bonin was re-elected on March 7, 2017, defeating Mark Ryavec and Robin Rudisill. Bonin won with 17% of eligible voters supporting him.[7]

Legislation and policies[edit]

Transportation policy and "LAX Connect"[edit]

Bonin was appointed Chair of the City Council's Transportation Committee,[8] and serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors[9]

iPads for firefighters[edit]

Bonin proposed equipping Los Angeles City Fire Department first responders with upgraded tablet technology on July 2, 2013.[10]

Hotel workers living wage[edit]

On February 18, 2014, Bonin and his colleagues Nury Martinez and Curren Price Jr. introduced legislation to establish a living wage of $15.37 per hour for employees at large hotels in Los Angeles.[11] The bill was approved by the Council by a 12-3 vote, setting one of the highest minimum wages in the country.[12]

Citywide minimum wage[edit]

In the fall of 2014, Bonin was one of four co-authors of legislation that would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles. While supportive of Mayor Garcetti's initial proposal to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $13.25 per hour by 2017,[13] Bonin called for extending the proposed increase to reach $15.25 by 2019.[14]

Environmental policy[edit]

On September 4, 2013, Bonin and his colleague Paul Koretz introduced the Los Angeles Fracking Moratorium to the City Council.[15] The motion, which instructed the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would temporarily ban "unconventional oil and gas drilling" techniques like fracking in Los Angeles until they can be proven safe, was approved by the City Council on February 28, 2014.[16]

Bonin also co-authored legislation that would create a research collaborative with the mission of charting an achievable path to 100% clean energy in Los Angeles.[17]

Other legislative work[edit]

Broken parking meters[edit]

Bonin's first motion as a Councilmember was to rescind the City's policy of issuing tickets to cars parked at broken parking meters.[18] The bill, which Bonin said was intended to show that "government should be on your side, not on your back"[18] was unanimously approved by the Council.[19]

Water conservation[edit]

In the fall of 2014, with California in a historic drought, Bonin and his colleague Felipe Fuentes introduced a pair of motions focused on water conservation in Los Angeles. The first motion asked the city to explore recommendations made in a 2013 UCLA report titled "Residential Water Consumption in Los Angeles," including adding extra tiers to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's water rate system.[20] The second motion called on the city to stop watering large lawns on public property in order to conserve water and to make city facilities "showcases for sustainability".[21]

Internet-based business tax rate[edit]

In the fall of 2014, Bonin worked with his colleague Bob Blumenfield to extend a reduced tax rate for internet-based businesses in Los Angeles as a way to encourage technology companies to create jobs in Los Angeles.[22]

Awards and Criticism[edit]

Voted "Best of the Westside" by Argonaut readers[edit]

In 2014, Bonin was voted "Best Local Public Servant (elected)" in The Argonaut's annual "Best of the Westside" reader poll.[23] He went on to win the award in 2015 and 2016 as well - all three years that he has been eligible to receive it.

Recognized for his environmental leadership[edit]

In 2016, Bonin accepted the first ever "Bill Rosendahl Community Champion Award" at the Sierra Club's Political Leadership Awards, and has also been honored for his work on improving bike and pedestrian safety in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Criticized for his homeless policies[edit]

Bonin has faced criticism from constituents related to his homeless policies.[24] Among other issues, his support for a Bridge Home facility in a residential area of Venice, less than 2,000 feet from Westminster Elementary School, prompted resistance from neighbors concerned about the impacts on their community.[25] Nevertheless, Bonin pushed the facility, which cost an estimated $9 million to provide cots to 154 residents.[26]

Aborted "road diets" in Playa del Rey[edit]

With Bonin's support, in June 2017 the city of Los Angeles implemented a series of street redesigns in Playa del Rey. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) reduced Vista del Mar, a major commuter thoroughfare that runs along the coast between El Segundo and Playa del Rey, from four lanes to two. It also installed angled parking on the west side of the street and eliminated parking on the east side.[27] Additionally, LADOT removed lanes from Pershing Drive, Culver Boulevard, and Jefferson Boulevard and added protected bike lanes, center turn lanes, and other features. The redesigns all were installed as one project, the Safe Streets for Playa Del Rey initiative.

Traffic congestion increased dramatically as a result of the project.[28] Contrary to promises from LADOT and Bonin, accidents also increased from an annual average of 11.6 per year to 54 in the first four months of the new configurations.

As a result, grassroots efforts emerged demanding reversal of the road diets.[29] Residents sent Bonin a petition with more than 7,000 signatures demanding reversal of the road diet.[30] The Neighborhood Council for Playa del Rey/Westchester/Playa Vista proceeded to submit requests for the previous configuration,[31] and a letter from the area Chamber of Commerce was submitted to Councilman Bonin requesting lanes be reverted to their original configuration. Two separate lawsuits were ultimately filed in opposition to the lane reductions.[32][33]

The overwhelming grassroots response, as well as two federal lawsuits, forced LADOT to revert the roads and form a Task Force of local community members and advocates to find an alternative solution.[34]

Following the redesign of the streets into their previous configuration, a campaign for a re-call election to remove Councilman Bonin from office was also launched on September 15, 2017.[35][36][37] The recall campaign failed to receive support from the required five individuals and was abandoned before it ever formally began.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Bonin lives in Mar Vista with his husband, Sean Arian, whom he married in the summer of 2014. Mayor Eric Garcetti performed the wedding ceremony.[39] Arian is founder and President of EOS Consulting[40] and also serves as the Founder and Chief Strategist for Bixel Exchange, a technology startup incubator created by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center.[41] While never actually homeless, Bonin has described himself as "teetering on the edge of homelessness" after college, having suffered for many years with addictions to crystal meth and alcohol, which he says he has since overcome.[42]


  1. ^ "Councilman's preferred successor holds edge in Westside district". Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2013.
  2. ^ "New City Councilmember Mike Bonin Overcame Addiction" Cliffside Malibu.
  3. ^ "Clinton native makes his mark on LA politics". The Item, March 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Farragher, Thomas (July 11, 2020). "In Clinton, a tradition of remembrance and respect is rock-solid". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  5. ^ "Bill Rosendahl Endorses Top Adviser for District 11 Seat". Pacific Palisades Patch, October 9, 2012.
  6. ^ "Ballotpedia 2013 L.A. Election Results".
  7. ^ http://lavote.net/election-results#year=2017&election=3577
  8. ^ ". Meet Your New Transportation Committee, Chaired by Mike Bonin, July 2, 2013.
  9. ^ ". Garcetti Appoints Three L.A. City Representatives to Metro Board, July 3, 2013.
  10. ^ ". Firefighters should be equipped with iPads, L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin suggests, July 2, 2013.
  11. ^ ". LA Lawmakers Propose $15 Per Hour Wage For Hotel Workers, February 18, 2014.
  12. ^ ". LA city council raises minimum wage at large hotels, September 24, 2014.
  13. ^ ". Bonin backs Garcetti's call for minimum wage hike', September 3, 2014.
  14. ^ ". L.A. lawmakers lay out path to $15.25 minimum wage by 2019', October 7, 2014.
  15. ^ " [1]. 2 L.A. City Council members propose ban on fracking for oil, September 4, 2013.
  16. ^ " angeles-passes-fracking-moratorium/. Breaking: Los Angeles Passes Fracking Moratorium, February 28, 2014.
  17. ^ "Council Supports Bonin/Krekorian Legislation for 100% Clean Energy Roadmap". Mike Bonin - Council District 11. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
  18. ^ a b "[citation needed]. Call to repeal tickets issued to cars parked at broken parking meters', July 1, 2013.
  19. ^ ". LA Broken Parking Meters: City Rescinds Ticketing', July 31, 2013.
  20. ^ ". New DWP rate tiers proposed to conserve water, August 12, 2014.
  21. ^ ". LA Councilmen Want City Departments to be "Showcases of Sustainability" in Drought, August 13, 2014.
  22. ^ ". Los Angeles extends low tax rate law for Internet companies, October 8, 2014.
  23. ^ " [2]. Argonaut - Best of the Westside 2014, September 24, 2014.
  24. ^ "Mike Bonin Doesn't Care About Venice | The Argonaut Newsweekly". argonautnews.com. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  25. ^ "'Venice Says No' To Homeless Shelter — Before The Meeting Even Starts". LAist. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  26. ^ "Venice Homeless Shelter Opens". Yo! Venice!. 2020-02-27. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  27. ^ Chiland, Elijah (2017-06-07). "Drivers aren't happy about pedestrian-friendly changes in Playa del Rey". Curbed LA. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  28. ^ "L.A. reworks another 'road diet,' restoring car lanes in Playa del Rey". Los Angeles Times. 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  29. ^ "Playa Del Rey Folks Nauseous From Road Diet « CBS Los Angeles". Losangeles.cbslocal.com. 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  30. ^ "South Bay Commuters Irate Over L.A. Councilman's 'One Lane Madness' in Playa del Rey". KTLA. 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  31. ^ Linton, Joe. "Westchester Playa Neighborhood Council Votes Against PDR Safety Projects – Streetsblog Los Angeles". La.streetsblog.org. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  32. ^ "City of Los Angeles Hit With Lawsuit Over Playa Del Rey Road Diets". WestsideToday. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  33. ^ "L.A. has been sued again over traffic lane reductions in Playa del Rey". LA Times. 2017-08-11. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  34. ^ Barnes, Megan. "20 members named to task force tackling Playa del Rey 'road diets' – Daily Breeze". Dailybreeze.com. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  35. ^ "Critics frustrated by 'road diets' launch effort to recall L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin". LA Times. 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  36. ^ Chiland, Elijah (2017-09-17). "LA Councilmember Mike Bonin target of a recall campaign - Curbed LA". La.curbed.com. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  37. ^ Barnes, Megan. "Months after controversial LA 'road diets,' group launches campaign to recall Councilman Mike Bonin – Daily Breeze". Dailybreeze.com. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  38. ^ https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/11/22/78035/effort-to-recall-la-councilman-bonin-must-start-ag/
  40. ^ "EOS Insight. Company Website.
  41. ^ [3]. Bixel Exchange Website.
  42. ^ https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1023-lopez-bonin-benice-20161020-snap-story.html

External links[edit]