This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Bonin at the Venice Canals, 2012
|Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 11th district|
July 1, 2013
|Preceded by||Bill Rosendahl|
March 19, 1967
Clinton, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Residence||Mar Vista Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Mike Bonin (born March 19, 1967) is an American politician and the Los Angeles Councilmember from the 11th District. He was Chief of Staff on Councilmember Bill Rosendahl's staff. Bonin took office on July 1, 2013.
A member of the Democratic Party, Bonin won the March 5 Primary for the Council seat with 62% of the vote. City Council elections and seats are non-partisan. Bonin is considered politically progressive, and is openly gay.
Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, Bonin is a graduate of Harvard University. He worked as a reporter before entering politics. Bonin worked as deputy chief-of-staff, district director, and legislative deputy for the Office of Ruth Galanter from 1997 to 2003, as deputy chief-of-staff to the office of Congresswoman Jane Harman from 2003 to 2004, and as chief-of-staff for Councilmember Bill Rosendahl from 2005 to 2013.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional career
- 3 Political career
- 4 Activism
- 5 Campaign for City Council, 2013
- 6 Re-election Campaign for City Council, 2017
- 7 "Neighborhoods First" District Work
- 8 Legislative and Policy Accomplishments
- 8.1 Transportation Policy and "LAX Connect"
- 8.2 iPads for Firefighters
- 8.3 Hotel Workers Living Wage
- 8.4 Citywide Minimum Wage
- 8.5 Small Business Support Program
- 8.6 Environmental Policy Accomplishments
- 8.6.1 Stopping Fracking and Taking on the Oil and Gas Industry
- 8.6.2 Fighting for Clean Energy
- 8.6.3 Protecting Water Quality and Encouraging Conservation
- 8.6.4 Protecting Neighborhood Trees
- 8.6.5 Transportation Leadership
- 8.6.6 Creating Open Space
- 8.6.7 Making it Safer and Easier to Walk and Bike in LA
- 8.6.8 Taking on Monsanto
- 8.6.9 Connecting with the Outdoors
- 8.7 Other Legislative Work
- 9 Awards
- 10 Personal life
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Bonin graduated from Clinton High School in Clinton, Massachusetts, in 1985. He served as class president during his Junior and Senior years. William P. Constantino, Bonin's grandfather, was a state representative and later presiding judge in Clinton District Court. His uncle, William P. Constantino, Jr., also served as a state representative.
Office of Councilwoman Ruth Galanter
Bonin began working in Los Angeles city politics 1996, joining the staff of Los Angeles City Councilmember Ruth Galanter. During his seven years with Galanter, Bonin held various titles, serving as legislative deputy, district director, and eventually as deputy chief of staff. Bonin's work focused primarily on public safety and environmental issues.
Office of Representative Jane Harman
From 2003 to 2004, Bonin worked in the Office of US Representative Jane Harman. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for the Congressional District represented by Harman.
Office of Councilman Bill Rosendahl
In 2005, Bonin managed Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s successful campaign, and was appointed chief-of-staff. Bonin helped broker a landmark legal settlement that jumpstarted modernization of Los Angeles International Airport while preventing airport expansion into neighboring communities. Bonin also crafted a program that helped more than 100 homeless people find permanent housing. He helped Rosendahl win passage of a Citywide Bicycle Master Plan, and cut taxes for internet-based businesses . After being diagnosed with cancer, Rosendahl chose not to seek a third term and endorsed Bonin to succeed him in the 2013 city election.
The district, with a population of 270,000 residents, encompasses the Westside neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, West LA, Mar Vista, Venice, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester. It also includes Los Angeles International Airport, Venice Beach, the Getty Museum, the Santa Monica Mountains, and many technology firms, including Google, YouTube and Microsoft.
Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers
Bonin’s began his political career organizing student and community support for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, which won certification as a union during Bonin’s junior year of college.
Bonin took a leave of absence from his job as Chief Deputy to work on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Bonin served as a Regional Field Organizer for California's 36th Congressional District, which at the time included much of South and West Los Angeles.
Following the passage of Proposition 8, which stripped the California gay and lesbian community of the right to marry, Bonin co-founded Camp Courage, a training program for LGBT community organizers. The program was affiliated with the Courage Campaign, a California multi-issue progressive organization.
Campaign for City Council, 2013
During the summer of 2012, Rosendahl announced he had been diagnosed with cancer. In October, he decided against seeking reelection. Rosendahl immediately endorsed Bonin and referenced his dedication to public service in the endorsement.
Bonin’s campaign stressed his long-standing community ties, his track record working for local elected officials, and his plans for the district. He campaigned on a theme of “Putting Neighborhoods First,” and promised to “move Los Angeles forward, do good, and get things done.”
During the campaign, Bonin quickly won the support of community leaders, environmental leaders and organizations, and elected officials. He also won the endorsements of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, and the Los Angeles Times.
Bonin earned 22,542 votes, 61.84 percent of votes cast. Since he earned more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round of voting in March, no runoff was held during the June general election Bonin’s opponents were Fred Sutton, Odysseus Bostick, and Tina Hess. After being elected, Bonin hired Sutton as a Constituent Advocate in his West LA office.
Re-election Campaign for City Council, 2017
Bonin was re-elected on March 7, 2017, defeating Mark Ryavec and Robin Rudisill. Bonin won District 11 with 71% of the vote.
Bonin's largest opposition came from Ryavec supporters who disagrees with several of Bonin's more controversial proposals. Some residents are opposed to Bonin's proposal to build four homeless projects solely in Venice Beach while other areas of District 11 will not have to provide any homeless shelters.
Just months after Bonin's re-election, he quickly passed an "emergency order" reducing driving lanes in Mar Vista and Playa Del Rey which caused additional traffic in these areas and outraged some constituents. Several residents in District 11 are attempting to have Bonin recalled saying his actions lacked community input and that he waited until after his re-election to propose these changes. Bonin maintains the changes were needed for safety, however, several of these roads were not identified as unsafe by LADOT.
"Neighborhoods First" District Work
Bonin launched his "Access 11" program shortly after being sworn-into office in order to "bring City Hall to the Westside." The program features "Open Office Hours," where Bonin meets with constituents at Farmers Markets or other community gatherings, "Neighborhood Service Fairs," where Bonin coordinates City departments to come to Westside communities to demonstrate available services (such as emergency preparedness and water conservation programs), "Hikes With Mike," where Bonin meets with neighbors as they hike in areas around the district, "Neighborhood Coffees," where Bonin hosts small, informal gatherings for neighbors to ask questions about the City and "Neighborhood Canvasses," where Bonin, staff and community volunteers go door-to-door in Westside neighborhoods to ask for ideas and service requests
Work With City Crews
On his first day as a Councilmember, Bonin made stops around his district, visiting with constituents, local business owners and helping city employees do the everyday work that keeps neighborhoods clean and safe. In addition to picking up trash with the Bureau of Sanitation, he helped fill potholes and served lunch at a senior center. Bonin has continued to work with city employees in neighborhoods on the Westside throughout his term and has:
- Trimmed trees with the Urban Forestry Division,
- Filled potholes with the Bureau of Street Services,
- Planted bioswales and other landscaping projects with the Bureau of Sanitation,
- Cleaned out storm drains with the Stormwater Protection Division,
- Upgraded street lamps with the Bureau of Street Lighting,
- Picked up bulky items with the Bureau of Sanitation, and
- Installed crosswalks and center lines on roads with the Department of Transportation.
As a Councilmember, Bonin created a "YES Award" to honor public employees "who refuse to take no for an answer and always 'work to a yes' to help constituents on the Westside." Bonin regularly hosts special presentations during City Council meetings to recognize city employees for their work.
Stopping Illegal Pot Shops
As a candidate for Council, Bonin advocated in favor of Los Angeles Measure D, which allows regulated medicinal marijuana dispensaries, as long as they are not located in residential neighborhoods or schools. In the fall of 2014, Bonin partnered with LA City City Attorney Mike Feuer and neighbors in Mar Vista to oppose the relocation of a large marijuana dispensary in the Mar Vista neighborhood, saying the proposed location did not comply with Proposition D. In January 2014, Bonin and Feuer announced that they had successfully stopped the relocation of the controversial dispensary.
Affordable Housing and Development Reform
Calling the lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles "a threat to neighborhood quality of life," Bonin has spearheaded changes to zoning laws that allow developers a “density bonus” and a free pass on development standards. In the spring of 2014, Bonin joined with colleagues at the state and local level on three efforts to amend California's "density bonus" law, also known as SB 1818:
- Bonin co-sponsored legislation this week with Councilmember Paul Krekorian directing the Planning Department to more strictly enforce SB 1818 provisions and require developers to provide economic data proving that including affordable housing requires additional incentives.
- Bonin co-sponsored legislation this week with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell asking for a report on how much affordable housing has been lost as a result of SB 1818, and what steps the City is taking to monitor affordable housing covenants.
- Working with Councilmember Paul Krekorian and state Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, Bonin’s planning staff helped craft Assembly Bill 2222. Sponsored by Nazarian, AB 2222 amended SB 1818 by restricting the density bonus to only those projects that create a net increase in affordable housing, and count existing rent-controlled units as part of the affordability baseline. AB 2222 was signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown on September 29, 2014.
Mello Act Reform
In February 2015, Bonin authored legislation that directs the City of Los Angeles to develop a permanent ordinance that would protect affordable housing in the Coastal Zone of Los Angeles. Though the City had been subject to the Mello Act - a state law adopted over 30 years ago, that is intended to preserve, replace, and develop low-income and affordable housing in the Coastal Zone - for the past 15 years, the City has been implementing the Act through a set of interim guidelines. Bonin's motion called for a permanent ordinance "in order to get clear, on-the-record answers about how or whether the City has been complying with the guidelines, and to figure out what more the City can do to protect affordable housing in the Coastal Zone, including by requiring rigorous third-party financial analysis of applications covered by the Mello Act."
Bonin worked with colleagues in 2016 and 2017 to reform the planning process in the City of Los Angeles to better protect neighborhoods. Among the legislation Bonin has co-authored and championed are efforts to: require that the local community plans that guide development are updated more regularly, prohibit developers with projects pending before the city from making campaign contributions to elected officials who will vote on the projects; ensure that the city selects impartial consultants to conduct environmental review of a project, instead of allowing a developer to select their own consultant to prepare required reviews.
Legislative and Policy Accomplishments
Since being elected, Bonin has focused on "putting neighborhoods first" and four specific issue areas: transportation, public safety, the environment and jobs/technology.
Transportation Policy and "LAX Connect"
Bonin was appointed Chair of the City Council's Transportation Committee, serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors and is the vice-Chair of Metro's Expo Line Construction Authority. With these key leadership roles, "Bonin is now one of the most important people on transportation policy in the region". Bonin has used these positions to advocate for a light-rail connection between existing rail lines and Los Angeles International Airport  and to call for increased investments in multi-modal infrastructure and improved bike and pedestrian safety in neighborhoods.
iPads for Firefighters
Bonin proposed equipping Los Angeles City Fire Department first responders with upgraded tablet technology on July 2, 2013. The proposal quickly won the support and praise of the Fire Commission, rank-and-file firefighters and the Los Angeles technology community, and was hailed as a success as the pilot program progressed.
Hotel Workers Living Wage
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. After months of debate, the bill was approved by the Council by a 12-3 vote, setting one of the highest minimum wages in the country.
Citywide Minimum Wage
In the fall of 2014, Bonin became one of four co-authors on the 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, Bonin has also called for extending the proposed increase to reach $15.25 by 2019.
Small Business Support Program
On October 24, 2013, Bonin announced that he had partnered with Santa Monica College and the Small Business Development Center to hire a "Small Business Development Consultant" in his office. The Small Business Development Consultant's primary responsibility is serving as a "small business concierge" to offer expert advice to local business owners and to help them "cut through red tape" at City Hall. The partnership, which provides local entrepreneurs one-on-one business consulting as well as free informational workshops, was the first of its kind in Los Angeles.
Environmental Policy Accomplishments
Stopping Fracking and Taking on the Oil and Gas Industry
On September 4, 2013, Bonin and his colleague Paul Koretz introduced the Los Angeles Fracking Moratorium to the City Council. 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 unanimously approved by the City Council on February 28, 2014.
Bonin has taken on the oil and gas industry on a number of other fronts, from working to stop “oil bomb trains” from running through Los Angeles, to creating a position to advise the council and make public safety and public health priorities when looking at oil and gas-related legislation.
Fighting for Clean Energy
In addition to taking on fossil fuels, Bonin has also focused on proactive ways to create clean energy. Working with colleagues, the Mayor and key stakeholders such as the Sierra Club, Bonin co-authored legislation that would create a research collaborative with the sole mission of charting a smart and achievable path to 100% clean energy in Los Angeles. With the insight the research collaborative will provide, Los Angeles could become the largest city in the nation to achieve 100% clean energy and an international beacon for the clean energy revolution that will prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Protecting Water Quality and Encouraging Conservation
Bonin has been a leader on water issues, authoring common-sense legislation to stop watering city lawns that are scheduled for replacement with drought-tolerant landscaping, successfully proposing tiered pricing for water rates to increase conservation, and cutting through red-tape to make it cheaper and easier to install home water recycling systems. Bonin's work on water issues has also included efforts to protect the quality of our water, and he has fought to protect the Santa Monica Bay from polluted stormwater runoff by helping break ground on two water reclamation and treatment projects (both funded by Prop O) that capture and clean stormwater before it reaches the Bay. The first project is located just north of LAX and will prevent harmful residue from jet fuel from polluting the water, and the second was announced at Penmar Park in Venice in the Summer of 2016.
Protecting Neighborhood Trees
Bonin's “neighborhoods first” approach to governing has helped drive his focus on protecting trees in neighborhoods, and he has helped win precedent-setting rulings against developers who illegally chopped-down protected trees in a Westside neighborhood. He has worked to get more trees trimmed on the Westside to help ensure a healthy urban forest, and he has introduced legislation to hold contractors accountable for trimming according to the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standards. Bonin also fought to have the protection of neighborhood trees be a major part of the city’s recently approved sidewalk repair plan.
Bonin serves on the Metro Board of Directors, where he is working to take cars off the road by expanding public transportation. He has led the charge to finally connect LAX with the Metro rail system, which will take cars off the Westside streets Bonin represents, and will keep tons of carbon pollution out of the air. The Metro/LAX connection is part of a comprehensive approach to revolutionizing how people get to and from the region’s largest airport, and Bonin is working to create other convenient and sustainable facilities, such as a consolidated rental car center, an intermodal transportation facility, and an automated people mover that will make it quick and simple to get to the airport without ever needing to get into a single-passenger vehicle. Bonin also served as the Chair of the Expo Line Construction Authority, working with neighborhood and transportation activists to ensure the Westside finally got a rail line that would help people get around LA without their cars.
Creating Open Space
Bonin has worked to expand open space on the Westside, championing opportunities to give his constituents more ways to enjoy the outdoors. Bonin picked up the reins from his predecessor to continue progress toward the completion of Potrero Canyon park - a 45.7 acre passive open space park with riparian habitat in the Pacific Palisades.
Making it Safer and Easier to Walk and Bike in LA
Bonin maintains that early half of all trips taken in LA are less than three miles, and eighty-seven percent of those trips are taken by car. Bonin understands that we can improve our neighborhoods and protect the environment by making it easier and safer to walk and bike in LA, taking cars off the road and potential pollution out of the air. At Bonin's persistent urging, the City Council approved the Mobility Plan 2035 - a planning document that will create a bike network throughout Los Angeles and will improve how we plan and design our city to better protect bicyclists and pedestrians who opt not to rely on cars for transportation. Mike is also a champion of the city’s Vision Zero commitment, which seeks to end traffic fatalities in LA by 2025 by reducing vehicle speeds on local streets and incorporating better street design to protect pedestrians from cars.
Taking on Monsanto
Working with neighbors from his district who were concerned about the use of a potentially dangerous herbicide in canyons near their homes, Bonin authored legislation to stop the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks from using Monsanto’s Roundup and to instead explore safer and more sustainable options.
Connecting with the Outdoors
Bonin regularly hosts “Hikes with Mike” to meet with constituents while enjoying some of the beautiful open spaces on the Westside, and he has partnered with local environmental organizations to host Ballona Creek cleanups.
Other Legislative Work
Broken Parking Meters
Bonin's first motion as a Councilmember was to rescind the City's policy of issuing tickets to cars parked at broken parking meters. The bill, which Bonin said was intended to show that "government should be on your side, not on your back" was unanimously approved by the Council.
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. 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".
Internet-based Business Tax Rate
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.
Voted "Best of the Westside" by Argonaut Readers
In 2014, Bonin was voted "Best Local Public Servant (elected)" in The Argonaut's annual "Best of the Westside" reader poll. 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
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.
Bonin (a former methamphetamine addict and alcoholic ) lives in Mar Vista with his husband, Sean Arian whom he married in the summer of 2014. Mayor Eric Garcetti performed the wedding ceremony. Arian is founder and President of EOS Consulting 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.
- "Councilman's preferred successor holds edge in Westside district". Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2013.
- "Clinton native makes his mark on LA politics". The Item, March 15, 2013.
- "Candidate Profile: Mike Bonin looks to be the public face of District 11". The Argonaut, February 21, 2013.
- "Los Angeles Council District 11". Official Website.
- "Camp Courage Comes to Sacramento". Sacramento Press, October 16, 2009.
- "Courage Campaign". Official Website
- "Bill Rosendahl Endorses Top Adviser for District 11 Seat". Pacific Palisades Patch, October 9, 2012.
- "Statement by Mike Bonin. Brentwood News, January 22, 2013.
- "Mike Bonin in Council District 11". Los Angeles Times, February 21, 2013.
- "Certified Results 2013 Primary Nominating Election". City of Los Angeles - Office of the City Clerk, March 26, 2013.
- "Mike Bonin". Join Mike Bonin and Support Eric Garcetti, April 6, 2013.
- ". 11thdistrict.com - Access 11.
- ". Councilman Mike Bonin sets meetings in Westchester, Del Rey.
- ". Mike Bonin to spend first day as L.A. councilman fixing streets, meeting residents.
- . Twitter: Mike Bonin.
- ". Councilman Bonin Speaks Out Against Medical Marijuana Shop in Mar Vista.
- ". Court blocks medical marijuana dispensary from opening in Mar Vista.
- ". Bonin Takes On Density Bonus Law: Fights for Affordable Housing.
- ". Governor Jerry Brown Signs Important State Affordable Housing Bill.
- . "Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods First Newsletter, March 2015".
- ". 11thdistrict.com - Legislative Priorities.
- ". Meet Your New Transportation Committee, Chaired by Mike Bonin, July 2, 2013.
- ". Garcetti Appoints Three L.A. City Representatives to Metro Board, July 3, 2013.
- ". Meet Garcetti’s New Team on the Metro Board of Directors: Bonin, Krekorian and Dupont-Walker, July 18, 2013.
- ". Taking the train to LAX — it’s a connection we can’t afford to miss: Eric Garcetti and Mike Bonin', December 6, 2013.
- ". LA Councilmember Mike Bonin Advocates for New Measure R-2 Transportation Sales Tax Extension', April, 2014.
- ". Firefighters should be equipped with iPads, L.A. Councilman Mike Bonin suggests', July 2, 2013.
- ". Bonin motion for firefighter tablets gets support from Fire Commission', July 2, 2013.
- ". LAFD iPad pilot program proving a success', February 11, 2014.
- ". LA Lawmakers Propose $15 Per Hour Wage For Hotel Workers', February 18, 2014.
- ". LA city council raises minimum wage at large hotels', September 24, 2014.
- ". Bonin backs Garcetti’s call for minimum wage hike', September 3, 2014.
- ". L.A. lawmakers lay out path to $15.25 minimum wage by 2019', October 7, 2014.
- ". YoVenice - BONIN LAUNCHES SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAM', October 24, 2013.
- ". 2 L.A. City Council members propose ban on fracking for oil', September 4, 2013.
- ". Breaking: Los Angeles Passes Fracking Moratorium', February 28, 2014.
- "Council Supports Bonin/Krekorian Legislation for 100% Clean Energy Roadmap". Mike Bonin - Council District 11. Retrieved 2016-11-05.
- ". Call to repeal tickets issued to cars parked at broken parking meters', July 1, 2013.
- ". LA Broken Parking Meters: City Rescinds Ticketing', July 31, 2013.
- ". New DWP rate tiers proposed to conserve water', August 12, 2014.
- ". LA Councilmen Want City Departments to be "Showcases of Sustainability" in Drought', August 13, 2014.
- ". Los Angeles extends low tax rate law for Internet companies', October 8, 2014.
- ". Argonaut - Best of the Westside 2014', September 24, 2014.
- ". Towleroad.com - L.A. CITY COUNCILMAN MIKE BONIN MARRIES PARTNER SEAN ARIAN.
- "EOS Insight. Company Website.
- . Bixel Exchange Website.