Group looking to recall L.A. mayor over homelessness may circulate petition

Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, during his acceptance speaks after hand over of the new chair at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. ( Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images )

The group seeking to recall Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti over the state of homelessness had its second effort certified to gather the signatures needed to oust him, the City Clerk's Office announced Friday.

Alex Datig, head of The Committee to Recall Mayor Eric Garcetti, and her supporters must collect 315,724 signatures of registered city voters in favor of the recall by Feb. 6, according to the City Clerk's Office.

"I'm very, very confident," Datig told City News Service about whether her group would be able to garner the signatures. "We're either going to get them or we're not. It all depends on the community."

The petition was officially approved for circulation last Friday.

Garcetti must step down as mayor at the end of 2022 due to term limits.

Datig said she wants to help the homeless in any way, and that she's sympathetic to their plight due to the state's high cost of living, especially in cities like Los Angeles.

"People don't understand how fragile our communities are," Datig said. "We have to stop putting so much shame into being poor. In California, we know it's not necessarily someone's fault if they don't have any money. We need the people who can jump in."

The group will now try to find better methods of funding to aid their campaign, she said.

A copy of the petition is on her group's website, recallthelamayor.com, which posts news articles and broadcast clips on
homelessness in Los Angeles, and also outlines the group's reasons for why they believe Garcetti should be removed from office.

Datig said she doesn't have a replacement candidate in mind if the recall effort makes it to the ballot, and she's not running for office herself. But she said she's been fed up with what she called inaction on homelessness by the mayor.

Datig said the mayor's response to the group's first filing on June 28 was inaccurate about the number of homeless people who were housed in the last year.

She cited City Controller Ron Galperin's report in September that stated the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority was not meeting its goals to get people into housing. LAHSA responded by saying it was limited because of a lack of available housing.

"The mayor's answer accused the committee of having a `fraudulent' and `misleading' petition, however, the committee used numbers and statements in our petition from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the agency Garcetti oversees," the committee claimed.

Datig said there was also a procedural problem when they were notified of the mayor's initial recall-petition response, which is required within 21 days of a recall filing. The first notice was withdrawn and replaced with the new one.

Calls to Garcetti's campaign headquarters were not immediately returned.

In June, Bill Carrick, a campaign consultant for Garcetti, said the recall effort is nothing more than a "political game," and he insisted the mayor has done significant work to address the city's homelessness crisis.

"The mayor has invested time, effort, energy and focus to try and deal with what is a city crisis," Carrick said. "To play games with a stunt-driven recall is just unfortunate."