Rob Bonta recall, Alameda, California (2012)
An effort to recall Rob Bonta from his position on the city council of Alameda, California, was launched in July 2012. The recall effort came to an end on November 6, 2012, when Bonta won a seat in the California State Assembly representing District 18. Bonta formerly served as Vice Mayor of Alameda.
Reasons for recall
David Howard facilitated the recall effort on behalf of the proponents. Howard said that "furor over Bonta's actions came to a boiling point on July 17th when he voted to just ignore Measure A and approve over 2,400 new housing units in Alameda, on the main island aside from Alameda Point." Another reason cited for recall is Bonta's vote to dismiss the former interim city manager.
Notice of intent to recall
The notice of intention to recall listed the following reasons for recalling Bonta:
- Bonta took office December 2010, after firefighters, corporate developers and their affiliates spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking his opposition, using fake names and distorting the facts.
- Bonta represents those corporate developers and special interests that funded his election campaign, not Alameda.
- Bonta voted to override Measure A. This contradicted his campaign statements before the League of Women Voters. Alameda is an island and our transportation access is dependent upon neighboring Oakland. Measure A, approved by voters three times, limits housing density in response to this constraint.
- Bonta supported giving away the golf course to developers.
- Bonta forced voters to gather more than 10,000 signatures to preserve open space.
- Bonta abuses the public trust to reward special interests.
- Bonta supported a flawed sales tax measure designed to reward his campaign donors.
- Bonta gave firefighters raises and shortened their work week. A firefighter can cost taxpayers over $220,000 in their first year alone.
- Bonta announced he was running for higher office just six months into his first term. Instead of staying to work on Alameda's finances and our multi-million dollar unfunded public safety pension obligations.
- Bonta is just looking for the quickest way out of town.
Bonta called the recall campaign against him "a cynical effort to undermine my Assembly campaign." He continued, "This recall petition saddens me. It is based on completely false information and distracts from what is good about our town and people, the progress we are making and the bright days ahead."
Path to the ballot
Initial recall paperwork was served to Rob Bonta at a City Council meeting on July 31. The recall petition was approved for circulation on September 5. Recall organizers would have needed to collect 8,374 signatures within 120 days in order to force a recall election.
As of October 18, 2012, the Fair Political Practices Commission had initiated an investigation into the recall campaign after City of Alameda Planning Board member John Knox White, a Bonta supporter, filed a complaint.
Bonta wins seat in State Assembly
The recall effort came to an end in November 2012, when Bonta was elected to the California General Assembly, forcing him to resign from his position as Vice Mayor of Alameda.
- Alameda Patch, "Rob Bonta and the Making of a Recall Election," September 14, 2012
- East Bay Express, "Group Serves Bonta With Recall Notice," August 10, 2012
- MercuryNews.com, "Some residents campaigning to recall Bonta," October 25, 2012
- Asian Journal, "Rob Bonta breaks the glass ceiling as first Fil-Am in the California Legislature ," December 5, 2012