Kevin de León in July 2019. Photo by Jackie Ramírez for Boyle Heights Beat

The Los Angeles city clerk approved a petition to recall Kevin de León Tuesday, clearing an important hurdle for the citizen-led effort to remove the embattled councilmember from office.

Next step: petitioners must collect 20,437 signatures from registered voters of the 14th Council District by March 31, in order to get the recall effort on the ballot.

In October, five CD14 residents filed a notice of intent to recall the local politician, who continues to ignore wide calls for his resignation for his involvement in a recorded 2021 conversation that included racist comments.

De León’s refusal to resign was cited by the petitioner’s in their filing:

“Even though the City Council has called for his resignation, and have stripped him of his committee assignments, Kevin de León has refused to resign. He currently cannot represent the stakeholders of Council District 14.”

The five petitioners included Eagle Rock resident Pauline Adkins, who led at least two prior recall attempts against de León.

In an interview with City News Service in October, Adkins said she is “one thousand percent confident” that the campaign will be able to collect the necessary signatures.

De León has not attended a council meeting since October 11 and –save for a number of coordinated interviews on the week of Oct. 19, in which he insisted he would not retire– has kept an unusually low profile. 

After weeks of silence on his Instagram account, De León recently has recently appeared on carefully crafted reels where he is shown sharing a Thanksgiving meal with seniors in El Sereno or lighting the holiday tree in Boyle Heights – but he was conspicuously absent from the neighborhood’s Christmas parade on Sunday.

In his latest reel, posted hours after the recall campaign was approved, De León is seen wearing a red Santa Claus cap delivering Christmas trees to district residents:

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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