Column: Is L.A. Councilmember Kevin de León a political dead man walking?
Says the L.A. City Council Member
If Donald Trump wins the presidency, Kevin de León is dead in the water. He and the L.A. City Council have been trying to block one of his signature ideas: an expansion of the city’s homeless shelter network. But that’s all for naught, because when this book comes out Wednesday, he will be gone.
The book, “The End of Normal; Why Liberals Will Rule,” is a takedown of the Democrats’ party-building strategy. It’s a polemic that looks at the rise of the so-called Green New Deal—an idea that Democrats love, despite the fact that the term is not actually part of their official platform—and the Democrats’ plans to win big by targeting minorities. It is a scathing attack on Mayor Eric Garcetti and all of his political advisers, from Mayor James Hahn down.
De León is no stranger to controversy. His book is the culmination of a decade of public attacks on Garcetti and his inner circle. De León and L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin are among dozens of Democratic elected officials who have written books, spoken on television shows and appeared in magazines that have questioned whether Garcetti is a good leader.
But despite his attacks on Garcetti, de León, 36, remains an effective Democratic leader in L.A.
In fact, he’s been more effective: the current council is now a Democratic majority, and he is the longest-serving member. The council is at a point where he is a shoo-in for reelection, and he’s been able to outlast some of the more intractable Democratic leaders on the 15-member body. The council has just passed a package of funding for homeless services and another for affordable housing, and de León has been able to negotiate that package, which included significant changes to the way the city levies property tax hikes.
The city’s elected leaders have given de León a hard time for his long-standing support of the city’s homeless shelter system—the system that Garcetti, Hahn and