L.A.’s Vaccination Mandate Has Not Increased Compliance. A New Petition Would Force Its Repeal.

Los Angeles County Libertarian Party members have been granted permission to collect signatures in an attempt to repeal a city ordinance that requires citizens to prove their vaccination to be allowed to enter private commercial spaces.

Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in October asking citizens to provide proof that they are vaccinated before eating at restaurants or going to bars. Businesses were responsible for enforcing this mandate. They had to ask citizens to cooperate, or they would face fines of up $5,000 each.

A group of Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County member have now formed the “Medical Freedom LA”, and they are trying to repeal the mandate. On Thursday, the Los Angeles City Clerk granted permission to the group to distribute the repeal petition. For a vote to be forced in L.A., the group must collect signatures within 120 days from nearly 65,000 voters.

The petition website states that “We believe you are in control of your body and have the power to determine what you eat.” We don’t think the government should penalize people who exercise their natural rights or make business owners exclude individuals based on vaccination status. People have the right to privacy in their medical care.

Angela McArdle of the Libertarian Party Los Angeles County says that she believes the vaccine mandate to be a violation of constitutional rights as well as bodily autonomy. There are reasons. According to her, she’s heard from all political parties that the petition is being supported. Others don’t want or experience adverse medical effects from vaccines. Many others are not willing to be vaccinated and oppose city mandates that they check for vaccinations on businesses and citizens.

L.A. residents were subject to severe COVID restrictions during the pandemic. In the summer 2021, indoor masking regulations were briefly lifted. But they were soon restored after the rise in infections caused by the delta variant. They are currently in effect. On Thursday, the county stated that it might relax masking rules if infections continue to decline.

Nearly 70% of L.A. County residents were fully immunized at the time that the mandate was implemented by the city. Eric Garcetti, L.A. Mayor, stated that he supported the vaccine mandate because it would make people more likely to have their shots.

The percentage of L.A. County residents who have been vaccinated has remained almost unchanged four months later. As in October, almost 70% of L.A. County residents were fully vaccinated. L.A. did a great job of getting residents at high risk vaccinated. Nearly 90% of people over 65 were fully vaccinated, but data isn’t what Garcetti expected. The mandate did not convince holdouts that they should get their shots.

It has made it necessary for service workers to insist that those who have had their vaccinations provided documentation to allow them to take part in common activities. The ordinance has made everyday interactions harder, but it does not achieve the intended goals.

McArdle claims that McArdle submitted the petition to the city back in November for the first step towards bringing it up to a public vote. Despite the brevity of the petition—it simply repeals the mandate ordinance and replaces it with nothing—she says she had to make five revisions to finally get clearance to go gather signatures. They expect to begin on Monday.

McArdle estimates that the process will take about five months to complete before citizens are able to vote, depending on how many signatures they receive. The city may be considering repealing the ordinance by the end of the year. McArdle would also approve of this outcome.

McArdle says McArdle: “I believe filing the petition may push the City Council save face and put it aside. And I’m okay with that.” There are reasons. “It is not necessary that I win. It’s just that I want things to go right.”