Civic leaders call on Martinez, De Leon and Zedillo to resign

On Monday, civic leaders called for councillors Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo to step down from the Los Angeles City Council. Alex Padilla, Mayor Eric Garcetti and two mayoral candidates have all called for the embattled politician to resign.

“Paranoia, violence and division often live out of sight and unheard of, but if they don’t confront and infect our public and private lives, they can take a toll on the lives of our fellow Los Angeles residents,” Garcetti said in a statement. Serious consequences.” The resignations of the three elected officials were “the right response.”

A leaked recording reported by The New York Times on Sunday sparked the political implosion — unprecedented in recent Los Angeles history.

The leaked conversation happened about a year ago and involved three Los Angeles City Council members and a powerful labor leader. Hearing racist remarks from Martinez, the group disparaged other politicians.

Martinez resigned from her leadership role as city council president Monday morning after outrage over her racist remarks about a colleague’s then toddler son.

The move immediately sparked a behind-the-scenes battle at City Hall over who would succeed her as leader, as well as further questions about whether Martinez and others would retain their seats on the 15-member committee.

Padilla — Martinez’s longtime ally and former high school classmate — calls on all three lawmakers to resign in a statement early Monday afternoon.mayoral candidate congressman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Rick Caruso There were also calls for all three council members to resign, as did some union leaders.

Congressman. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) also said Monday afternoon that “it is in the city’s best interest” for the relevant city council members to resign and take full responsibility for their actions.

Martinez reiterated her apology in a statement Monday morning, saying she was “really ashamed.”

“I ask the forgiveness of my colleagues and the residents of this city I love so much. In the end, it’s not my apology that counts; that’s what I will do from today. I hope you’ll give me a chance to make amends,” Martinez said.

The revelations turned politics upside down and brought the melting pot of race relations back to the center of the municipal debate a month before key city elections.

Martinez’s remarks came at an October 2021 meeting on the city’s redistricting process.

She said MP Mike Bonin treated his young black son as if he was an “attachment” and described the son as “Parece changuito,” or “He’s like a little monkey. She called the Oaxaca people in Koreatown “little people,” saying “Tan Feos“—”They’re ugly. “

Talk about the Los Angeles County area. attic. George Gascon, Martinez said, “F—that guy…he’s with black people.”

De Leon, Zedillo and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera also apologized Sunday for their roles in the conversation. In the leaked audio, De Leon appears to compare Bohning’s handling of the child to the way Martinez is holding a Louis Vuitton handbag.

By Monday morning, MPs Nithya Raman, Paul Koretz, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Bonin and Mitch O’Farrell had all called for Martinez to resign.

Harris-Dawson and O’Farrell, along with several other politicians at all levels of government, have also called on De Leon and Zedillo to resign from parliament.

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“While I was not involved in the conversation, I was present at times during this meeting last year,” Zedillo said on Sunday. “When others use derogatory or racially divisive language, my instinct is to hold them accountable.”

“Obviously I should have intervened. I failed to hold others and myself to the highest standards. The hurtful, harmful remarks made about my colleague’s son are simply unacceptable. We choose public life, but our families should never be Limit and never engage in political discourse,” he said in a text message to The Times. “I didn’t make racist remarks or mock my colleagues.”

Martinez, a native of the San Fernando Valley, made history when she was sworn in as the city council’s first Latino president in 2019.

In the early months of the pandemic, she led the committee, which focused on helping renters and, later, vaccination requirements for city workers. She also worked to divert money from police departments to other city uses, including social services, following the murder of George Floyd.

She stepped down as president at a pivotal moment in town hall. As many as five council members will leave by the end of the year, based on the outcome of the November meeting. 8 elections.

Four council members outgoing And the fifth, O’Farrell, is in a tough re-election bid.

Eunisses Hernandez, the lawmaker who defeated Cedillo in June, said she would like to see a “middle caretaker” chair the committee until the end of the year, when she and other new lawmakers are in place.

Hernandez said MP Paul Krekorian will be an excellent caretaker in the coming months. “In January, when the new council takes office, we should have a new vote. I would love to see Marquis lead,” Hernandez said, referring to MP Marquis Harris-Dow Sen.

Krekorian said he was actually interested in becoming city council president, arguing that the city was about to undergo a huge political change — the arrival of a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and at least four new city council members. He said the council needed someone with experience to lead the council through the “recent crisis”.

“I want to make sure the council can function as efficiently as possible and that it has experienced, stable leadership,” Krekorian said. “I’ve certainly proven that in my more than a dozen years on the council.”

Protesters on both the left and right of the political spectrum have targeted Martinez and other politicians in recent years. At some point, they gathered outside officials’ homes, prompting Martinez to introduce a law that would ban protests within 300 feet of the target’s residence.

A crowd gathered outside her Sun Valley home on Sunday night to protest her racist remarks, according to a video posted on Twitter.

Leaked audio from Martinez and her colleagues revealed explicit conversations about a map of the council district recently proposed by the city’s 21-member redistricting committee.

The once-in-a-decade re-election process has reshaped the city’s parliamentary constituencies and sparked competition among groups over political power and representation.

Latino residents make up about half of Los Angeles’ population but make up less than a third of the commission’s 15 boroughs, leading to longstanding complaints that the population is underrepresented.

When Martinez and others discussed Latino representation in parliamentary constituencies, they were outspoken.

At one point, Herrera referred to a South Los Angeles congressional seat and said, “You just have to fight the CoCo with that seat. That seat has to be anti-CoCo.”

He was referring to the Community Coalition, a nonprofit founded by Bass and once led by Black’s Harris-Dawson.

Harris-Dawson criticized the group’s remarks in an interview with The Times on Sunday as “a concerted effort to weaken black voters.”

The leaders of eight SEIU California unions with members from the Los Angeles area also issued a statement Monday morning calling on Martinez, De León and Cedillo to step down from their congressional seats and for Herrera to resign from his position at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Position. .

The leaked audio is part of a “serious security and privacy breach” at the labor union office involving “illegal” recordings of “many private and confidential conversations in private offices and conference rooms,” the union told the affiliate in an email Sunday. agency, according to the text provided to The Times.

Times staff writer Matt Pierce contributed to this report.

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