Nury Martinez gives up her city council seat amid deepening LA scandal – Orange County Register

Embattled Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez has resigned after days of mounting pressure to leave office after she was caught in a secret recording making racist comments and arguing with two other council members and a union leader how they might affect the city’s redistribution map their favor over the past year.

“It is with a broken heart that I am giving up my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” she said in a statement on Wednesday, October 12. “When I ran for office in 2013, I wanted to see change in my community and fight for my neighbors. That’s what it was all about. No one expected me to win, but with the support of residents across the district, I rose to the challenge and won the Council District 6 seat. I have had the privilege of serving in the role of my life: representing my neighbors.”

She went on to say that as the Latina Council’s first president, she “sought to serve with compassion and provide a greater platform for the communities I had left behind.”

“To my constituents – serving you has been a privilege I will not relinquish lightly. They are my neighbors, my friends and the reason for this ministry. … I hope you remain committed and keep fighting for your fair share of the city’s resources. It’s hard to say goodbye, but please know that I was in that fight for you.”

As protesters again disrupted the start of the Los Angeles City Council meeting on Wednesday, Attorney General Rob Bonta confirmed his office will investigate the city’s redistribution process in light of the racially charged, taped 2021 conversation that three council members attended about the redraw of the district borders discussed .

“The comments made by some of Los Angeles’ most senior officials, they were unacceptable, they were offensive, and they were deeply painful, deeply hurtful to many communities,” Bonta said. “There is no place in our state for anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-Indigenous, homophobic, or discriminatory rhetoric of any kind, especially when it comes to the duties of a civil servant.”

The probe is the latest fallout from the record, which was leaked over the weekend and initially led to Martinez resigning as council president and prompted widespread calls for his resignation, along with fellow council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo.

In the conversation, Martinez made a series of racially charged comments targeting various ethnic groups, as well as Council Member Mike Bonin’s adopted 2-year-old black son. The comments were made during a meeting with Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera to discuss the redistribution process.

Herrera has since resigned as association president. Martinez has taken a leave of absence from the council, but she and the other two council members have so far declined to resign.

Bonin said the conversation made a detailed examination of the city’s redistribution process imperative.

Council members presented several agenda items this week to address the fallout, including a resolution disapproving of council members Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo and a resolution that seven council members signed, calling for their immediate resignation from office.

The unprecedented excitement sparked a secret recording that surfaced on social media a year ago of a private conversation between the three council members and powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, in which the four discussed how they may affect the forthcoming rededication of the city’s electoral districts.

In the secret recording, Martinez and De Leon can be heard making racist comments about Councilman Mike Bonin’s toddler being black – among other racially slurred comments.

The four Latino leaders also discussed how best to redraw the city’s redistribution maps to take advantage of them — actions that had the potential to weaken black political representation in Los Angeles.

All four have apologized for their role in the conversation. Herrera resigned as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor late Monday.

Wednesday’s City Council meeting was adjourned after officials failed to calm protesters who were demanding the resignation or removal of the three councillors.

Tuesday’s council meeting was postponed by 45 minutes as protesters who packed the council chamber chanted and called for Martinez, De Leon and Gil Cedillo to resign. Martinez, who resigned Monday from her powerful post as city council president, announced Tuesday before the meeting that she was taking a leave of absence.

De Leon and Cedillo showed up for Tuesday’s meeting but eventually left after protesters refused to calm down.

After protesters calmed down, Councilor Mike Bonin, whose adopted baby boy was the subject of racially ugly comments, took center stage as Bonin spoke, sometimes in tears, for more than 10 minutes.

“I can’t forgive them because it’s not my prerogative,” he said of Martinez, De Leon and Cedillo. “It’s the prerogative of a boy too young to really understand what’s going on.” Bonin added that he and his husband are “raw and angry and heartbroken” for their family and the city.

“These people stabbed us and shot us and destroyed the spirit of Los Angeles,” he said.

He told the audience who came to City Hall to demand an account of Martinez, De Leon and Cedillo, “On these tapes I heard the worst of Los Angeles. From you I hear and see what is the best of Los Angeles.”

This is a groundbreaking story; watch out for updates Nury Martinez gives up her city council seat amid deepening LA scandal – Orange County Register

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