Currently, the LA City Council consists of 14 council member: three Blacks, two Asian-Americans, four Whites, one Armenian-American, and four Latinos. District 6 is currently vacant after the resignation of Nury Martinez. Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund shares how common it is for Latinos to face under-representation when it comes to positions of leadership in LA.
There is a democratic process and the voters who are disgusted with de León, or Breed, or any other politician can start a recall. We support the recall as it is part of the democratic process. Let the voters of the 14th District decide if they want de León to represent them.
Having Bass as the new mayor of LA has sparked a conversation about whether she will hold the council members accountable for their actions and support honest and adequate representation in City Hall and the city’s districts. “It’s too easy of a political campaign,” said Alexandro Hernandez, associate professor of Chicanx Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). “I don’t think electing Bass as Mayor of LA is something [City Hall and voters] can use to sweep everything with the audio leak under the rug and act like everything is better now.”
It’s past time that Kevin de León resign. Regardless of who is at fault in this shameful altercation witnessed by children, his presence on the City Council is a continued distraction and offense.
Ongoing efforts to push de León out of office in LA turned into a physical confrontation on Friday, December 9, at a toy giveaway and Christmas tree lighting event in Lincoln Heights. While de León says he was assaulted, others say he was the aggressor. As police launch an investigation, community leaders continue to call for his resignation.
CALÓ NEWS interviewed Barrera to further discuss how Latino and other LA communities who were harmed by the scandal can heal, what is crucial for the LA City Council to focus on that can help Latinos, whether Latinos have appropriate representation on the LA City Council and more.
During the 1980s and 90s, Nuño grew up in a house nestled near Vernon and Main street in South Central Los Angeles with his sister and their two immigrant parents from Jalisco, Mexico. “I grew up adjacent to the [LA] Coliseum,” Nuño said. “When you grew up in the hood, you’re like, ‘Where you live?’ ‘Ah, I live by the Coliseum,’ so that you can give people some context of what part of LA you live in.” Nuño founded The Big House, a small business incubator housed in the 10-bedroom mansion that Nuño purchased in South Central, where nonprofits can have physical offices in their community.
Kevin De León has served as the LA City council member for District 14 since 2020 and said his resignation is not an option. “I have a moral obligation to my constituency, to give them a voice,” he told Smiley. But for Henry Perez, associate director of Inner City Struggle, a social justice non-profit organization in CD-14, de León no longer represents the community of the Eastside.
If there is a lesson to be learned from the recent racist controversy that has rocked Los Angeles, it is that we need new Latino leadership on the City Council. Nury Martinez has resigned. Ron Herrera, the leader of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, who also was part of the racist conversation, resigned. City Council Members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon, who were part of the racist dialogue, have refused to resign. We need Latino leaders who want to build up our community and also support the diverse and working people of Los Angeles. We need leaders who won’t condone or stay silent when bigoted and racist comments are made.
It’s been two weeks since the nation’s second-largest city was overshadowed by the audio recording that captured openly crude and racist remarks involving former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, LA Labor Federation president, Ron Herrera, and councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo. It is still unknown who recorded the private conversation that took place last October while discussing the redrawing of districts. CALÓ NEWS has gathered important updates and events that have occurred and been brought to life amidst the content of the audio, which was first published by the LA Times.
The audio leak comes one month before the city election, where multiple council seats are sought, including the mayor’s position. “We hope this new election will spark a movement holding our local politicians accountable and having them be more transparent and honest in their work,” says Luis López Reséndiz. Following the news of Nury Martinez and city council members, CALÓ NEWS recently spoke with Luis López Reséndiz, CIELO’s director of the center of language and power department, to understand the feelings within the Indigenous and Latino communities after the leak in-depth.
Nury Martínez has resigned, shamefully without an apology. Now Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo must also resign from the Los Angeles City Council. Councilman Bonin was correct when he stated this week that the shameful trio should have resigned first and then apologized.