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for Henry Perez, associate director of Inner City Struggle, a social justice non-profit organization in CD-14, de León no longer represents the community of the Eastside.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.
CALÓ NEWS spoke with Latinos on the streets of LA about De León’s refusal, the issue of racism within the Latino community, and what the community needs from its officials going forward.
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.
Many of us in the Latino community have heard friends and family members use racist language. We also have been the victims of racist language- anti-Black, anti-Brown and anti-Indigebous – and sometimes from those within our own community.
In this current political scandal, we have five prominent Mexican-Americans in positions of influence nearly unprecedented historically, given the racist legacy of a past LA dominated by Anglo Americans. If those present did not directly insult the Oaxacans, they at the very least entertained language disparaging them. Such Oaxacan peoples are among the most culturally resilient in world history – and yet intrinsically linked to the national identities of modern Mexican people and their American counterparts. This is the historic legacy bestowed upon those officials, too.
To Nury: I don’t know why you felt the need to disparage a defenseless little 8-year-old Black boy. You were in a position to truly help your people and mine. The allyship between Black and Brown Angelinos was growing. But once you indicated that only white kids are entitled to do what children do, a lot of doors were being slammed from View Park to East LA.
CALÓ NEWS spoke with Latinos on the street to get their unfiltered reactions and demands in the wake of the Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León scandal surrounding racial epithets and hate speech. Latinos are, indeed, upset and ready for big changes.
We are announcing the official launch of our website at https://calo.org/
The Latino Media Collaborative hosted the organization’s inaugural Latino Media Summit on September 22 in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a Mexican-American museum and cultural center, was home to the summit and the launch of the CALÓ NEWS website. CALÓ NEWS is a site dedicated to the coverage of Latinos, written for English-speaking audiences in LA and California. It is also a news initiative of LMC, which began 25 weeks ago as a weekly newsletter.