The first Los Angeles City Council meeting following the Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon racism scandal was heated–both inside and outside city hall chambers.
Angeleno’s of all backgrounds, races and ages showed up to L.A City Hall this morning outraged and voicing their discontent with their elected officials.
Cedilio and De Leon were forced to leave their seats, before a room full of upset Angeleno’s would allow the City Council meeting to begin.
Although the lived experiences of those inside and outside city hall chambers varied, the message was clear and in unison.
Martinez was being recorded while discussing L.A politics including redistricting, as well as the 2-year-old Black son of L.A Councilman Mike Bonin.
The hour-long audio was recorded during a meeting in 2021 at the headquarters of the L.A County Federation of Labor.
Martinez, along with De Leon and Cedillo, had taken a meeting with Ron Herrera, President of the Federation to discuss redistricting.
“Four latino leaders, some of the strongest leaders in this city strategically planned and plotted to erase Black political power,” a Black man with a 3-year-old son said during public comment.
The audio also caught remarks that Martinez made that were anti-renter, as well as negative stereotypes of dark-skinned Oaxacan’s in Koreatown.
“They’re raising him like a little white kid,” Martinez said. “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.”‘
Martinez announced a leave of absence from the City Council in a statement, an hour before the council meeting was set to begin this morning.
She also stepped down as President of L.A City Council immediately following news of the leaked audio.
L.A leaders, community members, state senators, those currently sitting on L.A City Council and even President Joe Biden have condemned the audio and call for those on the audio to resign immediately.
CD10 interim Councilwoman Heather Hutt was visibly upset and was seen crying several times during the meeting.
Hutt was appointed by Martinez and the City Council less than two months ago after former CD10 Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal corruption charges with a USC Dean.
“Black people are the most vulnerable in this society. Instead of protecting them, we are punishing and criminalizing them for being poor and being Black. They are being disproportionately affected by being unhoused,” one Latina woman said during the outside protest.
An overflow of around 100 people gathered outside City Hall to protest during the meeting.
“We dont want just some BIPOC being elected. We need people who are really going to stand behind community. Let’s not get fooled again. Don’t vote for people just because they look like you. Really look at their policies, their actions and if they stand by their word,” the Latina woman continued.
Some folks from the Oaxacan community also showed up to City Hall, holding space and playing music outside.