Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Democratic California Governor, called Sunday for the resignations of Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo, Los Angeles City Council Members. This was in response to the audio that was leaked earlier this month. The audio shows both members participating in a closed-door redistricting session where racist remarks were made.
After the 2022 California gubernatorial battle between Newsom, and his republican challenger, state Senator Brian Dahle, Newsom said to a press pool that the two L.A. City officials should follow the former City Council President Nury Martz, who resigned on October 12.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Newsom stated that she was clear with Nury that her actions were right and that the rest of the world should follow suit. “I wanted them to have the chance to justify… what they said, and to be open about what they said.” We’re looking forward to [resignation] announcements very soon.
Heard in the audio recordings of Martinez, Cedillo and de Leon was Ron Herrera, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President, who resigned last week, shortly after Martinez.
L.A. officials met for a recorded closed-door conversation to discuss how the city would redraw the boundaries of council districts over the next ten years. This was done in order to help Latino political leaders keep their power, reelect Latino members, and protect economic interests.
The leaked audio recordings were first published anonymously by Reddit users. They revealed Martinez’s racist comments about Mike Bonin, a gay white male council member, and his adopted son Oaxacan immigrants living within the Koreatown neighborhood. Also, offensive comments regarding George Gascon, Los Angeles County District Attorneys association to the black community.
Councilmember de Leon made offensive remarks about Bonin in the recording.
In a Wednesday television interview, Councilmember de Leon stated that he would not resign from his position amid public and political backlash. Cedillo also refuted the idea. Both were removed from their respective committees.
Newsom agreed that Martinez made the right decision by stepping down and said he hopes Cedillo and de Leon will soon announce their resignations.
“I wanted them to have space but Nury was clear that I understood and she did the right thing,” Newsom stated that she believed the other should do the same. “I wanted to give them the chance to justify their statements and to be open about what they said. We are looking forward to hearing more soon.”
Newsom stated in a tweet that words mattered and racist language could cause real harm when the recordings were leaked.
He said, “These comments are not appropriate in our state or in our politics. We must all model better behavior in order to live up to the values that so many fight every day to defend.”
Words matter, and racist language can do real harm.
These comments have no place in our state, or in our politics, and we must all model better behavior to live the values that so many of us fight every day to protect. pic.twitter.com/s8obxz8ae4
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) October 10, 2022