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Political Fallout Continues from Leaked Recording of LA Council Members

Protestors demand the resignations of three council members who used offensive and racist language during their secret meeting to solidify power.
Political Fallout Continues from Leaked Recording of LA Council Members

The Los Angeles City Council canceled its Friday meeting amid demands for the resignation of two council members, reports ABC News.

"Without two more resignations, we cannot proceed with tomorrow's City Council meeting. Instead, I plan to be out in my district, meeting with and listening to constituents. I encourage my colleagues to do the same," Acting City Council President Mitch O'Farrell said.

LA City Council cancels meeting amid continued calls for more resignations (ABC News)

Excerpt from ABC News: The two members were heard on a recording leaked online where former LA City Council President Nury Martinez allegedly made offensive and racist comments about fellow council members while the three were discussing redistricting. Martinez resigned from the council on Wednesday after the recording emerged of her allegedly making the offensive comments. Earlier in the week, she resigned from her position as council president and had announced she would be taking a leave of absence. Protesters and other council members are now calling for the two other members on the recording, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, to resign as well. A City Council meeting on Wednesday was adjourned before it even began as protestors in the chamber demanded the resignations of all three members on the recording, chanting "no resignation, no meeting" and "step down or we shut down." Martinez's resignation came hours later.
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According to the NPR, the leaked Los Angeles City Council recording hasn't just upended local politics. It also has highlighted long-simmering racial tensions within the multicultural city — and the work needed to help it heal.

"What Nury Martinez was heard saying on this leaked tape were just about the worst things you could say as a politician in a city like Los Angeles, where cross-racial coalitions are so important in politics," NPR's Adrian Florido reported.

What the city council scandal reveals about LA's racial divides — and solidarity (NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: Former city council president Nury Martinez resigned her seat on Wednesday, days after a recording surfaced of her making racist remarks during an October 2021 conversation with two other councilmembers and a city union leader, all of whom are Latino. They discussed strategies for using the city's redistricting process to maximize Latino political power and dilute the power of Black voters. Martinez used crude and racist language to describe the city's Oaxacan and Black communities, including the Black adopted son of one of her white council colleagues. After the recording emerged — first posted anonymously to Reddit and then published by the Los Angeles Times — a growing chorus of voices, from local protesters to the White House, called for the implicated council members to step down.
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It all started when three Los Angeles City Council members went to a squat office building near MacArthur Park last October to seek advice from an influential labor leader about solidifying their grip on power, writes the Los Angeles Times.

"My goal in life is to get the three of you elected, and you know, I’m just focused on that," Ron Herrera, president of the federation, told Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León at one point. "I mean, we’re like the little Latino caucus of, you know, our own."

The mystery behind L.A. racist tape scandal: Who leaked it — and why? (Los Angeles Times)

Excerpt from the Los Angeles Times: The strategy session was supposed to be a discreet backroom conversation, but as it got underway in a private room at the headquarters of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, someone was recording it. Over the next hour, a device captured the Democratic politicians and the labor leader, all Latino, speaking contemptuously about those they regarded as rivals or impediments. The recordings included racist, bigoted and crude remarks about Black, Jewish, Armenian, Indigenous and gay people. The politicians departed apparently oblivious to the taping, and for the next 11 months, the explosive recording remained a secret. It was not until Sunday when The Times reported the contents that it became widely known, triggering a cascade of outrage that reached all the way to the White House. With L.A. still reeling from the contents of the audio, much about the recording itself remains a mystery: Who made it? And how? Who leaked it? And why?
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