Nury Martinez Steps Down as L.A. City Council President After Racist Remarks Surface

Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez resigned her post as president Monday after recordings of her making racist remark at a meeting were revealed on Sunday. However, she did not resign her position on the city council, the L.A. Times reported.

On Sunday, the news broke that an October 2021 meeting between Martinez, fellow councilmembers Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera was secretly recorded and posted to Reddit. During the meeting, Martinez could be heard making remarks about city council member Mike Bonin’s young adopted son, who is Black. The group also discussed redistricting of city council districts while disparaging other councilmembers.

On the recordings, Martinez, who represents part of the San Fernando Valley, can be heard calling Bonin “a little bitch” and saying his toddler son needed a “beatdown.”

De Leon’s statement said, “There were comments made in the context of this meeting that are wholly inappropriate; and I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private.” Cedillo, who has already been voted out of office, apologized for not shutting down the conversation, but clarified that he did not make racist remarks.

Several councilmembers called for Martinez to step down as president, while Bonin, Nithya Raman and Paul Koretz said she should resign from the council entirely. “Racist, homophobic, and deeply cruel statements like these are disqualifying for elected office in L.A.,” Raman wrote on Twitter.

In her statement, Martinez apologized for her remarks, and said, “I ask for forgiveness from my colleagues and from the residents of this city that I love so much. In the end, it is not my apologies that matter most; it will be the actions I take from this day forward.”

News of the recordings created a huge upheaval in the already-heated Los Angeles political sphere. Los Angeles already has far fewer councilmembers that New York or Chicago, and pp to five of L.A.’s 15 city council seats could be changing after the November election.

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