Update: Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera submitted his resignation to the federation’s executive board on Monday evening, as reported by the L.A. Times. The exit comes after news broke Sunday of an Oct. 2021 meeting between Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez, fellow councilmembers Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo and Herrera that was secretly recorded and posted to Reddit.
Martinez resigned her post as Los Angeles City Council president on Monday after recordings of her making racist remark at a meeting surfaced. However, she did not resign her position on the city council, the L.A. Times reported.
During the Oct. 2021 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 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 up to five of L.A.’s 15 city council seats could be changing after the November election.
J. Kim Murphy contributed to this report.