Nury Martinez, a member of the L.A. City Council, resigns as a result of racial remarks on audiotape

Photo by Louis Velazquez

In response to a leaked tape in which she and two other council members made racist slurs, Nury Martinez resigned from the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday.

The scandal has made it difficult for the council to carry out its duties, and on Wednesday at City Hall, irate demonstrators again interfered with a meeting.

The meeting was adjourned after a little over an hour with no discussion or official action finished, according to the New York Times. Acting city council president Mitch O’Farrell highlighted that none of the councilmembers who participated in the recorded chat were there.

Making headlines: In a statement, Martinez stated, “I resign my seat for Council District 6, the neighborhood I grew up in and my home, with a wounded heart.

The former president of the council had earlier declared that she would resign from her role as leader and then take a leave of absence.
Martinez’s resignation, according to California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), was “the proper step,” he added, adding that “these comments have no place in our state, or in our politics.”
The big picture: Days of backlash followed the Los Angeles Times’ weekend publication of audio from a conversation about redistricting last year that led to the announcement.

Colleagues on the City Council, neighborhood activists, even President Biden, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, mayoral hopefuls Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla called for Martinez to resign (D-Calif.).
Councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, who was also heard on the phone, have both apologized but haven’t quit yet.

Background: During the covertly taped chat, the three Latino council members used offensive words.

Martinez is heard on the recording complaining that a white council member treated his Black son like an “accessory.” She also referred to the kid as a “small monkey” in Spanish.

The audio leak prompted California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) to declare early on Wednesday that his agency will look into Los Angeles redistricting.

According to Russell Contreras of Axios, the nation’s second-largest city is currently holding a mayoral race where issues including the economy, homelessness, and increased violence have taken center stage.

According to experts, the racism in the recording highlights the anti-Black and anti-Indigenous views that persist in many Latino communities.

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