President Biden calls for resignation of 3 LA City Council members amid racism scandal
LOS ANGELES - The White House is calling on three LA City council members to resign following racist comments made during a meeting last year.
During a press briefing Tuesday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden is glad Nury Martinez stepped down from her role as council president, but all those involved should resign.
"The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and it was appalling; they should all step down," Jean-Pierre said.
The Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion Tuesday calling for the resignation of council members Nury Martinez, Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo amid backlash from racist remarks they made during a meeting in October 2021.
The City Council has also censured the three council members for their misconduct and statements.
The council released a statement saying in part, "All elected officials of the City are expected to conform to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. At all times, and especially at the very moment when our nation and our city have suffered so painfully from hatred, racism and toxic divisiveness, every Member of the City Council must demonstrate a clear commitment to uniting people around our common values and our common interests in building a better future together. Their actions and inactions were completely contrary to the standard of conduct that the public is entitled to demand of its elected public servants. They demonstrated contempt and disrespect toward communities and individuals they were elected to serve, and they have damaged the public’s faith in how this city is governed."
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Over the weekend, audio tapes were leaked in which then-Council President Nury Martinez was heard making a series of racially charged, disparaging remarks during a meeting that also included Councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo.
In the audio tapes, City Councilman Mike Bonin’s 2-year-old Black adopted son was targeted and talked about. During Tuesday's council meeting, Bonin said he cannot forgive them until they resign.
On Monday Martinez resigned from her position as council president and on Tuesday she announced she would be taking a "leave of absence."
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, who was also involved in the October 2021 meeting, resigned from his position Monday night.
It is unknown if de León and Cedillo plan to resign from the council. With full attendance, the council would need 10 members to vote to censure Martinez, de León and Cedillo.