Biden calls on LA councilmembers to resign, says racist comments were appalling
The President’s thoughts on the state of affairs in L.A. City Council was laid out during a press conference.
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Surfaced comments from a private meeting out of Los Angeles City chambers by Council officials have reached the office of the U.S. President, who called on the immediate resignation of all councilmembers involved.
Karine Jean Pierre, the President’s Press Secretary responded to an inquiry raised by a reporter on the matter of councilmembers Nury Martínez, Kevin De Leon, Gil Cedillo, and labor leader Ron Herrera, all of whom participated in a meeting to ostensibly discuss redistricting, among other city matters.
But the meeting turned sour when racist remarks were hurled by Martínez about her colleague, Councilmember Mike Bonin, and his son, a Black child. Martínez, in addition to desiring harm upon Bonin’s son, likened him to a ‘monkey.’
“The president is glad to see that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned, but he believes they all should resign,” Jean-Pierre said. “The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and is appalling. He believes they should all step down,” she added.
Although Martinez stepped down from her post as council president, her seat remains occupied despite announcements of a leave of absence following the gravity of her words, which prompted national outrage.
News of the commentary continues to dominate national headlines and has reached the Oval Office, where Biden made clear, by way of Jean-Pierre, that all involved in the conversation 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 continued, while also noting the stark contrast in responses from Democrats and Republicans.
L.A. City Council continues to reckon with the fallout from the leaked conversation as calls escalate, with no signs of waning, for resignations, in addition to a probe into city matters during the time in which Martinez, Cedillo, and De Leon passed legislation.
“Their actions and inactions were completely contrary to the standard of conduct that the public is entitled to demand of its elected public servants,” read a unified statement out of the city council.
“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," the statement continued.
It remains unclear whether city chambers will follow through with legislation to unilaterally remove those involved in the closed-door meeting. Councilmember Mónica Rodríguez of District 7 introduced a motion to remove Martínez as president, but there is no word on the surviving members of the fallout.
What began as a local matter quickly shook the nation after the recording was quickly disseminated through social media, prompting outrage at a national level.