Nury Martínez resigns from the Los Angeles city council amid uproar
A week-long demand for the resignation of several city council officials now claims its first resignation of a public official.
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L.A council chambers reached a new peak after Nury Martínez, the former city council president, resigned from her District 6 seat following week-long demands for resignations from protesters and other councilmembers.
Martínez — who was part of a conversation with councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin De León — previously announced she would be stepping down as president and taking a leave of absence, according to statements made on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
“It’s with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” Martínez said in a written statement.
A closed-door conversation revealed a racist exchange between the city officials, in which they disparaged colleagues, the Black electorate in L.A., and inflammatory comments towards a colleague’s Black child.
L.A. City Council attempted to continue business as usual, but proceedings were promptly interrupted by peaceful protesters who, among their clamor, called for the resignation of all councilmembers involved in the leaked recording.
Though Cedillo and De León were initially in attendance, the representatives left the building as the crowd expressed their frustrations.
Martínez is the second participant of that meeting to resign after Ron Herrera, a Union leader and president of the California Federation of Labor, tendered his resignation just a day prior. In council, Martínez’s resignation is the first among three council members who were also present in the private meeting where redistricting was also discussed.
The fallout from the remarks shook a reeling community of Black electorates and has reverberated throughout the nation. During a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president was aware of the situation, and called the comments “appalling,” in addition to calling for the resignation of all three members.
“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 continued.
In council chambers, protesters have also demanded that legislative matters that took place under Martínez’s tenure be investigated.
“I want an immediate resignation from each one of them. Then, I want an investigation into everything that has been done in the 10th District. I want it to be reviewed, because anything that people, and Black people, in that part of the city have tried to do, this City Council has stood in the way,” one protester, Bernice, said.
And with mounting concerns over the mention of redistricting during the meeting in tandem with the racist remarks, the California Attorney General, Rob Bonta, announced a probe into the redistricting process that was discussed in the recorded meeting.
“The decennial redistricting process is foundational for our democracy and for the ability of our communities to make their voices heard — and it must be above reproach,” Bonta said in a statement.
“My office will investigate to gather the facts, work to determine the truth, and take action, as necessary, to ensure the fair application of our laws,” he added.
Cedillo and De León have not made any public statements, nor have they indicated whether they would resign from their posts.