Los Angeles Union president Ron Herrera resigns amid outrage over leaked recordings
Herrera took part in a meeting with other city officials who made disturbing comments about a colleague and his family.
After the contents of an internal meeting between a number of L.A. City Councilmembers spread like wildfire on social media at the outset of the week, Ron Herrera — who took part in an inflammatory and racist conversation between City officials — resigned from his post at the L.A. County Federation of Labor.
He is the second individual to step down from his official duties following Nury Martínez’s resignation as City Council President. Although no public statements were delivered, the Federation is expected to make an official, formal announcement on Tuesday, Oct. 11, according to sourcing by the Los Angeles Times.
A total of four officials — Nury Martínez, Kevin De Leon, Gil Cedillo, and Ron Herrera — participated in the closed-door conversation.
The L.A. Times reported that a spokesperson for the Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, head of the California Labor Federation and also union leader, confirmed Herrera’s resignation to the board.
“We are focused on rebuilding solidarity and trust in the worker movement,” González told the Times.
Herrera’s resignation is part of a larger fallout in City Chambers. A leaked conversation containing disturbing and racist comments, including the mention of another city official’s Black child, made its way through social media and dominated headlines for the first half of the week.
Martínez, who, in the recording, likened Councilmember Mike Bonin’s son to a monkey and expressed desire to physically harm him, stepped down from her duties as Council President late Monday, Oct. 10. She is not up for reelection.
“As parents of a Black child, we condemn the entirety of the recorded conversation, which displayed a repeated and vulgar anti-Black sentiment, and a coordinated effort to weaken Black political representation in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Bonin in a family statement released on Twitter.
The hour-long leaked recording showcased a conversation about redistricting efforts in the city, and at times, Martínez could be heard expressing disdain for the Black constituency.
“[Redacted] that guy. He’s with the Blacks,” Martínez remarked of L.A. District Attorney George Gascón.
Additionally, the now-exposed city officials doubled down on their disdain for Bonin’s son.
“They’re raising him like a little white kid,” Martínez could be heard saying in the recording. “I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.”
The commentary provoked intense backlash on social media, most notably, other city officials who called for the immediate resignation of those present in the recorded meeting.
“I condemn the vile and reprehensible acts of my colleagues and yesterday instructed the Chief Legislative Analyst to draft a motion calling for the removal of the Council President,” said Mónica Rodríguez, city councilwoman for the 7th District.
While Martínez tendered her resignation, Councilmembers Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo remain active members of the legislative body.