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Former LA City Council president resigns from seat amid fallout from racist comments

Then-Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez
Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool
Then-Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez addresses a press conference at Dodger Stadium.

Nury Martinez, the Los Angeles City Council member who has become embroiled in controversy after audio of her making racist statements to other members of the body leaked, announced on Wednesday that she is resigning from the council. 

Martinez had stepped down from her position as president of the council on Monday but is now leaving her seat on the council entirely following widespread calls for her resignation. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” she said in a statement. 

Martinez’s statement mostly reflected on her goals in serving in her seat and as president of the council but made a few references to the situation.  

The Los Angeles Times originally reported about a leaked audio recording from an October 2021 meeting, in which Martinez, council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and L.A. County Labor Federation President Ron Herrera made multiple controversial and racist remarks. 

Martinez has received the most scrutiny for her comments. She mentioned L.A. District Attorney George Gascón, saying “F— that guy, he’s with the Blacks.” 

Martinez also criticized the Black son of a fellow council member, Mike Bonin. 

“And then there’s this white guy, with his little Black kid, who’s misbehaved,” Martinez said “They’re raising him like a little white kid, which, I was like, this kid needs a beatdown.” 

The others in the meeting responded to this by laughing. 

“My only goal as Council President has been to champion a families first agenda that we can all be proud of. Each of you have worked hard on policies and programs that uplift Angelenos across this city,” Martinez said in her statement. 

“I hope that this work continues and that workers and working class families remain in the forefront of the priorities of this Council. While I leave with a heavy heart, know that I wish you all the best and I have faith in your strength to unite this city,” she continued. 

She apologized to her staff that “we’re ending this way.” She also told her daughter that she vows “to you that I will strive to be a better woman to make you proud.” 

Martinez did say when announcing her resignation as president that she was “ashamed” by the comments and apologized for them. 

“As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize my comments undercut that goal. Going forward, reconciliation will be my priority,” she said at the time. “I have already reached out to many of my Black colleagues and other Black leaders to express my regret in order for us to heal.” 

Multiple other California political leaders, including Sen. Alex Padilla (D) and acting L.A. Council President Mitch O’Farrell, have called on de León and Cedillo to resign as well.

Tags George Gascon LA City Council Nury Martinez Nury Martinez racist remarks
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