Nury Martinez Resigns Following Protest


Michael Hum, Staff Writer

(Trigger Warning: Please be aware that this article contains a discussion of racism at length, as well as the usage of strong language. Read at your discretion.)

Los Angeles City Council member Nury Martinez fully resigned on Oct. 12 following the release of a leaked audio conversation in which she used racist remarks to describe fellow councilmember Mike Bonin’s adopted Black son as a “changuito,” or a little monkey. A more recent audio then surfaced where Martinez, along with 1st District Council member Gin Cedillo, 14th District Council member Kevin de León, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor leader Ron Herrera used racial expletives to describe their frustrations with a recent redistricting initiative for the city. 

After the audio was leaked on Reddit, Martinez first resigned from her elected position as President and representative of the 6th District, but was still involved with the City Council. Following a series of comments in which people , including the U.S. President Joe Biden, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti called for her resignation, she resigned from all elected positions.

Martinez and Herrera, after the audio was leaked, both resigned in their respective positions after council members, mayors, government officials, and mayoral candidates interested in the upcoming city elections called for the four people identified in the audio to resign.

“In the end, it’s not my apologies that matter most; it will be the actions I take from this day forward,” Martinez commented. “I hope that you will give me the opportunity to make amends. Therefore, effective immediately I am resigning as President of the Los Angeles City Council.”

“I’m disgusted and angry and heartsick,” Bonin and his partner Sean Arian commented. “It’s fair game to attack me, but my son? You have to be pretty insecure and venomous to attack a child. He wasn’t even three years old. Other than that, I’m speechless.”

While Martinez and Herrera resigned, De León and Cedillo refused to resign from the City Council. While Cedillo is currently at “a moment of reflection” and has not made a public statement, De León has spoken publicly about deciding not to resign.

“No, I will not resign, because there is a lot of work ahead,” De León said during an interview with Unívision. 

“It’s about City District 14,” De León further commented on CBC. “A district that’s been underrepresented and has gone through much difficulty in the past without political representation deserves political representation.”

After the vacancy of the President due to Martinez resigning, Council member Paul Krekorian was ushered in as the new President of the City Council on, Oct. 19. Krekorian’s agenda is to continue to push diversity and homelessness initiatives, amend a new redistricting proposal, and to restore the reputation of the Council. 

“The city is not celebrating now, the city is grieving. And we are working overwhelmingly together to try to overcome what we experienced over the last week,” Krekorian commented during a meeting. 

As of Oct. 22, the Council is still in the process of reconciling not only Council members, but also the public, who have begun to disrupt Council meetings due to Cedillo and De León not resigning. To mitigate some of the demands of the protestors, Council President Paul Krekorian and now-promoted Councilman Mitch O’Farrell have elected 9th District Representative Curren Price as a new President pro tempore.

Whether any of us sit in this chair or around the horseshoe [describing the City Council], we are all public servants,” O’Farrell said during a meeting on Oct. 21. “Both Paul and Curren are dedicated and very capable leaders. Since Paul was the council’s unanimous choice for president, I feel it’s important that Curren have the opportunity to serve as pro tem. He’ll do a terrific job.”


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