Nury Martinez takes time off after audio leak

Nury Martinez said Tuesday she would take a leave of absence from the Los Angeles City Council, two days after a surreptitious recording surfaces on which we hear him making racist remarks and denigrating his colleagues.

The comments sparked outrage across Los Angeles, with demands for the resignation Monday of Mayor Eric Garcetti, mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Rick Caruso, Sen. Alex Padilla and numerous city council members.

“This has been one of the most difficult times of my life and I recognize that it is completely my fault,” Martinez said in a statement. “At this time, I must take some time off and take some time to have an honest and candid conversation with my family, constituents and community leaders. I am truly sorry for the people of Council District 6, my colleagues and the City of Los Angeles.”

Inside City Hall, dozens of Angelenos chanted and waited anxiously for the doors to the John Ferraro rooms to open.

When they finally did, people flocked. Among the group was Sade Elhawary, who along with a group of other organizers entered wearing black T-shirts with white text: “I stand with black people” – a reference to Martinez using a profanity refer to LA County Dist . Atti. George Gascón and saying he was “with the blacks”.

“For us, it wasn’t just about representing and being proud to be ‘black people,’ she said, fingering air quotes, “but also providing the platform. form for other people of color to be proud to stand in solidarity with black people. in a way that should not be denigrated or diminished as she has.

Before the meeting, the crowd chanted “out– “out” in Spanish – with the names of Cedillo, De Leon and Martinez.

A group of religious leaders held a press conference Tuesday morning outside City Hall.

“It ends today. It ends now. I will be here every day until our city council members step down,” said Reverend Rae Huang, who volunteers with Black Lives Matter, appearing with the group about an hour before the council meeting.

The audio leak and its aftermath halted the Martinez’s political rise49, who in 2019 became the first Latina to hold the powerful position of city council president – ​​a position she resigned from on Monday.

Martinez represents communities in the San Fernando Valley, including Van Nuys and Sun Valley.

Martinez’s remarks, made during an October 2021 meeting on the city’s redistricting process with two other council members and the head of a task force, targeted Councilman Mike Bonin and others.

She said Bonin treated her young black son like he was a “prop” and said of the son “looks like changuitoor “He’s like a monkey.” And she mentioned “little black and little people” in Koreatown as “so ugly— “They are ugly.”

Speaking of Gascón, Martinez said, “F—that guy…He’s with the Blacks.”

Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera also apologized Sunday for their role in the conversation. At one point, De León appeared to compare Bonin’s handling of her child to Martinez holding a Louis Vuitton handbag. Herrera resigned from his position on Monday evening.

Martinez served on the Los Angeles Unified School District board of trustees, then joined the city council after a run from behind in 2013.

She led the council through the turbulent first year of the pandemic, focusing on helping tenants and a vaccination requirement for the city. She also pushed to redirect money from the police department to social services and others after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Protesters on the left and right sides of the political spectrum have targeted her and other politicians in 2020 and 2021, gathering — sometimes with megaphones — outside their homes, prompting Martinez to back a law banning protests near a target’s home.

A group returned to their home in Sun Valley on Sunday night to protest her racist remarks, according to a video posted to Twitter.

Leaked audio from Martinez and his colleagues revealed explicit conversations about the council’s district maps that had recently been proposed by the city’s 21-member redistricting commission.

The once-a-decade redistricting process reshapes the city’s 15 council districts and sparks competition among diverse groups for political power and representation.

Martinez’s furlough is the latest upheaval at City Hall, which has been rocked by numerous scandals in recent years. City council member Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted last year on corruption charges, while former city council member José Huizar awaits trial on a crime related to downtown development.

Former City Councilman Mitch Englander was convicted in January 2021 of lying to federal authorities about his dealings with a developer.

Martinez’s furlough also comes at a key time for mayor. Up to five council members could leave by the end of the year, depending on the outcome of the Nov. 8 election.

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