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Gavin Newsom calls for resignations of Los Angeles council members after racist recording

Sacramento Bee 10/23/2022 Maggie Angst, The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for the resignations of Los Angeles City Council members who used crude and racist remarks during a private conversation about political redistricting that became public two weeks ago.

“I think they should (resign),” Newsom said during a press briefing after his Sunday gubernatorial debate in San Francisco.

When asked why he didn’t call for resignations earlier, Newsom said that he “wanted to give them space.”

“I wanted to provide the opportunity for them to justify what they said and the opportunity to be transparent about what they said,” Newsom said. “So we’re hoping and looking forward to (resignation) announcements soon.”

The governor’s remarks come two weeks after the Los Angeles Times published a recording of the conversation and officials across the nation urged those involved to resign. President Joe Biden called for resignations on Oct. 11.

The leaders recorded in the conversation were among the most powerful Latino politicians in California: former City Council President Nury Martinez, City Councilman Gil Cedillo, City Councilman Kevin de León and former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.

In the conversation, they discussed how to preserve and expand Latino political power, including by diluting Black votes. California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office launched an investigation into Los Angeles’ redistricting process, the once-a-decade process of redrawing legislative boundaries.

Shortly after the tape was released, Herrera stepped down and Martinez resigned.

Cedillo and de León have been stripped of their committee assignments but remain on the council.

Cedillo lost his June primary reelection bid and will be replaced at the end of the year. In an interview last week with Univision and the CBS affiliate in LA, de León said he would not resign because he wanted to be part of the process helping the city “heal” from the harm caused by the racist remarks.

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