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Kevin de León. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Beleaguered LA City Councilman Says Only a Recall Will Remove Him From Office

‘This is more about vanity and staying in office and not going out in disgrace at this point’

By Evan Symon, October 24, 2022 4:42 pm

After weeks of continued public protests and calls to resign coming from the large majority of LA citizens and lawmakers nationwide, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon remained defiant, saying on Sunday that the only way he is leaving office early is if he is recalled.

De Leon, along with then-City President Nury Martinez, Councilman Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, were found to have made multiple racist and racial comments earlier this month following an audio leak of the four talking during a district realigning meeting last year. While many things were said, the most controversial part was when they began discussing a fellow Councilman who is white and openly gay, Mike Bonin. Specifically they talked about his black child and a picture with Bonin and his family in a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.

“Bonin thinks he’s f—ing black,” said Martinez in the audio, pointing out the picture. “He handled his young Black son as though he were an accessory. They’re raising him like a little White kid. I was like, this kid needs a beatdown. Let me take him around the corner and then I’ll bring him back.”

Martinez then proceeded to use slurs against the eight-year-old child, saying in Spanish “Parece changuito” or in English, “He’s like a monkey.” Councilman de Leon then added, “Bonin handles the toddler like when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag. Su negrito, like on the side.”

In addition to the racist words, the four were also heard plotting to reorganize Council lines to decrease the power of black Councilmembers and others in the city.

In the ensuing weeks, all four made multiple apologies, both Martinez and Herrera resigned, and calls for both de Leon and Cedillo to resign have come from the majority of Angelinos, as well as Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Governor Gavin Newsom, and President Joe Biden. Protests have also been constant against both de Leon and Cedillo, with protestors even appearing outside de Leon’s house non-stop for the past several weeks.

While Cedillo is a lame duck this year and will be out of office soon anyway due to being term-limited, de Leon’s term puts him in office until 2024, causing him the most pressure. However, de Leon has remained stubborn, saying last week that he would not resign, citing a duty to constituents.

“I have to do the hard work,” said de Leon in a CBS interview last week. “I have to repair. I have to help heal. I have to help restore.”

De Leon continues to refuse resignation

Following public backlash against that statement and failing to reduce pressure on himself to resign, de Leon made time for another interview on Sunday, adding that it would take a recall to remove him from office.

“My duty is to represent my constituents,” added the Councilman. “They are the ones who elected me. If they are the ones who say that I need to leave, then I will respect that decision by them.” Councilman de Leon also then noted that the lack of Latino representation on the Council would only worsen if he resigns.”

Councilman Bonin responded to de Leon’s words by saying that his refusal to resign is only “deepening the wound.”

Newly elected Council President Paul Krekorian added on Monday that his statement was the “height of arrogance” and, “He may think that that’s not fair to him, but that’s not relevant right now. The important thing is beginning the healing process that Los Angeles needs and to allow the city council to do its work, and that requires his resignation from office.”

Political experts noted on Monday that de Leon is helping no one by staying in office, with many pointing out that him staying there is only hurting his constituents.
“You know, de Leon is making such a big deal about wanting to stay in and represent people in his district, but when you make statements that show that you can’t fairly represent the people, you are done. You lost your privelege. Your only duty is to resign and help your people by giving them another representative,” explained Maria Costa, a Los Angeles pollster who focuses on Latino communities, in a Globe interview on Monday. “Oh, and he was so worried about losing Latino representation. His district is majority Latino. They’ll easilly pick someone else.”
“This is more about vanity and staying in office and not going out in disgrace at this point. He is probably looking at a lateral political move to another position right now. And he better be careful about talking about recalls. San Francisco got rid of several schoolboard members and their DA earlier this year via recalls, and LA nearly booted out their own DA. Californians have been trigger happy on recalls in the past several years, and de Leon may be finding himself up for that next year if he doesn’t resign.”
While this piece was being written, Maria, a constituent of de Leon’s, who only wanted her first name used, wrote the Globe that de Leon was now a stain on the city and her district.
“People of every race call LA home, and while it’s never perfect, we get along pretty good for what it is,” wrote Maria. “People like de Leon break that. These people cannot be in charge because they aren’t working for a better LA. He doesn’t care if he is causing the city to go into chaos if he gets to keep his job. He’s in the wrong and hurting us and all he cares about is staying in office. We used to see him as a savior, who helped out so many immigrants here. Now, to us, he’s a monster.”
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6 thoughts on “Beleaguered LA City Councilman Says Only a Recall Will Remove Him From Office

  1. I think De Leon did good on not resigning. Democratic political leaders and the ones protesting it won’t like it since they’re woke but there’s a segment of the Latino community that doesn’t like blacks. That doesn’t mean there outright hateful racists but there’s a spectrum of racism, it’s not black and white where oh there’s one side that treats everyone right equal and then there’s people who hates minorities like the Confederates. It’s gray. Some people don’t like blacks perhaps due to the low class culture perception like rap, hip hop, and basketball and some people are a little less racist but it’s more subconscious because of how they see the news and how there’s many occurrences of blacks committing crime.

  2. this dirtbag has been elected for just about everything and then re elected, his district loves him and probably thinks his actions are just fine. Let LALA land rot.

  3. The arrogance and STUPIDITY of Kevin De Leon on FULL display….

    Thankfully, this probably means that his UNdistinguished political career is likely OVER, and this is his final stop…

  4. Kevin de Leon is in office due to the 24/7/365 propaganda of “American Pravda”, meaning ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, All of Silicon Valley’s multi-billionaire Robber Barons, Google, YouTube, et al~! Once a person learns to “do your own research”, watching CBS is like watching seventh-graders blathering self-importantly~! Blindly following “American Pravda” is the major reason why Californians are so collectively stupid~!

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