Democrat Los Angeles City Council President Resigns Over Incendiary Recording
She rose to the heights of regional politics as a champion of inclusive working family values, but now has had to give up her post as president of the Los Angeles City Council for making highly racist and vulgar comments — that included disparaging remarks about another councilmember’s toddler son.
Nury Martinez, a Democrat, resigned from her leadership role on Monday after a report surfaced about an audio recording made last year that captured her, fellow Latino Council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera discussing the process of redrawing council districts.
It’s not yet known who made or leaked the recording.
The Los Angeles Times over the weekend first broke the story that alleges Martinez in the recording was highly critical of the way Councilmember Mike Bonin, who is White, treats his young Black son like an “accessory.”
The Times also reported Martinez was also heard on the recording, which was posted on Reddit, complaining about how Bonin’s son behaved during a Martin Luther King Day parade, noting a float would have tipped over if she and other women present didn’t step in to “parent this kid.”
“They’re raising him like a little White kid,” Martinez said during the recording, said the Times piece. “I was like, ‘This kid needs a beat down. Let me take him around the corner, and then I’ll bring him back.”‘
Martinez also reportedly called Bonin’s son “ese changuito,” Spanish for “that little monkey.”
De León, also said the Times story, compared the way Bonin handles the toddler to “when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.”
Added Martinez in the recorded exchange: “Su negrito [Your little Black], like on the side.”
Apparently unaware they were being recorded, Martinez — named by her peers on the council as president in 2019 — and the three others directed their discussion, which continued to be peppered with expletives and racial slurs, toward other council business that included an idea to transfer the Los Angeles International Airport out of Bonin’s council district and into that of Councilmember Marqueece Harris- Dawson.
“Mike Bonin won’t f—ing ever say peep about Latinos. He’ll never say a f—ing word about us,” the Times story said De León added to the conversation.
Martinez also complained about Los Angeles County District George Gascón while the group speculated if Gascón could be counted on to endorse Cedillo in his re-election campaign against Eunessis Hernandez.
“F— that guy. … He’s with the Blacks,” Martinez is heard saying, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles.
Effective immediately, “I am resigning as President of the Los Angeles City Council,” Martinez said in a statement Monday.
“I take responsibility for what I said and there are no excuses for those comments. I am so sorry,” Martinez said in a follow-up apology statement on Monday. “I sincerely apologize to the people I hurt with my words: to my colleagues, their families, especially to Mike, Sean [Bonin’s husband] and your son.
“As a mother, I know better, and I am sorry. I am truly ashamed. I know this is the result of my own actions. I am sorry to your entire family for putting you through this,” the statement continued. “As someone who believes deeply in the empowerment of communities of color, I recognize my comments undercut that goal.”
After the council voted to keep her on as their president for a second year, Martinez spoke about the cross section of city residents and workers the council worked to empower her first year in the top spot.
“We prioritized helping the working poor, our essential workers, communities of color,” said Martinez. “I thank my colleagues for the vote of confidence in me, but more importantly for supporting our efforts to put families first and restore hope for our fellow Angelenos.”
It was believed at the time of this writing that Martinez plans to retain her elected seat on the council.