- Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León said he will not resign despite the scandal caused by racist comments about Hispanics and Blacks.
- «I failed by not raising my voice,» said de León.
- Los Angeles council members are among the highest paid in the country.
Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León told Univision on Wednesday that he will not resign despite the uproar caused by a leaked recording of him presiding over a meeting in which Latino officials made offensive and racist comments and were plotting to increase his political power.
The president of the Municipal Council, Nury Martinez, has already stepped down due to the scandal. De León told the Spanish-language television network that he was very sorry and that he wanted to continue working on behalf of the homeless and address other issues in his district.
Kevin de León breaks his silence after racist scandal
The councilman also told KCBS-TV in Los Angeles that he refused to resign and had failed as a leader. Other council members immediately decried De León’s statements and demanded his resignation, reported The Associated Press.
“Apologies will not be nearly enough to undo the damage that this city has suffered,” said new City Council President Paul Krekorian, who replaced Martinez. «The only way we can begin to heal as a city is for Mr. de Leon to take responsibility for his actions, accept the consequences and step down.»
“Apologies are insufficient”
The racist comments were made during a meeting nearly a year ago and exposed the city’s racial rivalries. Those involved in the private meeting spent considerable time discussing how to safeguard Latino political power during the council’s redistricting.
The California Legislative Black Caucus said the recording «reveals an appalling effort to decentralize Black voices during the critical redistricting process.» Martinez resigned last week, but De León and Councilman Gil Cedillo have resisted leaving office despite widespread calls for them to resign. Filed Under: Kevin de León refuses to resign
People call for Kevin de León to resign
The Los Angeles City Council installed Krekorian as the new president on Tuesday after a group of protesters vociferously demanded that the vote be stopped until De León and Cedillo resigned over their participation in the 2021 meeting.
A powerful union leader who also attended the 2021 private meeting, Ron Herrera, has already tendered his resignation. “I will not resign because there is a lot of work ahead of me,” De León said in the interview, referring to unemployment, the pandemic and the threat of eviction of tenants in a city experiencing rising housing prices. Filed Under: Kevin de León refuses to resign
Los Angeles council members are among the highest paid
«I feel very bad, I feel very sorry for the damage, for the wounds that exist today in our communities,» he said. These were the first public statements by him since the White House asked him to resign. He has not attended recent meetings and the council stripped him and Cedillo of considerable power to pressure them out of office.
“I ask for forgiveness from all my people, my community for the damage that those painful words caused on that day,” he said. De Leon called the comments at the private meeting «horrible» but said the responsibility for the offensive language rests with Martinez, who has resigned. «I failed for not raising my voice,» he said. Los Angeles council members are among the highest-paid in the country, with annual salaries of nearly $229,000, and De León continues to receive his paycheck. Filed Under: Kevin de León refuses to resign