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LA City Councilman Kevin de León Says Voters ‘If I Resigned, They Wouldn’t Have a Voice at City Hall’

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — In an interview with ABC7’s Marc Brown on Friday, embattled Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León explained why he chose to remain in office despite widespread calls for his resignation.

The pressure on De León to resign stems from his involvement in a recorded conversation in which Latin American officials made harsh, racist remarks and plotted to expand their political power.

The scandal has already led to the resignation of former City Council President Nury Martinez.

After a one-on-one meeting with multiple news outlets this week in which he apologized for what he described as leadership failure, De León was asked if he hoped the interviews would help him stay on as a council member.

“No, because — this is ultimately — it’s not about me,” De León replied. “Ultimately, it’s about the vote of my constituents for (Council District) 14 – a district that has been historically marginalized for decades, if not generations, for a variety of reasons. If I resigned, she wouldn’t have a vote in City Hall.”

Couldn’t there be someone else who could step in and represent the people of this district?

“I’m not the only one who can represent them and I know it,” said De León. “But if a caretaker replaced me, if I resigned, then they would not have the right to vote in City Hall. That’s just the bottom line.”

The City Council met on Friday for the first time since Kevin de León announced he would not step down.

The council has conducted its business so far this week, although de León and fellow councilor Gil Cedillo continue to resist calls to resign, with just 10 members – the minimum for a quorum – present at most Tuesday and Wednesday sessions. Neither de León nor Cedillo have attended a council meeting since last Tuesday, when they were forced to leave the chamber as protesters shouted at them.

The October 2021 conversation between de León and fellow councillors, Nury Martinez and Cedillo, and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, included racist comments and discussions of favorable redistribution.

Members of the public who attended Friday’s virtual City Council meeting expressed anger at De León and Cedillo’s continued tenure.

“End this meeting,” said one man during the public comments section. “No ‘business as usual’ with racists Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo on the city council. The public is already deep in the work to recall KDL, but this council continues to fail its city as it continues to normalize the motives we’ve seen these council members express themselves.”

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. LA City Councilman Kevin de León Says Voters ‘If I Resigned, They Wouldn’t Have a Voice at City Hall’


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