Despite Mounting Pressure LA City Councilmembers Kevin de Leo and Cedillo Still Not Resigning

In an interview, de Leon cites needs of “underrepresented” district 

By Dolors Quintana 

Until Wednesday, City Councilmember Kevin de Leon had not said much following the shocking release of the audio tapes where he, former Council President and City Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Gil Cedillo were caught engaging in racist banter and hatching plans to gerrymander the City Council districts of Los Angeles in their favor. 

Despite mounting pressure from the citizens of Los Angeles and even President Biden, de Leon went on a public relations defensive to attempt to keep his job. He first went to Univision, one of the city’s largest Spanish-language channels for an interview on Univision Noticias with journalist León Krauze. The second part of de Leon’s apology tour ended for now at CBS News, where he finally issued an apology for some of his actions, yet refused to resign citing the needs of his district, he said, as quoted by CBS News, “It’s about City District 14,” he said. “A district that’s been underrepresented and has gone through much difficulty in the past without political representation… They do deserve political representation.” De Leon said this despite the fact that the people of the district could elect a new city council representative unstained by this scandal. 

This is de Leon’s second attempt to retain his position on the council releasing a short statement on October 9 that said, “There were comments made in the context of this meeting that are wholly inappropriate; and I regret appearing to condone and even contribute to certain insensitive comments made about a colleague and his family in private. I’ve reached out to that colleague personally. On that day, I fell short of the expectations we set for our leaders — and I will hold myself to a higher standard.” Nowhere in that statement did Leon apologize for his part in the leaked conversations and, in fact, he joined in by making the comment, “25 Blacks shouting,” and comparing fellow City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s son as an accessory like one of Martinez’s Louis Vuitton bags. In the CBS interview, he referred only to the Louis Vuitton statement, calling it, “flippant.”

Bonin responded within minutes after the interviews aired with a statement on Twitter, that said in part, “Kevin de León cannot be part of the healing as long as he refuses to resign. His stubborn refusal to do what everyone else knows is necessary is deepening the wound he has inflicted on Los Angeles.” Bonin also added, as quoted by NBC Los Angeles, “He made cruel, disparaging, dehumanizing remarks about my son. They’re a hell of a lot more than flippant. He was an active participant in a conversation that was full of blatant anti-Black racism that was a coordinated effort to disenfranchise people. It was a horrible conversation.”

Newly elected City Council President Paul Krekorian also issued a statement responding to de Leon’s interviews within minutes as well. Krekorian said, in a statement released via Twitter, “Apologies will not be nearly enough to undo the damage that this city has suffered. The hateful words that were spoken in that secret meeting have re-opened a deep and painful wound in this city.  People are hurting and demand change. The only way we can begin to heal as a city is for Mr. De León to take responsibility for his actions, accept the consequences, and step down.

“I believe Mr. DeLeon has it in him to be a better person than we heard on that tape, but apologizing is not the same as making amends.  We need to show the world that there is no seat for racism, exclusion and disrespect on the Los Angeles City Council.”

De Leon sent Krekorian a letter asking to be excused from City Council meetings for “in the coming weeks” to focus on “the healing process”. It is possible that de Leon wants to try and avoid confrontations with protesters at those meetings but he may not be able to avoid all protests since the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles has established a 24-hour protest outside of de Leon’s home demanding that City Council meetings and business cannot continue while de Leon is still a Councilmember.

Added to the growing list of people calling for Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo’s resignation is the basketball legend Ervin “Magic” Johnson, who said in a statement on Twitter, “Since former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and the former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera have resigned, it’s time for Los Angeles Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo to resign as well.”

Additionally, the prominent Black developers, R. Donahue Peebles and Victor MacFarlane, who are working on the restoration of the historic Angel’s Flight in Downtown Los Angeles have refused to work with Kevin de Leon in a letter sent to acting City Council President Mitch O’Farrell and posted on the Angel’s Flight website which said, “We are writing to voice our strong concern regarding the conduct, demeanor, and demonstrated racist actions of Council Member Kevin de León. As the developers of Angels Landing, we cannot, in good conscience, go forward and work with Council Member Kevin de León on the Angels Landing project and call for his immediate resignation from the Los Angeles City Council.”

in News
Related Posts

Make Science Your Destination This Summer

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Destination Science is the fun science day camp for curious kids with over 15 STEM activities weekly, three science stations...

Prime Time Sports Camps Coming Soon

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Prime Time Sports Camp has remained a constant in the everchanging camp landscape for over 30 years by following this...

Groundlings Summer Improv Classes Open April 2

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

A summer of improvisation is around the corner at The Groundlings. Three months of summer class offerings for teens will...

VNC Fails to Pass Compromise Revisions on Third Try

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Board Composition Will Remain the Same for the 2025 Elections By Nick Antonicello  The April meeting of the Venice Neighborhood...

SMC to Host Applied Music Showcase in May

April 19, 2024

April 19, 2024

Highlighted Students Set to Perform a Variety of Songs, Instrumental Solos, Ensemble Pieces, and Original Compositions Santa Monica College’s Music...

Report: Video Game Mogul Lists Palisades Home for $9.2M

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

Built in 2018, the Wood-Shingled Home Spans 7,000 Square Feet across Multiple Levels Dan Houser, the English video game magnate,...

Agreement Between SMMUSD and Malibu Moves District Separation Efforts Forward

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

The Agreement Awaits Approval by Both the Malibu City Council and the Smmusd Board of Education The City of Malibu...

(Video) Award-Winning Pianist to Premiere “Rocket Man: A Live Orchestral Experience” in Santa Monica

April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024

Classic Songs Will Include “Crocodile Rock” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” @palisadesnews “Rocket Man” is coming soon to Santa Monica...

Legislation Seeks to Place Speed Cameras on Pacific Coast Highway

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Proposed System Would Work Alongside Radar Feedback Signs, with Violators Facing Fines of up to $500 Malibu officials, led...

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing over...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @palisadesnews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...