Gov. Gavin Newsom has gone on the record for the first time to call for the resignation of Los Angeles City Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo following this month’s release of a secretly recorded audio recording in which the two men participated in a conversation where racist and offensive terms can be heard.
Newsom made his remarks to a scrum of reporters following his debate with his November challenger, state Sen. Brian Dahle.
The comments come in the fallout of the recording’s release earlier this month.
In the leaked audio, de León and Cedillo can be heard in a conversation with Nury Martinez and Ron Herrera, a prominent local labor leader. Martinez, then the president of the L.A. City Council, could be heard making racist remarks about a colleague’s son and members of the local Oaxacan community.
In addition to the derogatory slurs, Martinez, de León, Cedillo and Herrera were heard speaking nonchalantly about ways to increase their own political gain.
Martinez resigned from her presidency, but as the furor over her comments continued to build, she ultimately decided to resign from the council entirely. Herrera resigned the day following the leak of the audio.
Now Newsom has officially made his desire known for the two remaining council members to leave their positions. Cedillo is already a lame duck, having lost his re-election bid to Eunisses Hernandez earlier this year.
De León has told some media outlets that he does not intend to resign. In the meantime, Black Lives Matter and other protesters have camped just feet away from his Eagle Rock home.
“I wanted to give them space, but I think I was very clear with Nury, that she did the right thing. And I think the others should do the same,” Newsom said. “I wanted to provide the opportunity for them to justify what they said, and the opportunity to be transparent about what they said. And so we’re hoping and looking forward to announcements soon.”
Newsom had previously condemned the remarks and called the resignation of Martinez as the “right call.”