Nury Martinez
Nury Martinez at the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy of her office

A Los Angeles city councilwoman resigned her seat on Wednesday, days after she stepped down as president of the body as pressure mounted after an audio recording of her making racist comments was made public.

Democrat Nury Martinez, who represented Los Angeles’ sixth district, faced calls to resign from local officials and U.S. President Joe Biden. She stepped down as president of the council on Monday.

“It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” Martinez said in a statement.

Two other Democratic city council members present during the meeting with Martinez have resisted calls to resign their seats. Council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo have issued apologies for taking part in the inflammatory conversation.

A fourth person heard on the leaked tape, local labor leader Ron Herrera, has resigned from his position as president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

“This is the right move,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a written statement. “Again, these comments have no place in our state, or in our politics, and we must all model better behavior to live the values that so many of us fight every day to protect.”

The recorded conversation took place in October 2021 and centered on their resentment about proposed maps for redistricting. The tape came to light only this week, ahead of a city election in November, after it was posted on a Reddit message board and reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Martinez was first elected to the city council in 2013 and became president in 2020. She is heard on the tape saying that council member Mike Bonin, who is white, treated his Black son as if he were an “accessory” and compared him to a “changuito,” which translates roughly as “little monkey.”

Martinez also disparaged Mexicans from Oaxaca and voiced her displeasure with Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, saying “he’s with the Blacks.”


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Ellen Bullock