The former president of the Los Angeles City Council at the center of a controversy over leaked audio of racist remarks announced her resignation from the elected board on Wednesday.
In a statement, Nury Martinez said she is resigning from her district seat after nine years.
“It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home,” she said.
“When I ran in 2013, I wanted to see a change in my community and fight for my neighbors. That is what it has been about all along. No one expected me to win, but with the support of residents throughout the district I overcame that challenge and won the seat for Council District 6. I had the honor of serving in the role of a lifetime: being the representative for my neighbors.”
Martinez added, “Over the last 9 years, I’ve had the honor of working with communities across Los Angeles to fight for policies that uplift working families. For the families who can’t make it out of poverty, struggling everyday, you are the reason why I get up in the morning and do what I do. To represent and fight for the people who don’t have a voice. To the workers, the housekeepers, the nannies, to the people who get up to ride the bus to work in the morning. You have been the backbone of our city throughout this pandemic, but you were the backbone long before. I went to work for you. You have been my mission and my guiding principle.”
City councilors Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo have apologized for their roles in a meeting last year which was secretly recorded. Earlier this week, Martinez resigned as council president.
In the leaked audio, Martinez likened the Black son of council member Mike Bonin, who was 2 years old at the time, to an animal. She is also heard on the recording implying that the county’s progressive district attorney shouldn’t be supported because he’s “with the Blacks.”
The meeting was apparently about redistricting, attended by the three councilors as well as Ron Herrera, the president of the powerful Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
The recording surfaced on a Reddit discussion board this month but was deleted. The source of the audio is unknown, and NBC News hasn’t determined whether it has been edited.
The remarks about Bonin’s son concerned the child’s behavior at a parade in 2017 when he was 2 years old. Martinez used a Spanish term to refer to the boy as an animal.
Martinez also dismissed Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, a justice reform advocate who is reviled by law-and-order politicians and has survived two Republican-led recall attempts, as unworthy of the support of the people in the room.
“F— that guy. He’s with the Blacks,” she said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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