How much longer will Los Angeles City Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo try to hang on to their jobs?
It’s been more than a week since a leaked audio recording revealed deplorable and racially divisive comments from then-Council President Nury Martinez, De León, Cedillo and a top county labor official. Martinez and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera made the right decision last week and resigned.
But despite the outcry for De León and Cedillo to do the same, the two men have so far refused. While Martinez spewed the most vile comments on the recording, De León and Cedillo chimed in and added their own commentary on how to solidify power at the expense of communities and colleagues. How can they expect to remain on the City Council when they’ve abused the public’s trust and lost the respect of their colleagues and virtually every member of their political party up to President Biden?
It seems De León and Cedillo are trying to ride out the storm, clinging to their positions and their $229,000 annual salaries, no matter the effect on their constituents and the city. Enough already. They ought to stop wasting Angelenos’ time, patience and money, and step down.
They’re certainly not earning their paycheck. They’ve been stripped of their committee assignments and effectively banished from council meetings by protesters calling for their resignation. De León seems to have gone into hiding and hasn’t even returned phone calls from acting-Council President Mitch O’Farrell. Cedillo is “at a place of reflection,” his spokesperson told The Times late last week. Is that a literal or a metaphorical place? We don’t know. Nevertheless, he too is missing in action.
And so the City Council attempts to limp along, down three voting members from the 15-member body. On Tuesday, the council elected Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents the east San Fernando Valley, as president. Councilmembers also voted to move forward on proposals to put an independent redistricting commission and City Council expansion before voters in 2024 or sooner. They have much more business to do and will continued to be hampered by having the two MIA councilmembers, as well as the ongoing protests until they resign.
If Cedillo resigns now, he can be immediately replaced by Councilmember-elect Eunisses Hernandez, who won the seat from Cedillo in the June primary and is scheduled to be sworn into the job in December. De León has two more years in his term, and if he leaves now, the city can schedule a special election to fill Martinez’s seat and his seat at the same time.
It’s time for De León and Cedillo to do the right thing for Angelenos and resign.