Illinois Latino leaders denounce former LA Council president’s racist remarks


CHICAGO — Two days after resigning as president of the Los Angeles City Council, Nury Martinez announced Wednesday that she is also stepping down from her council seat. 

The move comes after Martinez and other council members were recorded having a conversation using offensive and racist language. 

The scandal prompted Latino leaders in Illinois to denounce Martinez’s comments and demand Los Angeles council members address their wrongdoings.

“This is far from the example of what Latino leadership can and should look like,” said Illinois Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-20).

“The harm needs to be repaired and damage needs to be restored,” added Illinois Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García (IL-04)

Martinez made racist remarks about the Black son of a white councilman and other crude comments. Her resignation statement did not address those comments, though in words directed at her daughter she said: “I know I have fallen short recently of the expectations we have for our family. I vow to you that I will strive to be a better woman to make you proud.” 

Pacione-Zayas says “that brown power cannot and will not be built on undermining Black and Indengious communities because ‘we are them and they are us.’”

“We also call for there to be restorative justice by those individuals to raise awareness and to show a way forward comes after one inflicts harm,” Garcia added. 

Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward) said he was saddened and enraged to hear about the hateful conversation. The council member said that power could ignite locally and nationally when Black and brown communities unite. 

“The only way that we can do that is by showing respect to each other and not having these ego trips that one group is better than the other,” Maldonado said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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