Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in Sunday on the City Hall racism scandal, and called for councilmen Kevin de LeÃ³n and Gil Cedillo to resign.
Asked by reporters after Sunday’s election debate in San Francisco whether de LeÃ³n and Cedillo should leave their positions, Newsom replied, “I think they should.”
“I was very clear with (former Council President Nury Martinez) that she did the right thing, and I think the others should do the same. I wanted to provide the opportunity for them to justify … what they said and the opportunity to be transparent about what they said,” Newsom said. “So we’re hoping and looking forward to announcements soon.”
The October 2021 conversation between de LeÃ³n, Cedillo, Martinez and Ron Herrera, former president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, included racist comments and discussions over favorable redistricting schemes. Both Martinez and Herrera have resigned.
Newsom did not initially call for resignations. “Words matter,” he said, adding, “Racist language can do real harm.”
Both de LeÃ³n and Cedillo were removed from various committee assignments last week, leaving the vital Homelessness and Poverty, and Housing committees without chairs.
But both councilmen have so far defied calls for them to resign. De LeÃ³n said earlier this week that he does not plan on stepping down, and a spokesman for Cedillo said Wednesday night that the councilman remains at “a place of reflection.
Newsom joins a chorus of calls from around the country, including from President Joe Biden, for all involved in the meeting to resign.