Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday condemned racially charged comments made by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez during a 2021 recorded conversation, but he stopped short of calling for Martinez and other elected officials involved to resign.
“Words matter, and racist language can do real harm,” Newsom said in a statement. “I’m encouraged that those involved in this have apologized and begun to take responsibility for their actions.
“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 governor said.
Newsom did not address growing calls for Martinez to resign from the council, and for the resignations of Councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, who were also involved in the October 2021 conversation. A recording of the conversation was leaked on Reddit and later deleted.
Martinez, de León and Cedillo have all apologized, as did Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, who was also in the meeting. Martinez stepped down Monday as council president, but she has not resigned her council seat.