Amid scandal at City Hall, President Biden to visit Los Angeles on Wednesday

President Biden will arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday and get an up-close look at a scandal-drenched LA City Hall.

On Tuesday, he called on Los Angeles City Council members Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León to step down after audio was released in which they made racist and derogatory comments about their peers, constituents and various communities.

Then-LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera was also heard in the conversation recorded in October 2021, in which they discussed the proposed redistribution of cards. He is the only person interviewed to have resigned from her post, and while Martinez resigned as Council President and took a leave of absence from the Council, she remains in office.

“The President is glad to see that one of the participants in this conversation has resigned, but they should all do it,” said Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, calling the language recorded during the conversation “unacceptable” and “terrible”. ”

Biden is now the most prominent political figure to comment on the firestorm that has sparked outrage across Los Angeles.

Although the four Latino leaders met last year to discuss the redistribution, the conversation escalated into racist comments about Councilman Mike Bonin, his black infant son, Oaxacan residents in Koreatown, black voters and various other groups.

The Times reported the admission on Sunday, and the next day Martinez resigned as council president. In a written statement, Martinez apologized to her peers and constituents.

“I ask forgiveness from my colleagues and from the people of this city that I love so much,” Martinez said.

On Tuesday, Martinez announced that she would be taking a leave of absence from office, but stayed close to stepping down from her seat on the city council.

De León and Cedillo also apologized, but also remained in office. Herrera resigned from his post as chief union leader on Monday. The councilors and Herrera are Democrats, and now they’re embroiled in a controversy that could end their careers.

Bonin and fellow councillors, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O’Farrell, Curren Price and Nithya Raman, tabled a motion Tuesday to censure the three members caught off-tap and to demand their immediate resignation.

It’s all but inevitable that Biden will have to address the situation at LA City Hall, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst and co-host of the Inside Golden State Politics podcast.

“He won’t be able to speak about the city council during his visit,” Jeffe said of Biden. “If I were to advise him, I would try to make a statement that does not exacerbate the division we are experiencing right now. In a vital blue city, in a vital blue state, he cannot turn his back here.”

Biden is scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and travel to Santa Monica Airport about a half hour later.

This week’s visit coincides with a preliminary event hosted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Deadline reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will be present at a fundraiser with Biden in Brentwood Thursday night, with tickets ranging from $5,000 per person to $50,000 per couple .

Biden will appear again Thursday to make “comments on our nation’s historic investments in infrastructure,” according to the White House, but details of the event were not disclosed.

The president will depart Santa Monica Airport around 1 p.m. Friday and fly to John Wayne Airport for an event in Orange County, where Biden will “make remarks about cutting costs for American families.” Details of that event are also still pending, and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Biden is then scheduled to leave Southern California for Portland, where he will attend a “grassroots volunteer event” with the Oregon Democrats.

Biden visited Los Angeles in June for the Summit of Americas, where the United States, along with 19 countries, signed a pact to expand legal avenues for migrants and refugees and allocate funds to help countries fleeing them amid a wave of migration in the United States record western hemisphere.

The Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection includes commitments from the US, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Canada and other countries.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-11/president-biden-los-angeles-trip-city-council-controversy-racist-remarks Amid scandal at City Hall, President Biden to visit Los Angeles on Wednesday

Alley Einstein

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