The recently uncovered divisive and racist comments made by Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez a year ago demonstrate a severe failure of leadership that has no place in a society that values and celebrates the beauty and power of diversity. That is why we are calling for Martinez to resign immediately from the Los Angeles City Council.
Martinez’ xenophobic comments against the Black, Oaxacan and LGBTQAI+ communities are unconscionable and serve as an unnecessary distraction as we seek to stay laser focused on furthering the progress our communities have jointly made in our decades-long civil rights efforts. Additionally, pushing for violence against a child, as Martinez did about a fellow Councilmember’s son, is abhorrent.
It has also come to light that two fellow Councilmembers, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, heard these comments firsthand, yet they neither attempted to halt the conversation nor held Martinez accountable for her transgressions. This, too, is a failure of leadership and they must also resign. It is imperative that others in the room decry such unconscionable remarks in the moment they spill forth. If that is not done, it symbolizes complicity and the condoning of such vitriol.
MEDA reaffirms our nonprofit’s commitment to work closely with the Black community in our joint pursuit for a more just and equitable society. Black and Brown solidarity is not a new concept. During the slavery era, the Underground Railroad ran south to Mexico, where slavery had been abolished by the country’s first indigenous president, Benito Juarez. During the 1960s, the Chicano Movement supported the Black Civil Rights movement. Today, MEDA is working hand in hand with the Bay Area’s Black community to fight displacement policies and by buying real estate together, and by launching neighborhood collaboratives to ensure that our children and families succeed in school and career. We are also co-chairing the African American Latino Action Alliance, which is working on a series of community conversations aimed at building trust and understanding between Black and Latino residents.
MEDA vows to always:
- Stand and work with all communities of color to break down systemic barriers that have historically caused inequity.
- Denounce racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and all forms of discrimination and prejudice.
- Denounce violence against children, who are among our most vulnerable community members.
Chief Executive Officer