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Phill Wilson calls Pete Buttigieg ‘impressive’ after black gay fundraiser

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The heat is on. The Iowa Caucuses, the first Democratic presidential contest in the nation, is Feb. 3 — which is also the first day early voting begins in California before the March Super Tuesday blow out. The latest CNN/Des Moines Register poll on Jan. 10 places Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in a dead heat, all within points of each other as they battle over the Democratic presidential nomination and who can best beat Republican President Donald J. Trump.

Buttigieg and Biden are frequent visitors to Los Angeles, with Biden securing the endorsement of Mayor Eric Garcetti on Jan. 9. But the primary focus of the LA Times story about Buttigieg’s visit to the new A Bridge Home project homeless shelter in Watts with LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino where he was “greeted warmly” by many black residents was the appearance of about a dozen protesters, three of whom were from South Bend, “loudly heckled Buttigieg as ‘anti-black and anti-poor’ over his record in South Bend.”

Asked by The Times and others who paid for their trip and all the expenses associated with following Buttigieg around, Katheryn Redding, who had been identified in previous news coverage as a Sanders supporter, initially said . After initially told The Times, “I was told not to release that information.” She subsequently  said the ongoing protest was paid for by Black Lives Matter South Bend. “It wasn’t presidentially paid for at all, or anyone that’s running.”

The protesters noted the December death of Anthony Young, 44, who died of hypothermia on the streets while Buttigieg was still mayor and should have made Young’s death “his priority.” Buttigieg told reporters that Young had died “after declining to come into a shelter,” The Times reported. His campaign cited federal statistics indicating a decline in homelessness in the greater South Bend region during the mayor’s tenure.

BLM/SB protested Buttigieg’s first fundraiser outside the Sherman Oaks home of Lisa Gregorian, Chief Marking Officer for Warner Brothers TV Group, according to the pool reporter, who did not actually see the protesters and noted the night was a chilly 54 degrees. Buttigieg said that if Trump declined to debate his Democratic opponent, it would be a “show of weakness.” 

The pool reporter noted that one of the questions came from a gay high school senior who asked Buttigieg about his LGBT policies. Buttigieg said he’d ban “conversion therapy,” sign the Equality Act, and end the war on transgender Americans. He then segued into the “crisis of belonging.”

Buttigieg then attended what was a diverse but basically gay black fundraiser co-hosted by “Empire” director/writer Lee Daniels and Jordan Fudge, managing partner of venture capital firm Sinai Ventures, at Fudge’s home. There was no pool reporter at this event.

BLACK AIDS Institute founder Phill Wilson was among the approximately 90 attendees.

“I’m very interested in all of the Democratic nominees,” Wilson told the Los Angeles Blade, noting that all the questions for Buttigieg came from black attendees. “I’ve not made a decision on which candidate that I will eventually support. First and foremost, I’m committed to whoever the ultimate nominee is. I’m committed to trying to figure out, quite frankly, which nominee has the best plan for not just winning the nomination but winning the general election.”

Winning tops Wilson’s list of criteria so he asked Buttigieg directly about his plan to win.

“The mayor had a very thoughtful, interesting answer based in some history,” Wilson says. “Number one, that all of the victorious Democratic nominees over the last 50 years have been generational change candidates; that they’ve all been outside candidates; a candidate that has sparked imagination; and they have spoken about a new vision for America. He believes, and I actually do concur, that he fits that bill…. I think that he is a candidate that is worthy of serious, serious consideration.”

Some of the reasons for that consideration: he represents the Midwest – “an important constituency that is critically important. How is the next Democratic candidate going to win Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin? Having someone who is from the Midwest and has that lived experience may be very helpful, if not critical. I think that’s important. I think that in addition to that, having someone who can speak to populations outside of the large urban centers may be important and may be helpful.”

Can he mobilize young voters? While his age “has not given him an upper hand in that regard,” it may in the general election. And he has demonstrated that he can organize and raise money.

“I think that in this next election, having the ability to juxtapose a thoughtful candidate against a bombastic demagogue may be important, as well,” says Wilson. “I think that the current resident in the White House demonstrates weakness every single day in ways that have been demonstrative, damaging to our democracy. Being able to call that out is important and essential.”

But there are still people who think Buttigieg may be brilliant but can’t win because he’s gay.

“I don’t have a crystal ball. I think being nervous and concerned is an extremely understandable position. I don’t think that we should decide or mobilize from a position of weakness,” says Wilson.

But Wilson notes that, “under no circumstances” did many people  believe “that a black man from Illinois named Barack Hussein Obama had an ice ball chance in hell of being elected President of the United States — and it happened. It happened because we decided to move from a position of our aspiration and not from a position of our fears. We understood that many of our fears were fermented by folks who want and wanted to continue to oppress us.

“I think it’s legitimate to worry about that, but I think that it’s time for all of us, LGBTQI folks included and maybe especially, to embrace our own power,” says Wilson. “It’s our job to decide who we want to be President of the United States and work our asses off to make that happen because the opposition is going to sow doubt among us about whoever the candidate is.”

Wilson did not hear about the BLM protest until after the event.

“All of the candidates should be challenged on whether or not their policies have been responsive enough to the needs of black and brown and poor people,” Wilson says. “Clearly, Mayor Pete has to be held accountable for how he responded to the needs of the black citizens in South Bend, without a doubt. I think that if we also have been tracking, there have been people that have been calling out Joe Biden on his race position, Kamala Harris on her race position. I think that we should be holding all the candidates accountable.”

But Wilson also wondering if focusing on one tragedy without context should be construed as evidence of a belief or policy, as is the case with BLM/SB and the death of Anthony Young.

“Having actively been a part of the cold wet weather program here in Los Angeles under Mayor Bradley, I know that in this city and I know in New York — I don’t know but I suspect as well there — if someone refuses to come in, they can’t be compelled to do so,” Wilson says. “In fact, here in Los Angeles, we have actually looked at the civil liberties of homeless people and one of them is that they can’t be forced in if they don’t want to. These are legitimate issues to raise, but we should not have knee-jerk reactions. We should explore actually what really happened.”

While other issues were discussed, the issue of race explicitly took center stage. Buttigieg talked about his Douglass Plan and how it came to be — listening and taking counsel and guidance from those impacted communities.

Buttigieg made it clear, says Wilson, “that the racism and the racial oppression has not been accidental, that it’s not been benign, that there’s a degree of it that has been malicious and on purpose. That’s why the remedy cannot be race-neutral, that the remedy has to be progressive because race-neutral does not address the ongoing impact of past transgressions.”

Wilson says he was impressed by Buttigieg’s ability to listen, a quality he has experienced and observed in face-to-face meetings with Democratic candidates prior to them becoming president, including Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and meetings with President Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush.

“Mayor Pete definitely, definitely demonstrated the characteristic that I first observed the first time I met Bill Clinton, the first time I met Barack Obama in that I felt like he was, without a doubt, very actively listening to me,” says Wilson. “I think one attribute that I will look for is a president who is committed to being a listener.

“I was impressed with him. I think that he deserves a fair shot,” Wilson says.

The longtime black gay and AIDS activist also hopes LGBTQ voters think beyond their inculcated oppression.

“It does not surprise me that some LGBTQI folks admire Pete Buttigieg and maybe even think he is the best candidate, but don’t support him because they don’t think a gay man can be elected president,” says Wilson, his voice building with the passion of experience.  “There are forces who don’t want us to believe a gay man can be elected president and they are constantly sending us those messages.  They are the same forces who don’t want us to believe we deserve equal rights. They are the same forces who didn’t want us to believe that marriage equality could become the law of the land.  but, here’s the thing, amazing things happen when we don’t believe those forces.”

Photo of former Mayor Pete Buttigieg with Black AIDS Institute founder Phill Wilson courtesy John Gile.

Here’s Pete Buttigieg talking about his black empowerment Douglas Plan:

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles

LA Times: LAPD execute search warrants in racist audio leak probe

It is unclear how the recordings were made. Recording conversations without a person’s consent is illegal in California, with rare exceptions

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LAPD Chief Michel Moore being interviewed by KTLA 5 in October (Photo Credit: LAPD Public Affairs/Facebook)

LOS ANGELES – Several law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that Los Angeles Police Department detectives have served several search warrants as they attempt to find out who recorded a meeting filled with racist and offensive comments among three L.A. City Council members and a powerful labor leader.

The Times reported that the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, did not identify the specific targets. But they said the department obtained warrants for several social media accounts, including the Reddit account that first posted the audio leak.

This past October, LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced in a press briefing that detectives were investigating the source of the leaked racist recordings that thrust City Hall into a harsh national spotlight.

“The department has initiated a criminal investigation into the allegation of eavesdropping into the L.A. Fed meeting involving then-Councilperson Nury Martinez, Councilmember Gil Cedillo and Councilmember Kevin de León and the Fed president Mr. [ Ron] Herrera,” Moore said, referring to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

The recordings took place at the offices of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which has called the leak “illegal” and vowed to have those involved prosecuted. The union attempted to block the Los Angeles Times from publishing details of the recordings, saying they were obtained illegally. The Times refused to halt publication.

It is unclear how the recordings were made. Recording conversations without a person’s consent is illegal in California, with rare exceptions.

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Trans remembrance vigil held at LA LGBT Center

“We refuse to let violence rob us of the possibility to gather, to love each other, and to dream together in solidarity”

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LA Blade Photo by Simha Haddad

HOLLYWOOD – A Trans Remembrance Vigil was held at the Los Angeles LGBT Center on Monday, November 21st.

Candles and white, pink, and lavender flowers mounted on tiers draped by a trans flag adorned the center stage. A large monitor served as the focal point of the evening above the memorial display. 

The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles started the ceremony with an acapella performance. Following the song of hope and redemption, opening remarks were given at the pulpit by the Anti-violence project manager for the LGBT center, Mariana Morroquin, and representatives from the Trans Wellness Center, Bienstar Human Services, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Friends Community Center, APAIT, and [email protected] 

Trans Chorus of Los Angeles (LA Blade Photo by Simha Haddad)

“I think it is very important to acknowledge our partners,” said Morroquin, somberly addressing the seated audience of about one hundred and fifty. “We know that hate is real. A lot of us have seen hate pretty close. We are very grateful to have you. We open our arms to receive your love and your support. The way we support each other is by providing jobs, providing spaces for us, and providing opportunities. Because hate is out there. We need this space. We need to welcome everyone. I want you to keep that in your heart. And tomorrow, when we get back to work, let us open our hearts and our minds. Don’t make decisions for us. Invite us to those tables. We know what we need. We’ve been doing this forever. We are going to keep fighting because this is what we do.” 

She then added, “We refuse to let violence rob us of the possibility to gather, to love each other, and to dream together in solidarity. We gather because we must remember what is worth fighting for. For now, we commemorate. We tell the stories of the ones we lost. For tonight, that will be enough.” 

One by one, members of the audience approached the pulpit to read the names and stories of a multitude of trans people whose deaths were the tragic result of hate crimes. The photos, names, and ages of the victims were displayed on the center-stage monitor. 

“My name is Nikai David,” said one speaker, the photo of a pale, curly-haired young lady displayed behind them. “I am a model and social media influencer who aspired one day to own my own clothing boutique. I had just celebrated my birthday a week before I was shot in Oakland California, on December 4th, 202. I was thirty-three years old.” 

Stories of these deaths included shootings by assailants, police, and family members, brutal beatings, and stabbings. The bodies of these victims were found in their homes, in garbage cans, and on streets where they were left, still dying, among other locations. 

The final name read was Daniel David Aston, who died in the recent Club Q mass shooting.  This year, TDOR came on the heels of the senseless massacre in Colorado Springs that left five members of the LGBTQ+ community dead and 25 injured. 

Reverend Valerie Spencer gave an impassioned closing speech, first inviting the audience to take several deep breaths in unison. 

Reverend Valerie Spencer (LA Blade Photo by Simha Haddad)

“We will mourn our family, our siblings,” said Reverend Spencer,  “but we are not having our primary focus on the violent conclusion of their life. We are choosing to see them and know them and celebrate them in the full context of their living. For they were fierce and powerful people.”

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Los Angeles

Karen Bass speaks to Los Angeles for first time as mayor-elect

With her daughter at her side, the mayor-elect spoke of her background & love for the city of LA She addressed issues including homelessness

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Karen Bass speaks to LA for the 1st time as mayor-elect (Screenshot/YouTube KABC 7)

LOS ANGELES – Rep. Karen Bass, (D-Calif.) addressed the City of Los Angeles for the first time as mayor-elect since she was declared winner Wednesday and her opponent billionaire real estate magnate Rick Caruso conceded in a press conference.

With her daughter at her side, the mayor-elect spoke of her background and love for the city of Los Angeles. She addressed issues including homelessness and economic hardship promising that her administration would work hard to get things done for the city.

Her primary focus she said when she takes office in December is to declare a state of emergency and execute actions on the homeless crisis that has enveloped Los Angeles.

KABC 7: Karen Bass to address city of Los Angeles for the 1st time as mayor-elect:

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Los Angeles

Beloved North Hollywood bookstore suffers arson attack

The Iliad Bookshop has been a fixture in North Hollywood for 35 years, the fire is currently under investigation by LAFD arson investigators

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The Iliad Bookshop/Instagram

LOS ANGELES – The Iliad Bookshop, located 5400 Cahuenga at the corner of Cahuenga and Chandler Blvds. in North Hollywood, was the target of an alleged arson attack at around 11 p.m. this past Thursday evening.

LA Fire firefighters responded to the blaze in front of the rear entrance which was fully engulfed after an unknown person or persons stacked up books and items left out by the store.

In interviews with KCBS2 LA, KABC7, and other media outlets, the bookshop’s owner Daniel Weinstein, said that a flyer, which he categorised as “terroristic,” was left at the scene of the blaze. The damage to the building was primarily to the entrance area with noticeable scorch marks, there was smoke damage inside as well. Weinstein added that the store’s iconic two live-in cats, Zeus and Apollo, were not harmed.

There was no information as to the extent of the damages to the store’s inventory.

In a GoFundMe started by the bookshop to repair and recover from the attack, Weinstein wrote:

“We were very lucky: neighbors saw the flames and flagged down a passing firetruck; had the firefighters arrived mere moments later, the entire store would probably have gone up. As it is, we suffered heavy damage to the main entry. The doors (which are metal) are still functional, but will need to be either replaced or fixed. We lost lighting fixtures, signage, and wood framing; we also suffered damage to the mural on the right side of the doors. Smoke filled the interior of the store, but we were able to rescue our two cats Zeus and Apollo and we’re hopeful that the damage to the books and fixtures is minimal.

We have high insurance deductibles so we need to cover the cost of replacing the exterior lights, sign, and trim, and touching up the mural. We expect the funds we’re looking for to be divided between repair costs and a mural artist.”

The Iliad Bookshop has been a fixture in the North Hollywood community for over 35 years. In a March 2019 profile article by Los Angeleno magazine writer Augustus Britton, the shoppe was described as “a cozy mix of librarial reverence and old lore magic. The walls are lined with literary memorabilia, most notably art by R. Crumb and posters of Bukowski alongside author obituaries from days past. An aged photograph showing Weinstein drowning in a pile of hardcovers hangs on the wall.”

Britton goes on to say: “Weinstein’s 10 employees are awesome. There are no better poetic words to describe them. One could say they all look like fictional characters. Grateful Dead fans, Philip K. Dick spies or Stendhal savants eating Chinese food at the counter while the shop’s spunky cats Zeus and Apollo — more nods to Greek mythology — climb over their shoulders.”

The fire is currently under investigation by LAFD arson investigators.

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Los Angeles

LAPD asking for public’s help finding missing teen in West LA

On Sunday, the LAPD issued a brief statement: “Andrew was located and reunited with his family.”

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UPDATED: Monday Nov. 7, 2022 from KABC 7.

A Los Angeles teen who went missing from his home on Halloween night has now returned safely and been reunited with his family, police said Sunday.

On Sunday, the LAPD issued a brief statement: “Andrew was located and reunited with his family.”

Andrew’s mother Anna posted on Facebook that Andrew came home Saturday. She said her son left home voluntarily because he was struggling with some mental-health issues. He then decided to come home on his own volition after about five days of sleeping on the street.

She expressed thanks to the public for providing support and said Andrew saw some of the missing-person flyers “and knows now that he is cared about by so many people.”

LOS ANGELES – The family of 18-year-old Andrew Jason Wright and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit are asking for the public’s help in locating him. Wright, an 18-year-old high-school senior, was last seen Monday around 6 p.m. near the 1700 block of Federal Avenue in West Los Angeles.

Wright is described as an 18-year-old male Asian with brown hair and brown eyes. He stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black coat, maroon vest, gray pants, and black leather shoes.

His mother told KABC Eyewitness news that Wright has recently been suffering from depression and is extremely worried.

“He went on a walk around 6 p.m.” Anna Wright said. “He was supposed to go trick-or-treating with his little brother and sister at 7. And he never came back.”

Andrew’s father set up a search party where volunteers have been going around looking for him and passing out flyers.

If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Andrew Jason Wright, please contact Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, at (213) 996-1800.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).

Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most Keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

From KABC 7:

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Los Angeles

Trixie Mattel & LGBTQ youth celebrate 30th annual Models of Pride

The sponsor of this year’s Models of Pride was Glamazon L.A.—Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group along with the Los Angeles City College

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Trixie Mattel accepts Model of Pride Leadership Award from LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner (Photo Credit: LA LGBT Center)

LOS ANGELES — Amazon’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group, Glamazon L.A., celebrated the 30th anniversary Models of Pride youth conference which drew hundreds of LGBTQ+ young people and allies—and special award-winner Trixie Mattel—to Los Angeles City College this past Saturday.

Attendees connected with peers, learned from role models, and got to celebrate with live performances and festivities. Parents and professionals had opportunities to learn from one another, build community, and gain tools to support the LGBTQ+ young people in their lives. 

The day’s highlights included drag queen, musician, entrepreneur, and television phenomenon Trixie Mattel accepting the first-ever Model of Pride Leadership Award.

“Right now, we are witnessing drag becoming weaponized by bad actors on the far right. They are banning Drag Queen Story Hours and trying to paint drag queens as enemies of family values,” Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Joe Hollendoner said in his opening remarks. “This is a disturbing trend happening across America. What we at the Los Angeles LGBT Center know, and what Trixie Mattel’s prolific career embodies, is that drag is powerful. It is a pathway to unlocking new potential for freeing yourselves of the shackles of gender norms and for embracing the creativity that is waiting to be unleashed inside each and every one of you.”

“I didn’t grow up with much representation on television. At most, gay people on TV were allowed to be the snippy gay assistant or the funny makeup artist or, at best, the sexually ambiguous villain,” Mattel said in her acceptance speech. “I think the reason drag is so inspiring is because queer people are told to minimize everything. We’re told to be the friend or the supporting character. Drag makes us think, what if I’m the main character? I want you guys to know that you are all the main character.”

The Rolf/Uribe Models of Pride Leadership Award, given annually to youth and adults who have been models of pride to the LGBTQ community, was awarded to youth activist Alex Flores and PFLAG Los Angeles Vice President Steve Krantz.

The event was attended by more than 500 youth—including more middle schoolers and younger attendees than any previous Models of Pride—as well as more than 200 parents and professionals. Youth, parents, and professionals attended 100 workshops, with the offerings for youth ranging from “Rights of Youth in CA Public Schools” to “Drag Queen Story Hour.” Adult workshops ranged from “When Your Kid Transitions” to “Creating Affirming Spaces for Queer & Trans Elementary-Age Children.”

Entertainment highlights included performances by the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles, The Voice finalist Hailey Mia, Mayhem Miller of RuPaul’s Drag Race, DJ Brynn Taylor, and Mike Xavier. Attendees also enjoyed a continental breakfast, a catered backyard BBQ lunch, and a dessert extravaganza.


Models of Pride is the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies, filled with life-enriching workshops, entertainment, resources, and more to help attendees to build confidence and self-esteem while developing valuable life skills. The conference also offers family members, educators, professionals, and all other LGBTQ+ supporters the opportunity to attend the Parents and Professionals Institute at Models of Pride, which offers tailored workshops, a resource fair and celebratory reception.

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Los Angeles

LAPD announces criminal probe into leak of racist audio recording

According to Chief Moore it was Martinez, de León, Cedillo and Herrera who approached the LAPD last Friday and asked for an investigation

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Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore (Screenshot/YouTube LAPD)

LOS ANGELES – Speaking to reporters at a briefing Tuesday, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced the department’s Major Crimes Division was overseeing an investigation into the source of the leaked racist recordings that has thrown the city government into crisis.

Moore acknowledged that the results would be presented to “the appropriate prosecuting agency” for possible criminal charges. “The department has initiated a criminal investigation into an allegation of eavesdropping,” Moore said.

Under California law, all parties must consent to the recording of a private conversation or phone call. Otherwise, the person who made the recording could face criminal and civil penalties.

Disclosure of the racist and homophobic audio recording earlier this month by The Los Angeles Times and Knock LA resulted in the resignation of Nury Martinez, first from her position as council president and then stepping down from her seat. Of the three others heard on the audio recording, powerful labor leader Ron Herrera, the now former president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor had offered his resignation which the federation’s executive board accepted.

City councilmembers Kevin de León and Gill Cedillo also heard on the recording have defied demands that they step down from their seats. Councilmember de León has been actively making the rounds of media outlets in the city offering apologies but refusing to consider stepping down, telling Univision’s León Krauze “No, I will not resign because there is a lot of work ahead,” he added; “I feel very bad, I feel very sorry for the damage, for the wounds that exist today in our communities.”

Calls for him and Cedillo to resign have included Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA mayoral candidate, Rep. Karen Bass, California Governor Gavin Newsom, President Joe Biden and councilmember Mike Bonin, who along with his minor son, was a target of the racist and homophobic comments heard on the recording.

According to Chief Moore it was Martinez, de León, Cedillo and Herrera who approached the LAPD last Friday and asked for an investigation.

“This (request) was done by the principals – this wasn’t done through some intermediary or otherwise,” he added.

LAPD’s Major Crimes Division detectives have since interviewed the four involved parties about why they believe the recording was made “unlawfully and surreptitiously,” he said.

“We’ll also look, as far as possible, to understand how such a recording was made and identify, if possible, the person or persons responsible,” he said. No suspects have been identified, he added.

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Los Angeles

Protestors at City Hall demanding Kevin de León, Gil Cedillo resign

Tuesday’s agenda included discussion of holding a special election to fill the seat of Nury Martinez who resigned from the council

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Screenshot/KABC 7

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council was again meeting in-person Tuesday after a week of virtual meetings due to COVID-19 exposure and were joined in city council chambers by dozens of protestors.

The protestors angered that Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo have defied widespread calls for their resignations after a leaked 2021 audio tape of them and former councilmember Nury Martinez with a former labor leader were heard making racist and homophobic comments, continued chant and shout as newly installed Council President Paul Krekorian continued to conduct business.

KABC 7 Eyewitness News reported that on Monday, Krekorian wrote a letter to de León denying his request to be excused from attending meetings, returning a letter that de León sent last week in which he asked for time to focus on the healing process and take professional sensitivity training. De León has conducted numerous television interviews over the last few days stating that he will not resign.

“There is no path forward that includes your continued participation in this council,” Krekorian said.

Tuesday’s agenda included consideration of holding a special election to fill the former seat of Martinez. She had resigned a few days after the recording was leaked.

The election would take place on April 4, 2023 at the earliest, with a runoff — if necessary — taking place on June 27. The council was set to discuss calling a special election at Tuesday’s meeting and allocating $7.65 million for the two elections.

From KABC 7:

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ crisis of governance: de León says he will not resign

Univision’s León Krauze interviewed Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León in which de León says he intends to remain in office

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Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de Leon (R) in an exclusive Interview with Leon Krauze (Photo Credit: Noticiero Univision)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León told Univision’s León Krauze that he intends to remain in office in an exclusive interview that aired Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. ET on Noticiero Univision.

“No, I will not resign because there is a lot of work ahead,” De León told Krauze, then he added, “I feel very bad, I feel very sorry for the damage, for the wounds that exist today in our communities.”

De León’s statement follows widespread calls for his resignation, including Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA mayoral candidate, Rep. Karen Bass, President Joe Biden and councilmember Mike Bonin, who along with his minor son, was a target of the racist and homophobic comments on an audio recording released and reported by the Los Angeles Times, in which de León and Cedillo were present.

That 2021 audio conversation was secretly recorded between the two men, then-Council President Nury Martinez and a now former labor official.

On Monday, then-acting City Council President Mitch O’Farrell stripped De León and Councilman Gil Cedillo of the council committees that they oversee in an effort to pressure them to resign.

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Los Angeles

L.A. City Council selects Paul Krekorian as new Council president

10 members voted unanimously for him to take over the council presidency after former council president Nury Martinez resigned in disgrace

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LA Councilmember Paul Krekorian (Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube LA City Government TV)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council has selected 2nd District councilmember Paul Krekorian as its next president, with the 10 members present voting unanimously for him to take over the council presidency after the resignation of former council president Nury Martinez who resigned in disgrace last Wednesday.

“I congratulate Councilmember Paul Krekorian on his election as the first Armenian American to serve as President of the Los Angeles City Council. As I hand the baton to Council President Krekorian, I have full faith and confidence that he will help guide our city with the experience, steady hand, and unifying voice that these challenging times require,” councilmember Mitch O’Farrell who had been the Acting Council President said in a statement.

“With today’s unanimous vote to move forward with my Charter reform initiative that will increase representation and redistricting that is completely independent of this elected body, I know the Council President will help ensure we directly address the very issue that has caused such devastation and harm. I am eager to work with Council President Krekorian and all of my colleagues to expeditiously move this imperative forward.” 

A leaked audio recording of a meeting reported on by The Los Angeles Times two weeks ago that has plunged the Los Angeles city council into chaos and is being met with outraged Angelenos calling for the resignations of Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, who are also heard on the recording with along with former councilmember Nury Martinez and former labor leader Ron Hererra making racist and homophobic remarks, that has now also triggered an investigation by California Attorney General Rob Bonta over redistricting which was the reason for the meeting.

From KTLA:

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