Column: Nury Martinez’s rant reveals the worst enemy of Latino political power: ourselves

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The more you listen to it, the worse it gets.

I’m talking about the leaked audio of an October 2021 conversation between three Los Angeles City Council members and a prominent labor leader. Their ostensible purpose was to strategize about drawing council districts in a way that would give more power to Latinos.

“If you’re going to talk about Latino districts, what kind of districts are you trying to create?” City Council President Nury Martinez said to Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, in audio posted on Reddit a month ago and which the Times obtained. “Because you’re taking away our assets. You’re just going to create poor Latino districts with nothing?”

It’s a fair question, especially in a city where Latinos are about half of the population but occupy less than a third of council seats.

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