For Black Angelenos, recording stokes anger, fears of losing hard-fought gains

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Watching the news in her View Park home, Helen Ray sat in stunned disbelief as she listened to the now infamous tape of three Los Angeles City Council members and a labor leader privately strategizing about redistricting.

It wasn’t the casual racist rhetoric that upset her most. It was the topic: They sounded as if they were plotting a backroom deal to disenfranchise Black voters.

“This feels like a betrayal almost akin to Jan 6,” said Ray, 76. “Donald Trump tried to overturn the election results and discount Black votes so he could be reelected president. Now, I feel the same kind of betrayal coming from City Council members.

“It’s hurtful to know that these people don’t care about the whole L.A.,” she said.

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