The disgusting and intolerable comments made by local leaders are as revealing as they are heartbreaking. Racism of any kind is reprehensible and must be eradicated at all costs. There is no place for racial intolerance, homophobia, colorism, anti-Blackness, anti-indigenous, anti-immigrant or anti-renter sentiments in our city and country. The Los Angeles Worker Center Network (LAWCN) strongly condemns the acts of these reckless politicians who do not represent the city of Los Angeles, our communities, or the Latino community at large. That is why we insist Nury Martinez, Kevin de Leon, and Gil Cedillo follow Ron Herrera — who has reportedly stepped down from the LA County Federation of Labor — and immediately resign from their posts.
We are also calling for a thorough investigation into the potentially illegal gerrymandering and back room deal-making by all mentioned in the despicable audio recordings released by the LA Times, which has tarnished last year’s decennial redistricting process. True equity, fairness, and democracy demand this process be thoroughly vetted and transparent in order to restore public trust.
Unfortunately, the councilmembers’ conduct is not surprising given the generational impact colonialism continues to have on communities of color, and this type of vitriol and hatred repeatedly surfaces in all sectors of the community. In recent times, we have seen a rise of hate targeting various communities, from anti-Asian violence to attacks on immigrant street vendors and discrimination against Black workers, amongst others. The fight against racism is ongoing with no end in sight. We must continue to build opportunities to work together, organize, and prosper as a united community. From the individual worker to those in government, we must hold one another accountable.
Finally, we note that Ron Herrera’s assertions that LAWCN member Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance’s (KIWA) Executive Director Alexandra Suh made anti-SEIU and anti-union comments are false. KIWA, LAWCN, and each of our members are proud to be part of Los Angeles labor and fight every day to strengthen it.
LAWCN is committed to being part of the solution, including building a strong, multi-racial worker movement. We will continue to work with our individual centers, workers, and allies to educate and empower low-wage workers and communities of color, and put an end to intolerance and hatred.