We are now in a season of “firsts” in the United States, with new things happening that have never been seen before. We now have the first Black, female member of the Supreme Court as well as unprecedented energy shortages that we’ve never experienced since the first oil wells were drilled in Pennsylvania back in the 1850s. Out in Los Angeles, there was another first this week. The City Council’s Democrats censured three of their own members. Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin De León were censured, along with former Council President Nury Martinez, who previously resigned from the council. The action was taken in response to leaked recordings of the members making racist remarks during an earlier meeting. The public may have driven the decision because the meeting was flooded with protesters who were later removed by the police. (LA Times)
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to censure three current and former council members for their part in an incendiary conversation that contained racist remarks.
The vote appeared to mark the first time that the City Council has censured one of its own members, a move that carries no legal weight but adds to the public pressure on Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin De León to resign. Councilmember Nury Martinez stepped down two weeks ago.
Before the vote, police officers cleared the council chamber of about two dozen protesters who were demanding that the council stop meeting until Cedillo and De León resigned.
As the Times article points out, this is apparently the first time in modern history that the Los Angeles City Council has censured any of its own members. You can either take that to mean that none of its members have ever done anything wrong before or that the Democrats don’t tend to hold their own members responsible for anything very often. Flip a coin.
Of course, these censures don’t actually mean anything or carry any penalties or enforcement actions. The members can simply ignore them if they wish, much as Cedillo and De Leon appear to be doing, at least for now. Under the City Charter, the Council can censure any member by a two-thirds vote if they are found to have engaged in behavior that might “constitute a gross failure to meet the high standards of personal and professional conduct.”
The fact that people are still showing up in significant numbers to protest over this may eventually prove to be impactful. Looking from the outside, I’m sure that many people in other parts of the country were already well aware of the inherent hypocrisy you can find in largely Democrat-run metropolitan governments. Their actions rarely match up with their words on many issues.
But now that reality has been put on display for all of the voters who continue to send the same batch of liberal officials back to office over and over again. And let’s not forget who the other person was in that meeting from last year when the racist comments were recorded. He was one of the state’s leading labor union leaders. The unions that back Democrats almost exclusively and claim to speak for the “underrepresented communities” are talking about their own people in this fashion when they don’t believe that anyone is listening.
Will that spur any sort of major shift in voting patterns going forward? I wouldn’t get my hopes up on that score just yet. But this event might at least get some municipal voters to open their ears a bit and see if anything the other side has to offer sounds promising.