Nury Martinez, a former president and current member of the Los Angeles City Council, announced her resignation from Council District 6 on January 2.
The decision was made after an audio recording of her making racist comments towards the Black child of a white council member surfaced online.
Multiple media reports reported that in a lengthy press release she issued on Wednesday, she said, “It is with a heavy heart that I resign my seat for Council District 6, the community I grew up in and my home.”
Van Nuys, Arleta, North Hollywood, and Sun Valley are all part of District 6, which spans the middle and eastern San Fernando Valley.
While serving as “the first Latina Council President,” she remarked, “I strove to serve with compassion and to give a broader platform to the populations I believed had been left behind.”
She told her people, “Serving you has been an honour and one that I don’t give up lightly.” Martinez is 49 years old. Further, she said “I pray you won’t give up the struggle for an equitable slice of the city’s wealth. It’s tough to leave, but know that I fought for you.”
She told her employees, “This is no reflection on you,” and apologized to them.
She finished by saying she hoped she could encourage “all little Latina girls around this city” to “dream beyond that which you can see,” after thanking her family for their unconditional love and encouragement.
Finally, she said, “I beg that you allow me room and privacy while I take the time to go inwardly and reflect.”
PEOPLE’s request for a response to the Los Angeles City Council was not immediately returned.
When Martinez’s Black son was brought up at a meeting around a year ago, white council member Mike Bonin allegedly treated him like an “accessory,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the LA Times, in the hacked video, Martinez also refers to Bonin’s son as “Parece changuito,” or “like a monkey.”
They’re rearing him like a little White kid,” Nury Martinez reportedly said further, citing a leak on Reddit. “This kid ought to be beaten up, I thought. Just follow me and I’ll return him back once I take him around the block “‘
After resigning as a leader on Monday, Martinez acknowledged her wrongdoing and apologized, saying, “there are no justifications for those words,” according to The New York Times.
After the disclosure of the video from Los Angeles City Hall on Sunday, three of Martinez’s council members called for her to quit. It is also becoming a divisive issue in the run-up to the midterm elections on November 8.
Bonin and his boyfriend, Sean Arian, took to social media after the leak was public, saying, “We are outraged, indignant, and totally disgusted that Nury Martinez insult our son with awful racist slurs, and talked about her wish to psychically damage him.”
“It’s reprehensible, revolting, and shameful to the core. The City Council should promptly remove her from her position as Council President, and she should resign.”
Martinez released an apology message on Sunday.
“I let my irritation and fury get the best of me and said what I said because of that. I really apologize for it “she reportedly told NBC News.
There was “anxiety over the redistricting process and concern about the possible detrimental impact it would have on communities of colour,” she said at the time. “My achievements stand on their own. I put forth a lot of effort to guide this city through its worst hour.”