Letters to the Editor: Kevin de León wants to serve his constituents. So why isn’t he resigning?
To the editor: L.A. City Councilman Kevin de León’s apparent belief that only he is able to represent his district is truly arrogant. The conversation in which he failed to call out flagrantly racist remarks and said some offensive things himself undermine his effectiveness as people question his true motives. A sample of this is your article reporting that some Black developers will not work with him and say they “now fear he holds a racial bias against them.”
As a 17-year elected school board trustee in my city, I know that what you say behind closed doors matters. The public sees only half of what goes on, and so it must trust that the “public persona” is the same as the private one.
We all know what De León says in public, and now we all know what he won’t say in private. The questions raised about his character will haunt his ability to work comprehensively for his district and the city. Isn’t that reason enough for anyone to step down?
Kathy Allavie, Riverside
The writer is a member of the Riverside Unified School District Board of Education.
To the editor: Have the Democrats learned nothing from the Al Franken experience? We hounded a good person out of office for a relatively marginal offense.
Now we want to do the same thing with De León. He erred, he apologized, so why isn’t that enough? We have all participated in conversations that were inappropriate at some point in our lives. Should the nuclear option of losing your job be the only thing that satisfies our blood lust?
Let’s stop being so self righteous and accept his apology .
Judy White, Marina del Rey
To the editor: I have never been a fan of De León, but the cacophony of demands for him to resign his seat over his underwhelming pushback to a colleague’s rants in a private conversation seems perverse.
The voters of the 14th Council District should be the arbiters of his fate. That is why we have elections, or as per the city charter, a recall can be triggered by specific rules.
We might find that his constituents are more supportive than the howling voices demanding his immediate cancellation.
Cliff Reston, Los Angeles
To the editor: I was tempted to vote for De León in the mayoral primary. Now I am glad that I did not. I would not want such a mean-spirited individual to be our mayor.
Furthermore, the fact that he is putting himself first so openly indicates that he is isn’t the most competent leader.
Toby Horn, Los Angeles
To the editor: One thing to come from the leaked recording of former Councilwoman Nury Martinez and Councilmen Gil Cedillo and De León is the lesson that racism and racist speech are not solely attributable to the conservative side of American politics.
If there was ever proof that there can be racism in even the most “progressive” of us, it is this documented conversation.
Larry Harmell, Granada Hills