AAGLA Issues Statement on Racist Comments Made by L.A. Councilmembers Martinez, DeLeon and Cedillo
We are an Association of values. An important, governing principle of our Association stipulates there is absolutely no place for discrimination in rental housing nor in any place or situation. Simply put, discrimination at any level or type should not be tolerated and must be protested in the strongest manner possible.
The abhorrent, racist comments recorded of Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin DeLeon and Gil Cedillo were harmful and a “shock to the system” for all Angelenos of all backgrounds. There is no room for the type of poor judgement and bad behavior recently exhibited by those we elect to public office to serve the public’s interests fairly and without bias. The three councilmembers absolutely must, without further delay, resign their positions on the City Council. This is what the people of Los Angeles want, and it is what Councilmembers Martinez, DeLeon and Cedillo must do following such an extreme lapse in good judgement.
It appeared that very few were spared from the recorded comments recorded of the Councilmembers. We heard coming from the mouths of these three elected officials attacks on race, national origin, religion and even slighted statements concerning renters and rental property owners.
We were shocked and dismayed that Councilmember Martinez and the others also turned their attention and negative commentary to providers of housing in Los Angeles. Too many of our members have suffered greatly for nearly three years under the policies created by this City Council and others to deal with the impacts of the global pandemic. Our members and other rental housing providers were singled-out and forced to shoulder the burden of providing housing services without compensation. Our lease contracts were unilaterally cancelled, lives were disrupted, and many today find themselves in terrible financial predicaments.
Cheryl Turner, the President of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, responded to the attacks on renters and housing providers that were made by the Councilmembers:
“Our organization does not condone any form of discrimination by its members. We regularly provide training in Fair Housing Laws and deplore any form of bias to ensure that all people are treated equally and fairly when applying for rental housing. Accordingly, it is shocking and disheartening to me that three of our Councilmembers had engaged in discriminatory and prejudiced behavior. Housing providers have been the victims of enough animosity during the past nearly three years under intolerable, COVID protections forcing them to provide housing services without any form of compensation.
We housing providers have been criticized and attacked by both renters and government officials throughout the pandemic. Councilmember Martinez’s vicious comments about housing providers is an obvious attempt to continue to ‘stir the pot’ for some unknown political gain. All of us recognize that we have housing issues, but both sides, renters and housing providers alike, need to work together to solve these issues. There needs to be a coming together of both sides so we can stop this political gamesmanship and create true workable solutions with elected officials that we can trust.”