Protect Playa Now's Statement on the Racist Leaked Recording of Councilpersons Martinez, De León, and Cedillo
Reported by LA Times and Knock-LA
Protect Playa Now wants to send support and love to Councilperson Mike Bonin and his family. Thank you for being a strong climate and environmental justice leader in our city. We hope your family heals and are sorry for the pain you have all suffered.
As an environmental justice coalition, we know that the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income is essential to a just, healthy, and sustainable future.
The horrible conversation in the leaked recording reported by the LA Times and Knock-LA, was not only disparaging and disrespectful to Councilperson Mike Bonin and his family but to the Black, Oaxacan, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ communities. These kinds of racist comments and actions make it impossible to have a just, healthy and sustainable future in the City of Los Angeles.
Racism in our leaders, gerrymandering, and backroom deals cannot be allowed. Kevin De León, and Gill Cedillo need to follow Nury Martinez in resigning from the city council. With how casual this conversation was, it is hard to believe this is an isolated incident. The council system needs to be investigated and held accountable. We need this to be addressed at the systemic level to ensure other meetings of this nature never occur again.
Updates and Actions
Plans to Move Gas Line - It’s EMERGENCY time. As you know, the State of California, along with some of its private partners, including SoCalGas, have been planning what they call a Ballona Wetlands “restoration” for more than a decade. The longer their planning drags out, and the more questions asked by the public, the more we learn that this is - at least in part - an effort to help SoCalGas continue operating a very dangerous, toxic methane gas storage facility in, under and around the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve. There are numerous lawsuits challenging the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife’s certification of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR.). While those lawsuits are winding their way through the Courts, there appears to be some urgency in the bulldozer and construction crews in wanting to get things started despite the legal challenges.
We’ve learned - through allies providing some public records to us - that the State is now planning on moving forward FAST with an effort to obtain permits for what the State is calling “Sequence #1 & #2” which is essentially obliterating functioning and historical habitat, including meandering sloughs, non-tidal pickleweed and rain-fed wetlands. At a secret meeting in July (the public was not invited, and only CERTAIN agency officials were present) where 5 (FIVE!) SoCalGas officials were present, the plans were rolled out. Including - as you can see from the images - “relocation” of an important gas pipeline.
Your voice is going to be needed in the coming months. Stay tuned, and please show up for meetings, sometimes virtual - and be ready to make calls and send in letters to decision-makers.
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Calls to Action