Can Los Angeles Elect a City Council That Reflects Our Values?
It's Hard to Legislate Decency—But Changing Demographics and New Technologies Require New Ethics and Rules
Politics is full of high-stakes battles and strategies concocted behind closed doors. But that’s no excuse for the level of venality, toxicity, self-aggrandizement, condescension, hubris, and racism exposed in the leaked recording on redistricting that recently shook the Los Angeles City Council.
Nothing about the conversation—in which councilmembers Gilbert Cedillo and Kevin de León listened quietly as then-council president Nury Martinez spewed hate—was blatantly illegal. But it was shocking. It revealed deep hypocrisy among leaders who, in a public setting, would be the first to claim that they condemn racism and …