Kevin de León’s Anti-Blackness Rewarded Again

Kevin de León

Why folks are in their feelings about the Kendrick vs. Drake rap beef, very quietly disgraced racist Los Angeles Councilmember Kevin de León has been given back his city hall committee assignments. This is of course in addition to his coming in second place with 8,220 votes in his bid for re-election. A bid that will be played out in realtime in November’s General Election when he goes toe-to-toe with challenger Ysabel Jurado.

Kevin’s committee assignments were stripped after the audio was exposed of a racist backroom conversation that included him. Unlike the most of the other participants in that same meeting who resigned their positions in embarrassment–Kevin doubled down and decided nah–I’m going to stay AND I’m going to run for re-election. He felt comfortable in doing that because while the residents in the other 14 districts were disgusted with him, he knew he had built up enough goodwill with the only folks who could vote for him by giving away a lot of taxpayer money in his district. Perhaps even more important, he knew his constituency didn’t have a problem with anything heard on the leaked audio.

But life goes on when you don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

Now Kevin is set to sit on the Energy & Environment, Housing & Homelessness, Trade, Travel & Tourism, and Transportation Committees. He was already on the rarely used Board of Referred Powers, because legally he had to be on at least one committee to sit on the city council.

At the time Kevin was stripped of his committee assignments, it was supposed to be a move to pressure him to resign for participating in the private meeting where he didn’t make a single objection to the racist and crude remarks being tossed around.

Kevin can be heard laughing on the leaked audio.


The Joke Continues to Be on Us

But once again the joke is on us–and Kevin is probably still laughing.

Kevin is still in office. He is still collecting a taxpayer funded check, and still in the runoff to be re-elected to another 4-year term on the city council.

I find it very hard to believe in my city when people like Kevin de León are allowed to operate with impunity. We’re supposed to buy into this idea that Los Angeles isn’t anti-Black and we’re a city for all but as a Black woman, what I see is that we literally have a racist elected to the city council.

As soon as a little bit of time passes, we’re on to the next thing and have long since forgotten. I hate to say it, but it seems to be working out for Kevin.


No Room for Anti-Blackness on City Council

Kevin’s existence on the city council undermines any efforts our city makes towards inclusivity and equality and calls into question the sincerity of fair representation of this city’s Black residents. Kevin doesn’t just vote on issues pertaining to the 14th District and he doesn’t pull money from a pot that comes from his constituents only.

I mean, can anyone honestly say that they believe that Kevin de León is looking out for the best interests of Black people in Los Angeles–let alone his district? He does represent downtown Los Angeles where I continue to claim sees the highest annual growth of Black residents–except that they’re homeless.


Everyone Can Help Him Out of Office

I don’t live in the 14th District anymore. I did my cosmopolitan sexless and the city year in downtown during the COVID pandemic when the rents on the lofts dropped significantly and then I bounced right back to the 10th.

That said, I understand my role in getting Kevin out of office won’t be as a voter, it will be as a supporter of his challenger. Like a real supporter. A supporter on and offline. A donor to her campaign. None of that performative activism for me. That doesn’t win elections. Money wins elections along with boots on the ground. Money can help with the boots on the ground.

Where we put your money defines our values. You don’t have to live in the 14th District to have a personal or vested interest in seeing Kevin removed from office. I don’t live in Georgia, but I did my part in their runoff election for the U.S. Senate in making sure that Hershel Walker wasn’t elected.

Those of us who want to see Kevin gone need to scrape up a few dollars and send it to his challenger Ysabel Jurado. Not tomorrow, today. $10, $20, $200. Every dollar counts. That is how elections are won, unfortunately. I say unfortunately because until we take the money out of politics and campaigns, that’s the system we’re working with.

Everyone else can walk around and like what happened didn’t happen but I refuse to do that. My memory isn’t that short and I’m not that easily distracted. It was time for Kevin to go then, it’s still time for Kevin to go now. He’s not like us.