Our Demands of City Council and Labor Movement

Democratic Socialists of America, city council candidates, and council members demand an anti-racist, pro-worker, pro-renter Los Angeles City Council and labor movement. 

The leaked audio validates our belief that the current status quo fails the city of Los Angeles. Our city and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor (LA Fed) should fight for the interests of the entire Angeleno working class, not securing donors and prestige. These elite power brokers serve their own interests by pitting Black and brown workers against each other – at the expense of LA’s multiracial working class. They sabotaged Nithya Raman’s district to explicitly weaken the power of renters. Kevin de Leon, Gil Cedillo, Nury Martinez, and Ron Herrera make it clear that Mitch O’Farrell is “their guy” and firmly in the pocket of Landlords and capitalists. We can not let them win, and we have the power to fight back.

We present a set of minimum transitional demands to clean the mess of the racist status quo and clear a way for expansive reforms that directly benefits tenants and workers across the city. 

First, We continue to demand that Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo resign. We don’t believe they should be part of any current or future meeting. If Councilmember de León doesn’t make the decision to resign by October 31st, 2022, us Angelenos will be left with no choice and will begin collecting signatures for a recall election. 

Second, Following the new council president election, the Los Angeles City Council must call for a special election in District 6 and District 14 to replace Nury Martinez and Kevin De Leon. In the meantime, only non-voting caretakers who commit to not run in the special elections may be appointed to temporarily fill seats CD6 and CD14.

Third, Amend the Los Angeles City Charter to reform city council:

  1. Establish a permanent independent redistricting commission, including enacting a true independent redistricting process before the 2024 election.
  2. Expand the Los Angeles City Council from 15 seats to 45 seats, comparable to various cities across the country including New York City which has 51 seats and Chicago which has 50 seats
  3. Examine and reform the powers individual councilmembers hold which incentivize them to fight over economic assets in their districts at the expense of the multiracial Angeleno working class. 

We invite all left, progressive, anti-racist organizations and unions to join us in winning these demands and organizing for more expansive policy changes from the new city council. We further invite such organizations to work together to identify and unite behind new candidates to replace Martinez and de Leon on an anti-racist, pro-renter, pro-working class platform.

In addition, we have the following demands to anchor the labor movement in its original international foundation of multiracial solidarity; a united working class fighting for racial and social justice is one of the strongest weapons we have to combat the divisions of the racist status quo. The labor movement is not rooted in the personal power of individuals such as Ron Herrera, the former president of the LA Fed. In contrast to the collective power of labor, Herrera’s actions undermine multiracial solidarity by splitting workers according to race and harming the House of Labor which has fought and struggled against racism throughout U.S. history. This behavior is a timeless tactic used by union-busting firms, and it runs contrary to the core principle of the labor movement: class solidarity. Our House of Labor, which constitutes over 300 affiliated unions representing more than 800,000 multiracial workers across Los Angeles, has the highest expectations for the leader of the strongest labor federation in California, the federation which moved the country toward racial justice politics in the 1990s!

First, LA Fed delegates must meet and find a path forward via a special meeting to renew our solidarity and commitment to each other as workers– united across industry, workplace, and neighborhood; across race, ethnicity and gender, with the intent to root out racism in the House of Labor.

Second, Leadership across the House of Labor must commit to furthering our class interests by combating anti-Blackness and racism, uplifting indigenous workers, and centering young workers to build an inclusive multiracial working class movement, the core of our organizing and collective power against the 21st century bosses.  

Third, the House of Labor will recommit to organizing the unorganized at corporations that exploit workers to maximize profits by sowing divisions across race, ethnicity, gender and industry. Only through organizing campaigns and united struggle can we renew worker power in Los Angeles.

Fourth, for organizing campaigns to succeed the House of Labor and locals must create programs with clear pathways to leadership for Black, indigenous, Queer, Asian, Latine, immigrant, and young workers.

Finally, LA Fed Interm President and Board Chair Thom Davis will meet and work with LA Fed delegates, the executive board, and the staff union to create an organizational plan and program for anti-racist organizing, followed by elections for a new Interm President and Board Chair.

We invite all unionists to join us in winning these demands. We further invite union locals to work together to identify and unite behind a new candidate to lead the House of Labor on an anti-racist, pro-renter, pro-working class platform.