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Mario Solis-Marich on LA City Council Woes

Long-time talk radio broadcaster, campaign organizer, and close political observer laments the crisis the leaked tape has wrought -- for Los Angeles and the Latino community.

Our colleague Mario Solis-Marich has been deeply embedded in LA's political scene for decades, working as a campaign consultant in local, state, and national politics and advocacy efforts since 1987.

Just days after the heartbreaking taped conversation between LA Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, and Kevin de Leon, along with LA Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera, burst onto the scene, we had the chance to sit down with Mario to get his perspective on the damage this leak has caused -- and whatever good might come of it.

Moments before our conversation, Nury Martinez resigned from the Council altogether after earlier stepping down as council president -- notably, as Mario points out, without any hint of an apology or explanation of her coarse racist, homophobic, anti-semitic attacks. 

"It was more of a resignation wrapped in a humble brag," says Mario. "I guess if you're a city councilmember, you never have to say you're sorry."

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Mario knows the scene well, having worked on campaigns of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Congressman -- now Secretary of Health and Human Services -- Xavier Becera, and Congressman Ciro Rodriguez. (He also worked briefly on the re-election campaign of current City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell.)

"This is the biggest political explosion in Los Angeles I've seen in all my years of working in and commenting on the local political scene," says Mario. "It's also the biggest explosion to hit LA's Latino community."

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Mario hosted KJLA/LATV's "LA Chatroom" for four years and hosted a daily nationally syndicated award-winning radio program, "The Mario Solis-Marich Show," which brought a hard-hitting examination of issues affecting all Americans, but especially with a Latino perspective via KTLK radio.

In looking at what Angelenos across the board might benefit from this heart-rending episode, Mario wonders if such long-considered charter reforms as vastly expanding the size of the City Council and putting the once-a-decade redistricting process in the hands of an independent commission might come to pass.

Mario also anticipates a much-needed generational changing of the guard coming for Latino community leaders, such as with new Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez about to take Gil Cedillo's seat and challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez quite likely to dislodge current acting Council President Mitch O'Farrell.