Los Angeles Mayor Kevin de León says he will hold forums and community meetings to address hate speech

Editorial: What happens after Councilman Kevin de León’s apology tour?

In July, city council member Kevin de León, who represents the southwest San Fernando Valley, received $50,000 in taxpayer money to hold a summit to help him apologize for his remarks.

De León, a Republican and former state representative, said he was motivated to hold the summit because his family had been subject to hate speech and harassment.

“The reason why I decided not to go ahead and have it at the Capitol, and that is because I did not want to deal with the problems that a lot of people are having with the Capitol,” he said, explaining his decision.

“My hope is that everybody who had a problem with my remarks can just come down here and we can just go outside and meet. We can talk about what we want to talk about.”

De León said he will give a series of forums and community meetings over the next two weeks to explain his actions. He said he’s also planning to hold a “debate and walkabout” in March 2018 “where everybody can hear everybody else.”

De León is hosting the forums as part of a strategy that aims to reduce hate speech and harassment, he said. The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution last week urging the city’s leaders to act to combat the problem of hate speech.

“What is happening in this city right now is that we really have a need for it,” he said. “In fact, the United States is a country that wants to do a better job. There is a desire in cities like this that we want a safer country, a more tolerant country.

“In this city, we do a pretty good job of that in the United States. We are one of the most tolerant cities in the United States. In fact, we’re right there with the most tolerant cities in the United States, the most tolerant cities on the east coast, in fact, in the United States. But what’s happening here is we’re being inundated with hate speech.”


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