After months of rampant calls for resignation, Kevin de León appears to be working on repairing image

After months of calls for resignation, Kevin de León appears to be working on repairing image

Calls for the resignation of L.A. City Councilman have continued in the months after he was found to be involved in a racially-charged scandal with other council members. However, with a number of recent appearances, the embattled councilmember appears to be working on repairing his image in the public eye.

Calls for resignation came from all over the country, including high-ranking politicians like President Joe Biden and Governor Gavin Newsom, to local dignitaries like new L.A. Mayor Karen Bass and thousands of his constituents. 

Despite all of that, de León remained firm in his decision to continue as a member of Los Angeles City Council. While he has largely remained out of the public eye, de León has made a number of appearances in the last couple of days. 

Related: "You're not welcome in these chambers": Kevin de León attends LA City Council meeting as colleagues object

The lingering question though is: Can de León do enough to repair that marred image?

Following two tragic incidents that have occurred within his District 14, in which a 17-year-old boy was fatally stabbed in El Sereno, and three LAPD officers were wounded in a shooting in Lincoln Heights, de León has been seen at press conferences regarding both cases. 

Though appearing at the same press conference as Mayor Bass, the two did not appear to speak or even acknowledge each other Wednesday evening following the Lincoln Heights shooting. That sentiment appears to be on par with how most of local government has reacted to de León's presence in recent months. 

Related: Recall effort against LA City Councilmember Kevin de León accepted by City Clerk's office

"If you're serving other people, you should reflect the people's values and ideals," said Steve Francois, one of de León's constituent who lives in Downtown L.A. "Nothing can rehabilitate it. He should have resigned with the other people based on the comments that were made."

Mayor Bass's office echoes that sentiment, maintaining her longstanding belief that he should resign in light of the scandal, which targeted a number of races.

Political experts say fixing his image is much easier said than done. 

"You can't just erase what he said on that tape," said Loyola Marymount University Law Professor Jessica Levinson. "The best thing for Kevin de León is time and other news."

Related: Councilmember Kevin de León involved in fight during community holiday event

"Whether his constituents want him there — that's up to voters to decide," said Sara Sadhwani, Assistant Professor of Politics at Pomona College. "Certainly, there was that LA Times poll some weeks ago that showed that there was not great support for de León, but much to be seen in the coming months."

While he appears to be working on his public perception, all agree that only time will tell. 

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