Official VSEDC Statement on racist comments Nury Martinez made last year  

A statement from Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation’s CEO about racist comments Nury Martinez made last year  while president of the Los Angeles City Council 

Joseph T. Rouzan, president and ceo of the South LA organization weighs in. 

Los Angeles, October 10, 2022 – President and ceo of Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation, Joseph T. Rouzan, III, weighs in regarding the reporting of the leaked audio recording of Nury Martinez’s comments in a 2021 meeting with Gil Cedillo, Kevin de Leon and Ron Hererra. 

“This is particularly disheartening as one who leads an organization of Black and Latino staff and serves a community of Black and Latino businesses,” says Rouzan. “My team works effectively, in large part by understanding cultural identities, but NEVER losing sight of respect. While Black communities continue to erode, particularly in Los Angeles, we must continue to work with our Latino brothers and sisters, while never losing focus of the disparities and imbalances of wealth among Black people! Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation administers two LA City contracts for small business development. You cannot be a city leader while having disdain for another group.” 

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) is a South Los Angeles community-based nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) recognized for its decades of technical and business assistance to South LA small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. The services VSEDC provides serve to drive community self-sufficiency, facilitate business growth, access affordable housing, goods and services, and help create jobs. VSEDC’s free one-on-one business coaching and year-round business webinars, affordable small business loans from our CDFI revolving loan fund, and our dual tech centers – AT&T Connected Learning Center and South LA Best Buy Teen Tech Center – contribute to the development and progression of South LA. Find out more about VSEDC at vsedc.org, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.  

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