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Assemblyman Gil Cedillo announces run for L.A. City Council

11/14/2011, 10:32 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--Assemblyman Gil Cedillo said today he will run for the 1st District seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

"Growing up here, I learned from a very early age that Los Angeles was a city of opportunities for anyone who had a dream of living a better life for themselves and their families," Cedillo said. "I am announcing my candidacy for City Council District 1 because we need bold and experienced leadership to strengthen and protect the 'Los Angeles Dream."'

Term limits prevent the current seatholder, Ed Reyes, from seeking reelection to represent the area stretching from Pico Union northeast through Westlake to Dodger Stadium and through Lincoln Heights to Highland Park.

Reyes' chief of staff, Jose Gardea, has also filed paperwork to raise money to run.

Cedillo's entrance is part of a wider trend of Sacramento lawmakers running for local office in Los Angeles, where City Council members are among the highest paid in the nation, earning an annual salary of $178,789.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a former Assembly speaker. Five former state legislators--Herb Wesson, Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz, Tony Cardenas and Richard Alarcon--currently serve on the City Council.

Cedillo joins two other assemblymen--Warren Furutani and Michael Davis--in a run for a City Council seat. And Assemblyman Mike Feuer is considering a run for city attorney.

Cedillo has served a combined 14 years in the Assembly and state Senate.

His Assembly district overlaps heavily with the City Council district he wants to represent, including Chinatown, Echo Park, and Highland Park.

Cedillo recently authored the California Dream Act, which allows illegal immigrants to receive taxpayer funded grants for college. He honed his political skills in the labor movement, serving as general manager of Service Employees International Union Local 660 from 1991-1996, according to his campaign.

"Gil began his crusade for change and social justice over three decades ago as a young student labor leader right here in Los Angeles," El Centro del Pueblo Executive Director Sandra Figueroa said. "Since those early days, Gil has remained one of the most effective and passionate progressive advocates in Los Angeles."

By Richie Duchon | City News Service