Gil Cedillo Launches Re-Election Campaign

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by LA1 News

   Say what you will about Gil, he knows how to throw a cool party. The 'Cedillo for City Council 2017' organization hosted a re-election campaign launch party for the pol yesterday, at the historic Carondelet House in Westlake. It was a small event, but attended by some important folks, most of whom were there in support of Cedillo for a second term as the councilman for CD1.

   Cedillo took to the microphone about 45 minutes into the event. “There are three people, mentors, that I must thank for being where I am today,” he said. The first mentor Cedillo was referring to is current City Council President Herb Wesson. He was the first person to speak at the event in support of Cedillo. Wesson told the story of how he and Cedillo worked together to try and bring then-County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite-Burke into the tent with the SEIU at the time when Cedillo was the union's general manager. Burke chose not to support the union's legislative effort back then, but Wesson and Cedillo formed a bond that lasted into Cedillo’s Assembly term, which began in 1998. When Cedillo’s wife became ill and he was considering retirement, Wesson took on many responsibilities for the former union leader, and organized their Assembly colleagues to cast sympathy votes for him in his absence.

   The second mentor Cedillo recognized is former 1st District councilman Mike Hernandez, who showed up to the party with his hair fully grown out and wearing a blue guayabera. He was also sporting a serious Fu Manchu. “I used to bring some of my constituents from Mount Washington over here to Pico Union so they could see the other side of their district,” Hernandez said. “I am very proud of the positive changes Gil has made in the first district.” Hernandez went on to explain how he and Gil didn’t see eye to eye in the beginning, but that both of them are in the game for the right reasons.

   Perhaps Cedillo’s most important guest was former 56th District Assemblywoman, former 1st District County Supervisor and former 1st District City Councilwoman Gloria Molina. She also pointed out the fact that she and Cedillo have not always seen eye to eye. “I am proud to support Gil and all the things he has done,” Molina said. “You know, when he told me he was considering a run for the city council, I told him I was not convinced he was up to the task.” She said she had explained to Cedillo that running a council district is very different from pushing bills through the Assembly. “It’s very hands-on, I told him, and people are going to be knocking at your door demanding things get done. They are going to know where you are, what time you are going to be somewhere. I didn’t want him to be known as 'One Bill Gil,'" she said. Molina went on to explain that while she supports Hillary Clinton for President and Cedillo is co-chair of the Bernie Sanders campaign's Southern California steering committee, “I am very proud of the job Gil has done in his district.”

   Cedillo returned to the microphone and announced the deep respect he has for former 1st District councilman Ed Reyes, who did not show up to the event. He told a story of how he and Reyes attended Roosevelt High School together in 10th grade, and shared a homeroom class with a guy known then as Tony Villar, who went on to become LA City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “It was a pretty impressive classroom, let me tell you," Cedillo said. “We all had it in our hearts that we were one day going to make positive changes in our community." Ed Reyes backed his former chief of staff Jose Gardea in the 2013 race for 1st District city councilman. Gardea lost by just over 800 votes.

   Cedillo also took the time to thank his staff, including former field representative Melinda Ramos-Alatorre and current communications director Fedy Ceja. He also thanked CD1 Planning Deputy Gerald Gubatan for helping to “increase equity” and erase blight in the communities he serves.

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