Gil Cedillo

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Gilbert Cedillo
Senator Gilbert Cedillo.JPG
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 1st district
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded by Ed Reyes
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 45th district
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Kevin de León
Succeeded by Bob Blumenfield
Member of the California Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
December 2, 2002 – November 30, 2010
Preceded by Richard Polanco
Succeeded by Kevin de León
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 46th district
In office
January 14, 1998 – November 30, 2002
Preceded by Louis Caldera
Succeeded by Fabian Núñez
Personal details
Born (1954-03-25) March 25, 1954 (age 63)
Barstow, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ruby Oliva Cedillo (deceased)
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
People's College of Law
Profession Politician

Gilbert Anthony Cedillo (born March 25, 1954 in Barstow, California) is an American politician, currently a member of the Los Angeles City Council for District 1, succeeding Ed Reyes after his election on May 21, 2013. Cedillo was a Democratic member of both the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.

Cedillo was a candidate for California's 32nd congressional district seat, vacated by Hilda Solis. A California's 32nd Congressional District Special Election, 2009 was held on May 19, 2009. Cedillo lost the primary to Board of Equalization Member Judy Chu.

Early years and education[edit]

Cedillo grew up in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.[1] His father worked as a mechanic at American Can in Vernon and was a member of the United Steelworkers of America. His mother was a garment worker at Sears and Times-Mirror Press.[citation needed]

Cedillo attended Lorena Street and Euclid Avenue Elementary, Stevenson Junior High and Roosevelt High. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor's degree in Sociology in 1977, and he received a Juris Doctor degree from the Peoples College of Law, a law school in Los Angeles, in 1983.


Private sector[edit]

Cedillo worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Los Angeles County's largest union, where he served as general manager from 1990 to 1996.[citation needed] In his years as general manager, he protected youth programs and played a critical role in securing $364 million in federal assistance to ensure that the Los Angeles County Health Care system remained afloat.[citation needed] President Bill Clinton stated that his decision to provide funding "was reached after critical consultations with SEIU".[2]


Cedillo won a special election on January 13, 1998, to the California State Assembly's 46th district, and served there until 2002.[citation needed] In 2002, he was elected to the State Senate.[citation needed] While he is most widely known for his attempts to reinstate driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and as the author of the California DREAM Act, Cedillo has also worked on increasing and expanding access to health care, developing regional solutions to combat homelessness, and encouraging economic development in his Downtown Los Angeles district.[citation needed] Gil Cedillo is a member of the Council of La Raza.

Cedillo was reelected in 2006, defeating South Pasadena City Councilman Mike Ten, a Republican. Cedillo received 71,199 votes, Ten received 18,581 votes, and Murray Levy, a Libertarian candidate, received 3,469 votes.[3] He was Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Immigration and the Economy and was a member of the Senate standing committees on Appropriations, Health, Public Safety, Rules, and Transportation and Housing.

On September 28, 2006, Cedillo was arrested along with approximately 200 others for blocking Century Blvd. in front of LAX, during a protest supporting the right for employees to unionize at the LAX hotels.[4]

Congressional candidate[edit]

Cedillo officially announced his candidacy for the 32nd Congressional District seat on January 8, 2009,[citation needed] which was vacated by Congresswoman Hilda Solis. Congresswoman Solis accepted an appointment from President-elect Barack Obama for United States Labor Secretary.[5] Cedillo lost to Judy Chu, a former Monterey Park assemblywoman and vice-chairman of the State Board of Equalization. Despite Cedillo's longtime relationship with organized labor, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, voted to endorse Chu.[6] Cedillo received a majority of other major endorsements, including eight members of California's Congressional Delegation, LA Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton, and more than 100 current and former public officials, including Senator Gloria Romero, Senator Ron Calderon, and Assemblymember Ed Chavez, who all dropped out of the race and endorsed Cedillo.[7]

Cedillo was defeated in his 2009 bid for the 32d District seat. Chu received 15,338 votes (31.9%) while Cedillo received 11,244 votes, 31.9% to 23.4% in a primarily Latino district.[citation needed] Following his failed bid for U.S. Congress, Cedillo took over the California State Assembly's 45th District seat (which was vacated by Kevin DeLeon who won the 22d State Senate seat).[citation needed]

Cedillo served as chairman of California's Latino Congressional Caucus. In 2010, Cedillo authored California's SRC 113, a resolution for a statewide boycott of the State of Arizona, following Arizona's passage of SB 1070, an illegal immigration enforcement bill.[citation needed]

Driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants[edit]

Cedillo has tried nine times since 1998 to get bills passed in the California State Legislature that would allow undocumented immigrants in California to obtain driver's licenses. In 2001 and 2002, then-Governor Gray Davis vetoed two of Cedillo's bills that would have permitted licenses for undocumented immigrants.[citation needed] In the midst of the 2003 recall election, Davis backed and signed SB 60 (2003), Cedillo's driver's license bill.[8][citation needed] After Davis was recalled and Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, the state legislature, with Schwarzenegger's support, repealed the new law before it went into effect.[9] Senator Cedillo agreed to repeal the law he wrote under the agreement with the Governor to work on a bipartisan bill. In 2004, Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 2895, an identical bill to Senator Cedillo's SB 1160 that stalled in the legislature, saying that it did not meet his security concerns. The governor wanted a "marked license" that was identifiable.[10] AB 2895 was introduced to the legislature by one of Cedillo's closest allies, Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Núñez.[11]

In 2005, Cedillo authored SB 60, another driver's license bill. He made new modifications to the proposal, specifying that undocumented immigrants would not be able to use the driver's license for identification purposes such as boarding airplanes, opening bank accounts, registering to vote, or other privileges that U.S. citizens enjoy.[12] Again, Schwarzenegger refused to sign the bill, citing that it did not satisfy his security concerns.[13] After Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, Cedillo threatened to file a lawsuit against the Governor because of his belief that the Department of Motor Vehicles misinterpreted SB 976 (1993) which first prohibited the issuance of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. Those who are undocumented immigrants who are in the process of becoming legal residents or citizens are considered to have authorized presence but not legal permanent residency status, and are known as people residing under the color of the law.

In 2006 and 2009, Cedillo again brought the proposal before the California legislature. Both failed.[14] On October 3, 2013, California Governor Brown signed AB 60, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.[15] Cedillo remarked, ″It took a long time, but now it’s here. Today signifies much more than just another bill being signed by our governor. Today is history in the making because it is the day we return justice back to the people.″[16]

California Dream Act[edit]

In 2011, Cedillo authored a pair of assembly bills to allow undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain financial aid for universities through both private and public sources. The assembly bills, known as AB 130 and AB 131 for private and public financial aid respectively, have been passed into law.[citation needed] The measures have drawn both praise and criticism from various organizations.[citation needed] Proponents claim that the bill would finally narrow the gap in education for a US Citizen and an undocumented immigrant; thus providing equality and greater opportunity. Critics have expressed that the measure is a waste of taxpayer money for an already cash-strapped California with tuition costs increasing and many students unable to continue their education. In addition, the measure is fueling outrage from Californians who feel that undocumented immigrants are getting better treatment and more entitlements at their expense.

AB 353[edit]

In August 2011, at nearly the same time AB 131 was passed by the Senate, AB 353 also passed.[citation needed] The bill allows drivers without a license who are stopped at checkpoints to have a licensed driver retrieve the vehicle and thereby avoid having the vehicle impounded for 30 days.

Filed for backpay during recession[edit]

In 2010, Cedillo attempted to reverse a pay cut approved by voters in 2009 for all 120 lawmakers (Prop. 25). Cedillo filed a claim in December 2010 with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board seeking back pay for what he maintains were illegal pay and benefit cuts.[17] His complaint stemmed from the 2009 decision by the California Citizens Compensation Commission to slash legislators' pay and benefits by 18 percent. The cut reduced their wages from $116,208 to $95,291.

U.S.-Mexico border wall[edit]

In May 2017, Cedillo authored a motion for companies involved with the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall promised by President Donald Trump to disclose it before they can work with the City of Los Angeles.[18]

2012-13 events[edit]

Because of term limits, Cedillo could not run for reelection to the California State Legislature in 2012. He ran for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council representing Council District 1 and was elected in 2013.[19][20]

In December 2013, Cedillo authored a Los Angeles City Council resolution urging President Obama to halt most deportations and to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to "all immigrant families who are not engaged in criminal activity."[21]

2017 Election for Los Angeles Council District 1[edit]

Gil Cedillo ran for reelection in Council District 1 in Los Angeles.[1] His opponents were Jesse Rosas, Giovany Hernandez, and Joe Bray-Ali.[22] Having just missing a win the in Primary Election, Cedillo destroyed Joe Bray-Ali in the run off with over 70 % of the voters in Council District 1 on May 16, 2017.

In the first countywide vote, Cedillo won 49.4 percent and Bray-Ali drew 38 percent.[23]


  1. ^ a b Regardie, Jon (February 23, 2017). "Fresh Fruit With Gil Cedillo". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ Alarcon, Evelina. "Unions save hospital jobs in Los Angeles". People's Weekly World. Archived from the original on May 31, 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ [3][dead link]
  6. ^ [4][dead link]
  7. ^ Cedillo for Congress PAC book
  8. ^ [5][dead link]
  9. ^ "Schwarzenegger scores victory in repeal of license law". CNN. December 2, 2003. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ [6][dead link]]
  12. ^ Cedillo. "SB 60 Senate Bill - Analysis". 
  13. ^ Cedillo. "SB 60 Senate Bill - Veto". 
  14. ^ "Bill List". 
  15. ^ Governor, Office of the. "Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. - Newsroom". 
  16. ^ "Gov. Jerry Brown signs driver’s license bill for undocumented immigrants". 2015-01-01. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  17. ^ Sanders, Jim. "Cedillo's challenge to legislative pay cut is tentatively denied". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Councilman: Firms That Want To Help Build Border Wall Should Not Work For City Of L.A.". CBS Los Angeles. May 11, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ McGreevy, Patrick (November 14, 2012). "Assemblyman Gil Cedillo to run for Los Angeles City Council". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Councilmember Gil Cedillo". Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  21. ^ Linthicum, Kate (2013-12-18). "L.A. City Council calls on Obama to halt most deportations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  22. ^ "Municipal elections in Los Angeles, California (2017)". 
  23. ^ Zahniser, David (17 March 2017). "L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo and bike activist Joe Bray-Ali looking at May 16 runoff election". LA Times. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
California Assembly
Preceded by
Louis Caldera
California State Assemblymember, 46th District
Succeeded by
Fabian Núñez
Preceded by
Kevin de León
California State Assemblymember, 45th District
Succeeded by
Bob Blumenfield
California Senate
Preceded by
Richard Polanco
California State Senator, 22nd District
Succeeded by
Kevin de León
Political offices
Preceded by
Ed Reyes
Los Angeles City Councilmember, 1st district

External links[edit]