This was a bitter sweet week for me. On Sunday I lost my father, Gilbert Saenz Cedillo. I spent most of the week preparing for the services with my family and reflecting. Toward the end of the week, the legislative session in Sacramento was coming to a close and the fate of the last bill of my legislative portfolio (AB60) was hanging in the balance. I worked on the driver’s license bill for the last fifteen years while in Sacramento. Yesterday, the Senate and Assembly voted to approve the measure and it now is headed to the Governor for signature. It was a perfect way to end the week.


LA River Update

(Click here for report)

Today The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the availability of a Draft Integrated Feasibility Report (IFR), which includes a Draft Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Statement and illustrates four options for the river restoration: Alternatives 10, 13, 16, and 20.

The study evaluates alternatives for the purpose of restoring 11 miles of the Los Angeles River from approximately Griffith Park to Downtown Los Angeles, while maintaining existing levels of flood risk management. Restoration includes the reintroduction of ecological and physical processes and improved water quality. The study also evaluates opportunities for passive recreation that is compatible with the restored environment.

The Army Corps has tentatively recommended Alternative 13, which costs about $453 million and would restore about 588 acres of wildlife and aquatic habitat. The LA City Council voted to support the most expansive option, Alternative 20.

The IFR is now open for review and comment. The 45-day review period takes place from September 20th through November 5th, 2013. Let your voices be heard to support Alternative 20!

Comments should be addressed to:

Josephine R. Axt, Ph.D.; Chief, Planning Division;
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Los Angeles District;
P.O. Box 532711;
ATTN: Ms. Erin Jones, CESPL-PD-RN;
Los Angeles, CA 90053-2325

OR comments may be e-mailed to: [email protected]

City Department Restructuring: Making LA Business Friendly

(Photo Credit: www.dreamstime.com)

As Vice-Chair of the Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), Councilmember Cedillo recently considered a city consultant's status update report on efforts to consolidate the Departments of City Planning and Building and Safety to create a new single department. The purpose of consolidation is to improve customer service and streamline permitting approval processes. In October, the full City Council will take up a final report with specific recommendations with the goal to implement the new department in January 2014.

Councilmember Cedillo asked the city office leading the study (the Chief Administrative Officer) to ensure all stakeholders are engaged and consulted - including business, labor, neighborhood councils and other users of city services. The Councilmember acknowledged the difficulty of changing the work culture within a large municipal corporation. Other policy makers have questioned whether the January 2014 implementation date is realistic, or raised concerns about the loss of “planning” or “safety” in the new agency’s mission. Nonetheless, as a new member, Councilmember Cedillo will have the opportunity to weigh in and set future direction when a final proposal is put forward this Fall.

To obtain input about the new department from as many residents and Neighborhood Councilmembers as possible, an online survey has been published at the following link:http://tinyurl.com/pg2g82j.
If this issue interests you, please take a few minutes to complete the survey. To provide additional feedback, ask questions, and make suggestions about the new department, you may also send us an email at: [email protected]. Feedback from the survey and your input will help us understand how to implement the new department to better serve the City’s residents.

City Council Supports AB60

(Photo Credit: www.SacBee.com)

Under Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo’s leadership, LA City Council voted Wednesday to support AB 60 (Alejo) which would grant undocumented people the opportunity to apply for a driver’s license in California.

Cedillo fought for over a decade to get a similar law passed while serving in the State Legislature himself. In 2005 Cedillo authored SB 60, but Governor Schwarzenegger refused to sign the bill. In 2006 and 2009, Cedillo again brought the proposal before the California State Legislature, both failed.

AB 60 (Alejo) mirrors many of Cedillo’s past efforts and would bring to a close a decade of ongoing legislation between party lines. Short of a comprehensive immigration reform package at the Federal level, AB 60 represents an opportunity for California to recognize the needs of many hard working immigrants living here and as a result, allow one million drivers in the State of California who are on the roads with no proper training, licensing, or car insurance to apply for a license.

Note: AB60 passed in the State Senate yesterday 28-8, and the Assembly 55-19 and is now on its way to the Governor's desk for signature.


New Highland Park Field Office to Open Soon

(Photo Credit: www.you-are-here.com)

Councilmember Cedillo is pleased to announce that his new CD1 field office in Highland Park will open within the next month. The office, in the center of the Highland Park Business District, is on the first floor of the Highland Park Masonic Temple or The Highlands (5577 N. Figueroa Street, LA 90042). The building was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1984 and added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Cedillo’s field staff will be available to provide assistance with quality of life issues the City may help resolve.As Councilmember Cedillo completes his Listening Tour of 10 neighborhoods, he invites you to help implement ideas on projects in four target areas: Public Safety, the Environment, Arts and Culture, Cleaning the District and Economic Development.

Come pay us a visit. Our office is a storefront that is highly accessible on a major thoroughfare, only two blocks from the Highland Park Gold line Station.

Note: The historic windows are being restored to their original state. An office opening will take place soon after they are replaced. Read The Eastsider LA article here.

LAFD 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

(Photo Credit: Melinda Alatorre)

This week, we commemorated the 12th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks. There were several events throughout the City of Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Fire Department’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center. Leaders from all over the City were in attendance to join the community at the World Trade Center Memorial in front of the Training Center. The Memorial, which stands 22-feet tall, was an original structure in the lobby of the World Trade Center. It serves as a memorial to the 343 New York Fire Fighters whose lives were taken that fateful day, along with 3,000 other lives.

The Ceremony was centered on traditions, each with a special significance. The LAPD Emerald Society and Retired LAFD Firefighter John Keys set the tone for the ceremony with their bagpipes. Captain Daniel Curry tugged at the heart strings of the audience with his a cappella renditions of the National Anthem and God Bless America. All speeches had a common theme of sacrifice in the name of service and Country. Responsibility to honor the lives of the victims also rang throughout. It is our duty as Americans to “never forget” and teach the younger generations about this dark time in our Nation’s history.

The helicopter flyover was done in “Missing Man Formation”, which is an aerial salute to the lives lost. Four helicopters flew overhead with one veering off the path of the rest, signifying the 3,000 lives taken. The Bell Ringing Ceremony was also conducted. This is a tradition in which a bell is rung ten times to signify a “firefighter’s honorable return to his or her resting place”, as described by the Master of Ceremonies, Captain Jaime Moore. Apparatus Operator Dustin Clark performed Taps atop a red engine with the American Flag waving proudly behind him. Each tradition helped to make this a true celebration of life and a commemoration to service.

A special thank you to Captain Ronnie Villanueva for a beautiful ceremony. The service of the brave men and women who risked their lives that day will live on in American history.


Remembering A Great Man: My Father

January 10, 1929 – September 8, 2013

Gilbert Saenz Cedillo was fiercely proud of his five children, eight grandchildren (Gilbert, Jr., Samuel, Kristopher, Mathew, Lauren, Adrienne, Natalia and Charlie) and four great-grandchildren (Paxton, Caden, Rubi and Hannah). During his retirement years he spent most of his free time attending his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s games, recitals, concerts and events. When they didn’t have something specific planned, he’d take them out to a sporting event, often times one of his favorites, the racetrack.  In his mind, a child was never too young to go to the track or watch the horses.

Gilbert Saenz Cedillo enjoyed life and loved spending time with his family. In the Army, he learned to be a great cook and it was one of the things he most enjoyed doing with his family, making pancakes and working with his wife to prepare the big breakfasts … though some of the preparations weren’t up to the level of Mary’s. For instance, the sardine sandwiches with cheese and crackers prepared one summer afternoon.

But perhaps what is most remembered about Gilbert Saenz Cedillo is how dearly he loved his wife, Mary, who preceded him in death and with whom he is now reunited in heaven.

Rest in Peace, Gilbert Saenz Cedillo.


2013 Listening Tour Schedule
•Angelino Heights/Elysian Park/Temple Beaudry – Thursday, September 19th, 6:30-8:00 pm
•Montecito Heights – Tuesday, October 1st, 7:00-8:30 pm
•Westlake/Koreatown/Rampart Village – Thursday, October 10th, 6:30-8:00 pm
•Highland Park – Thursday, October 17th, 6:30-8:00 pm
•Sycamore Grove – October – Date/Time TBD
•Glassell Park/Cypress Park – October – Date/Time TBD

LA City Hall El Grito Celebration
Sunday, September 15, 2013
7:00 PM
Los Angeles City Hall (West Steps)
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

2013 Listening Tour: A Conversation with Elysian Park/ Angelino Heights/ Temple Beaudry
Thursday, September 19, 2013
6:00pm - 8:30pm
Betty Plasencia Elementary
1321 Cortez Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
RSVP: (213)473-7001 or http://goo.gl/qGCeCM

3rd Annual Glassell Park Community Pride Day Clean-Up
Saturday September 21, 2013
8:00am – 12:00pm
Glassell Park Community/Senior Center
3750 N. Verdugo Road
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(323) 806-7477

St. Vincent Medical Center
2013 Health Fair
Saturday, September 28, 2013
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
2222 Ocean View Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90057
(213) 484-7766

Greeting from Councilmember
Gil Cedillo

Legislative Update
LA River Update

Field Update
HP Field Office
9/11 Ceremony

News Update
Gilbert S. Cedillo

Upcoming Events
2013 Listening Tour
El Grito
Health Fair


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