The longtime president of the Echo Park neighborhood council, Jose Sigala, has launched a campaign to replace termed-out Eric Garcetti as Councilman of the 13th District. Sigala, whose 20-year-long political career has included working for former Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh as well as Councilman Richard Alarcon, joins a growing roster of candidates vying to represent Council District 13, which includes Atwater Village, Echo Park, Glassell Park, Hollywood and Silver Lake. Sigala’s six-year tenure as head of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council has often been marked by contentious meetings and feuding board members.
But Sigala, an Echo Park resident, said his experience in federal, state and local government sets him apart from other candidates:
I bring to the 13th City Council race 20 years of public service and experience working in Federal, State and Municipal levels of government. No other current CD13 candidate has this breathe or depth of public policy and community organizing experience I bring to City Hall.
Five other candidates – including former Council District 13 senior adviser Mitch O’Farrell and Silver Lake activist and actor Scott Crawford – have declared their intention to run the in March 2013 election. Sigala’s campaign submitted paperwork with the city’s Ethics Commission, which enforces the city’s campaign financing laws, late last week. Click on the link below for a Q & A with Sigala
Why did you decide to run?
For many City Hall remains unreachable and unresponsive to the needs of our local neighborhoods. The delivery of basic city services and the quality of life for many residents has deteriorated under the current bureaucracy. I have seen first-hand the struggles residents and small businesses face on a day-to-day basis to have their problems addressed and resolved.
I am running because I have a successful track record of empowering and giving a voice to disenfranchised communities. In 2012, The Greater Echo
Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) is celebrating our 10th Anniversary. For the last 6 years I have been elected by the community to serve as GEPENC’s President. In an environment of ever shrinking city resources, working with GEPENC’s 21 diverse board members, in a citywide system of 95 certified Neighborhood Councils, I have been able to create positive change and make a difference.
What kind of experience do you have that sets you apart from other candidates so far?
I bring to the 13th City Council race 20 years of public service and experience working in Federal, State and Municipal levels of government. No other current CD13 candidate has this breadth or depth of public policy and community organizing experience I bring to City Hall.
I began as a Washington DC Intern for Congressman Mel Levine which grew from my work as a student activist at Santa Monica College and continued at UC Berkeley. After graduation I was fortunate to have been selected to participate in the prestigious State Senate Fellows Program where I continued to gain public policy experience as a legislative deputy in the State Capitol and district office of then Senator Richard Polanco. I served five years as Assembly District Director working in the Southeast cities with former Assembly Member Marco Firebaugh. In 2004 I was appointed to serve as a City Commissioner on the Prop O Committee (which funded the Echo Park Lake Restoration Project) and in 2006 I began my City of Los Angeles career working in the City Hall office
of then Council President Alex Padilla.
What are the main issues that you will focus on in your campaign?
My campaign theme is “Restoring the 13th Neighborhood by Neighborhood”
With my top three issues:
1) Public Safety – Supporting police, fire, library and youth recreation center resources in CD13 to effectively remain safe, clean, vibrant and thriving
2) Protecting Core City Services – Providing neighborhood residents a strong voice in local government by advocating for the preservation of core
3) Creating Jobs – Working with the private sector to create an environment in the city where local businesses can navigate the city permit process,
generate more local jobs and bring local revenue back to the City of Los Angeles .
Sigala, and his wife, Lisa Baca-Sigala, who serves as Chief Information Officer of the Echo Park neighborhood council, live in Echo Park with their twin daughters.
Sigala’s campaign website – www.josesigala.com – is currently under development.