L.A. Times endorses bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali in Council District 1 race over Gil Cedillo [updated]

Courtesy Joe Bray-Ali campaign

Joe Bray-Ali, a bike advocate and bike shop owner, picked up the endorsement of the L.A. Times in his campaign to unseat incumbent Gil Cedillo in the Council District 1 race.

Cedillo, 62, a former state legislator and immigrant rights activist, maintains a large fundraising lead over Bray-Ali, a 37-year-old Lincoln Heights resident. But the Times endorsement could give Bray-Ali, who has secured city matching funds, a boost a few weeks before the March 7 primary.

The Times endorsement said Bray-Ali is the candidate for those who “believe wholeheartedly in a more sustainable type of growth.” Said the Times:

“But though he may be campaigning atop two wheels, he has educated himself way beyond bike and transit issues. In fact, his understanding of land-use policy is impressive for someone who has never worked in City Hall, and his experience running a small business in the city will make him a rare and important voice on the council.”

In contrast, The Times said of Cedillo:

“Cedillo has a reputation among community activists as someone hell-bent on helping developers build market-rate housing while paying little regard for the more prosaic concerns of the neighborhoods …. There’s a deep-seated frustration in this city about how development decisions are made, and Cedillo’s attitude toward his constituents only bolsters that discontent.”

Update: Cedillo defended his record in a letter to the Times’ Editorial Board.

Election Info

The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!

Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.


  1. yay! Go Joe

    no more one-bill-Gil

  2. Joe is a breath of fresh air! He is deeply passionate about our neighborhood, our streets, the amount of development ghappening, the environment. His kid attends a local public school, he shops in the neighborhood, frequents our parks, stores, and has owned his own small business. He will be a GREAT improvement! Vote for Joe!!!

  3. Gil ……. Pro Development …… Anti Neighborhood …. Look where his money comes from.

  4. Congrats to Joe! Keep the fight going and get Mr. Cedillo out of CD1 – Los Angeles deserves better representation!!!!

  5. This will be a disaster for everyone who relies on a car for transportation. Figueroa will be a traffic choked nightmare once he gives it a road diet.

    • Do you ever get tired of crying wolf?

    • If only there were an alternative route for commuters that ran parallel to Figueroa, without traffic signals, pedestrians or pesky cyclists… a “freeway” if you will.

    • Your right. The LA times pushing another Anti-Auto, Pro Bike lobby candidate down our throats. They won’t rest until the entire city is another Rowena Ave.

      • The city of los angeles can’t build it’s way out of congestion. Do you understand this? We don’t have the money or land to have no congestion. If we did, do you really think the best thing we can be doing is widening a bunch of streets? Leaving things the same isn’t going to fix it either.

        Please explain to me how electing someone who is, to borrow some of your terminology, pro-auto is going to fix this? What are they going to do that is going to fix this?

        Pretty good at saying no, but when it comes to offering solutions, I’m not really hearing much.

    • yeah, how dare he make the neighborhood more enjoyable for residents! How dare he bring commerce and public life back to our streets. How dare he make it more challenging for visitors to speed through our neighborhood and threaten our safety when walk and bike through our own neighborhood. Shame on him!!

    • Any time anything threatens old people and their precious smog spewing cars, they throw a hissy fit. In 10 years, self driving ubers will have taken over and cars will be outlawed, we’ll finally be able to move forward as a society to the next golden age. The average lifespan will increase to 120 years, due to lack of smog/pollution related cancers. Cities that made good public transit and bike paths will already have a head start. I want a road diet for every road in Los Angeles. Next one should be Alvarado.

      • Los Angeles is not Amsterdam, i.e. flat. People needs cars to efficiently get to WORK, errands and other uses that are not favorable to cycling. Secondly, exactly how many cyclists are using the Rowena, Virgil, York and Colorado bike lanes for trips formerly done by auto? I virtually never see cyclists on York, Colorado or Rowena. Per Balding Eagle’s post below, I believe if you could show a significant reduction in car trips due to bike lanes folks might be more supportive. Where is the data?

        Lastly, why are we not pushing for more enforcement of existing traffic laws as the answer to some of the safety issues created by drives and yes, CYCLISTS! More congestion on major roads is only pushing drivers into residential neighborhoods where that is extremely reckless driving going on.

        • All the jobs that matter can be done from home now. All laborer jobs will be automated by robots and drones within 10 years, thus the need for car centric planning is completely obsolete at this point

          • So in your wet dream of the future, we’ll all be little pods plugged into the matrix, never needing to leave our houses?

          • Monty, How do your kids get to school and the doctor when it’s cold and raining? How do your groceries get from the store to your house?

      • Monty…..That must be some amazing stuff your smoking…..Write that in a screenplay,
        I’d go see it.

  6. As a liberal, my observation of the tendency to over-correct on an issue is what turns people off about our agendas. I’m sure everyone -no matter your political persuasion- think making biking more accessible in this city is a good thing. Yes, add bike lanes where feasible! The over-correcting part is where you add a bike lane at the cost of traffic lanes when it is not necessary. Rowena road diet and Virgil road diets and the future Fig road diet (should JOE get elected) is the over-correction where you loose momentum with few other than cyclist.

  7. Hip Hip Hooray!!! LA Times got it right! Cedillo is anti-neighborhood! We need someone who will bring forth development that will enhance and better the community versus someone who brings rat pack, square box housing with no green space. Vote Cedillo OUT!!!

  8. The issues go a lot deeper than bike lanes in CD1 – Elysian Park, the LA River, Barlow Hospital, housing, homelessness, crime, public safety. Do your research and you’ll see the choice is Joe – not Cedillo’s incompetent, tired “leadership.” Cedillo’s the chair of housing committee and on planning – it’s failure there that is letting a wildly unpredictable policy outcome like Measure S become a possibility.

  9. The Times Editorial Board wasn’t fair to Cedillo…if they’re BOTH no on measure S then they’re BOTH in bed with Big Developers who are trying to tear down all of our neighborhoods and replace them with Luxury High-Rises. They’re probably very similar as candidates, just one of them is a bicycle activist who will push road diets on major streets, taking parking away from small businesses and making traffic for those riding in buses and cars worse. The other is the only city council member who stood up to bicycle mob insanity and is now suffering political retaliation and potential loss of his seat. If the bike guy wins, the other council members will be scared and give the bike lobby everything it wants for fear of them running a candidate against the courageous ones. I’d like to thank The Eastsider for allowing dissenting opinion, which the Times Moderators seem to not be allowing through on that endorsement piece. Oh, and the bike guy is younger and better looking…I imagine some of the Editorial Board members (men and women) are salivating over him.

    • Look at the campaign finance– Cedillo’s donations overwhelmingly come from developers and overwhelmingly from outside the district. Joe’s campaign is largely financed from within and nearby the district, from everyday people.

      See this link to review where the money comes from: http://ethics.lacity.org/disclosure/campaign/totals/public_election.cfm?election_id=53#S207

      The candidates are not similar on a lot of issues. Cedillo supports development in Glassell Park hilside while Joe would rather preserve the hills and convert to parkland. Cedillo supports 710 freeway tunnel whereas Joe supports money being invested in public transit and bike/pedestrian facilities. Cedillo has let Elysian Park deteriorate while Joe fought to support residents in their campaign to rescue money earmarked for park improvements that were set to lapse. There plenty more contrasts.

      And to think that the Editorial Board would endorse Joe simply based on his good looks is insulting and sexist.

    • Can you please share some out of control developers/developments in CD1 that have ruined the neighborhood? Where are these mythical projects?

      • The building slated to be built on the corner of grand and fig on the Burger King lot is going to be 22 stories – the area is zoned for 7 stories. Not a single affordable unit. Lots of other examples in the district if you do your research.

        • I see lots of dense new development in places like Eagle Rock Boulevard. However, until you provide some evidence of actual impacts from built projects, instead of some future potential boogeyman, I’m not going to confound your presumable dislike of dense housing and actual negative outcomes that result from these projects. Eagle rock boulevard has not suffered in any way from the developments there.

          I’d like more info on this project. If you are talking about Grand Ave and Figueroa near downtown, these are parallel streets that don’t intersection, so where exactly is this project located. Is it in CD1? And if it is DTLA, and you are complaining about density there, then this is not about research, but about ignoring the reality that you live in one of the busiest, densest, cities on the planet and that isn’t slowing down because of something you are uncomfortable with and can’t provide any actual examples of bad projects with bad outcomes.

    • How could you say they’re both in bed with developers? Cedillo accepted campaign funds from a ton of Beverly Hills developers including Geoff Palmer, who gave $2 million to Trump’s campaign. There’s no comparison. Check out where the $ is coming from… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvzbsopBtD8

  10. I didn’t know what to think of Mr Cedillo at first, but over the time, his actions really warmed my heart.
    * He was instrumental in buying radio hill in Montecito Heights, for the city, with city funds, to be turned in a park. I don’t know what Joe says he’ll do – but Gill already bought a hilltop and turned it in a park =)

    * He stood up to bicycle fanatics. I love biking, but to remove car lanes from Figueroa is insanity! if you’re afraid of accidents – please take a small side street, or bike along the river. Figueroa will suffer with less car lanes! We’re not Amsterdam – bicyclists may be loud but there’s not many of them here, it just doesn’t make sense to punish Figueroa – sorry.
    * He stood up for the little man, I remember a few instances. For example – he was vocal about not punishing vendors in parks, because they’re modest people that try to make a living. (the proposal he fought was a blanket ban of “commercial activities in parks” that was triggered up by dog trainers). He was also cool-headed when they had to clean up the homeless encampments on Arroyo Seco.

    As for development – I’ll have to quote ‘Dexter’ above “Can you please share some out of control developers/developments in CD1 that have ruined the neighborhood? Where are these mythical projects?”.

    I think Cedillo upsets some because his ideas aren’t shiny and don’t fit into any fad. But he’s pragmatic, capable, and more in tune with the problems of the more modest (aka not gentrified) parts of DC1. And that what our district needs. I’ll stick with Gil !

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *