Echo Park neighborhood council leader enters race for Council District 13

Jose Sigala

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
city services
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.

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  1. The good Lord sure does have a sense of humor.

  2. I for one, glad that We have Jose Sigala is running to represent our diverse community.
    My family has lived in the Echo Park , Westlake area most of my life. To see and have assisted Jose in the Neighborhood clean ups make me feel good that the needs of a transition area like Historic Filipinotown on which Temple and Beverly has over 10,thousand cars drive thru everyday create a voice and prosper.
    Maintanance of our streets ,curbs and sidewalks, the changing of locals and outside business interest to make this area a stop in ,instead of a drive by going to the hearth of downtown has been a dream that We both shared. Talk to Jose before the Nay sayers and the personalities conflicts become and issue. VOTE , Elect Jose for office.

  3. Nooooooooooo.

  4. What his stance on Bicyclists and covering our district with bike lanes?

    • Don’t forget to ask him about bicycle racks – Jose Sigala is quite informed about the subject.

      • Ha! Yeah I know about that. I just want a representative that will encourage more bicycle usage in our neighborhood. Bike lanes on all of the major streets, please.

  5. I think you mean “breadth”.



  7. This is a positive step for Echo Park. He is one of our own and a big advocate for residents and businesses. Most representative in this area seem to be all business or all resident and it doesn’t make sense. I like that Jose understands that to make Echo Park safe we need a solid foundation on both fronts.

    I have met Jose at council meetings as well as EPIA and chamber meetings. He genuinely cares about community. He’s got my vote.

    I will miss Garcetti, I like him but I don’t know how much he was able to do for us. He always talked a good talk, but his walk was not always there to back it up. I think Jose will be more of a force than Eric has been.

  8. Definitely has my vote! He is a great person who genuinely cares about Echo Park. Seriously, he spends his weekends and vacations heading neighborhood clean-ups and rolling up his sleeves to help in our neighborhood’s many schools. Great guy.

  9. clean ups come at a high price $500 approximately and that is from the NC, it’s
    easy to pay for the clean ups when it’s not money out of your pocket.

    As for mr. Prado the clean ups have been right around the corner from where you live, why not try a different aproach in rounding up your good neighbors and making it a team effort.

  10. Jose Sigala talks about how responsive he will be for community /neighborhood….
    As a result of a Grievance filed, the GEPENC Grievance Committee in December, 2009
    concluded that GEPENC Board agendas and Minutes needed to be translated into Spanish to better serve the area’s non-English speaking members of the community.
    In addition it recommended that a tranlator be made available at Board Meetings.
    To date, Jose Sigala and the GEPENC Board have ignored the Grievance Committee’s directive. Instead. the NC has embarked on dedicating a significant portionof the funds awarded by the City on outreach events that have not led to meaningful community outreach. Furthermore, Board Meeting after Board Meeting is delayed by an hour or thereabouts because Quorum cannot be met. A recent series of three NC Committee meetings also failed to materialize due to a lack of quorum, including that of the NC’s Finance and Budget Committee……………..
    With “no term limits” in the NC’s By Laws, the outlook for change is unlikely.

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