Race For City Council Seat Between Gil Cedillo, Joe Bray-Ali Will Likely Go To Runoff Election In May

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Joe Bray-Ali. (Photo courtesy of Joe Bray-Ali)

According to the LA Times, Gil Cedillo remains at 49.4% of the vote for the Los Angeles District 1 City Council seat, just under the 50% required to prevent a runoff election in May. This percentage comes from the L.A. County Registrar's most recent count on Friday afternoon. The final tally is set to occur on Monday; 9000 ballots remain to be counted, and it's unlikely they will bring Cedillo over 50%. If a runoff election does occur, it will take place on May 16.

The runoff comes at the end of a high-profile city council contest between Cedillo and Bray-Ali. Cedillo, who served on the California State Assembly and California Senate before assuming his city council position in 2013, consistently stalled the development of bike lanes on Figueroa and considered displacement in his neighborhoods an "urban myth," according to the LA Times. With development, housing, and L.A.'s transit-oriented future all major local issues, this opened the door for a legitimate opponent to Cedillo's leadership. Bray-Ali entered the race as an underdog bike activist, but his campaign's focus on addressing the development crisis in his neighborhood brought him high-profile endorsements from publications like the LA Times, and now a legitimate shot at unseating Cedillo in the runoff.

The LA Times explains how, for the runoff campaign, Bray-Ali aims to focus on his specific plans for the district, including developing basic services and improving communication between City Council and the community. In response to the tight race, Cedillo has also expressed regret at labeling Bray-Ali's campaign "a hipster campaign or candidacy."

The contest between the two highlights the complex nuances of L.A.'s path into its future as a city. Cedillo was a member of the coalition against Measure S; the measure aimed to stop the majority of development in Los Angeles. The defeat of the measure was symbolic of L.A.'s transformation as an urban environment prepared to meet the needs of its growing population. Still, Bray-Ali's campaign paints Cedillo as an out-of-touch councilmember, demonstrating that some activists consider the relationships between city council and private developers as a more pressing problem than development itself.