Editorial: Resign already, Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo
On Wednesday, June 26, City Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo formally resigned from their positions.
It’s a bit of an odd resignation, given that both men had campaigned on an agenda of progressive change and reform—even if they didn’t always agree. And now, they will be leaving office, presumably after serving their terms. The reason for their exit certainly wasn’t personal; both of them have been the subject of a number of stories in the news recently, and they were certainly not the best people to serve as councilmembers. To be clear, their departure is a result of the council’s decision to make some changes to the way the council is elected.
On the campaign trail, de León called his first-term agenda the most progressive he’d seen in his time in the council. Cedillo, on the other hand, made a campaign promise to only serve two terms. Instead, both men have now elected to serve two terms longer than the term of the mayor, making them the longest-serving council members in the history of the city. They had campaigned on bringing some of the city’s progressive policies up to date, including making sure the council would be directly elected. And while they’ve been outspoken in their support for a variety of progressive policies over the years, the changes to the council’s makeup have drawn the ire of some councilmembers, who have accused them of running away with the election.
But while de León and Cedillo have been outspoken in their progressive ideals throughout their time on council, I don’t blame them. It’s an open-and-shut case that they were successful in their election—and it wasn’t because the voters of San Antonio wanted to see a change in the way city government works. This isn’t a new phenomenon, after all. A number of different types of politicians have been elected to the council in the past, including women, Latinos, and members of the LGBT community. We might not have seen a mayoral race between two progressive candidates this past year—but we did see several councilmembers campaigning on similar platforms: a city budget that reflected the needs of the city, a progressive vision for a