The Democrat will seek to succeed Councilman Ed Reyes, who will be stepping down due to term limits.
Cedillo was first elected to the state Legislature in 1998. He served two terms in the state Assembly before winning election to the Senate in 2002. After completing the maximum two terms in the upper house, he returned to the Assembly for a third and final term.
Cedillo has made immigrant rights a top legislative priority during his time in Sacramento. He is the author of the California "Dream Act," a recently signed law allowing some undocumented immigrant students to qualify for publicly funded financial aid.
He said in a statement announcing his campaign that he hopes to offer "bold and experienced leadership to strengthen and protect the Los Angeles Dream."
"I have been honored to represent portions of Los Angeles in the California State Assembly and State Senate over the past fourteen years and I look forward to going to City Hall, where I will continue to fight for jobs, affordable housing, and public safety," he said in the statement.
Cedillo will compete in a March 2013 primary for the open city council seat. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will advance to a runoff election.
PHOTO CREDIT: State Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, center, discusses his proposed resolution calling on California to begin an economic boycott of Arizona over its controversial immigration law, at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, June 23, 2010. Rich Pedroncelli, Assocated Press.