4 LA council members to tour Europe in Cisco show-and-tell

Los Angeles City Council. MyNewsLA.com Photo

Four City Council members will begin a weeklong trip to Europe Saturday for a Cisco Systems-led tour of two cities where private citizens and governments have connected the internet into various household objects and day-to-day functions.

Executives with the telecom hardware giant will show council members Bob Blumenfield, Gil Cedillo, Curren Price and Mitch Englander around Hamburg, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark, said company lobbyist Arnie Berghoff.

The council members are scheduled to return to Los Angeles next Friday.

Cisco, which makes internet routers and other devices, has been investing into a type of technology commonly referred to as “the internet of things,” which hooks everyday objects such as refrigerators to a network.

This technology could be applied to city infrastructure such as parking meters and spaces, street lights, air and sea ports and traffic management systems, Berghoff said.

The “smart and connected cities” tour will include a stop at Hamburg’s inland port, which has been fully automated, he said. In both cities the council members will meet with elected and other government officials, he said.

Berghoff said Cisco will not be paying for the council members’ trip-related expenses.

Each of the council members are paying for the trip, either out of their office holder or campaign accounts, or from their own pockets.

Blumenfield will use his own money, according to his aide Jake Flynn.

Cedillo will use campaign funds to pay for the trip, his aide Fredy Ceja said.

City Council members used to make annual trips to Europe for a conference organized by Cisco known as the Public Sector Services Summit.

The event was attended by then-City Council members Eric Garcetti and Alex Padilla, as well as City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana and then- police Chief Bill Bratton.

Berghoff said the conference was discontinued about three or four years ago.

— City News Service

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