Gil is the son of immigrants who arrived in the United States in the early 1960s with nothing but a limited command of the English language and a determination for a better future. His parents became citizens and worked to give Gil, his brother and sister a better life, slowly realizing the American Dream. His dad was a car mechanic and his mom worked as an office administrator. Gil was the first in his family to finish college (at California State University Fullerton) and the only person to go to graduate school (at Boston College School of Law).
After graduating law school, Gil moved to San Diego 18 years ago to start his legal career. It was in San Diego where he met the love of his life, Krista. They have been married for 10 years and have two children, Maia and Lisette, ages 7 and 5.
Gil has built a reputation as one of the best attorneys in San Diego and has earned several awards and recognition for his work. During his career, he has represented a broad spectrum of clients – from some of the largest companies in the country to small local businesses — as litigation counsel and outside General Counsel. In 2007, Gil started the Cabrera Firm – where he has continued to provide legal advice to small and growing companies as General Counsel. For seven years, Gil served as an appointed Judge Pro Tem of the Superior Court, hearing hundreds of Small Claims and Traffic Court trials.
Throughout his career, Gil has made it a priority to serve his community. Gil first got involved with public service as a volunteer wish granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. As a wish granter, he helped the foundation grant the wishes of approximately 35 children with life threatening illnesses. In 1999, Gil joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego board of directors and in 2002 was named chairman of the board.
In 2000, then San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano appointed Gil to serve on the San Diego Police Department Use of Force Task Force. Gil was named the Task Force’s Civilian Co-Chair and worked with then-Assistant Chief of Police John Welter and the other 135 members of the Task Force to issue a report in 2001 recommending 100 changes to the Police Department’s procedures. The Task Force’s Steering Committee, which Gil co-chaired, continued meeting for several years to oversee the implementation of the recommendations. From 2001 through 2004, Gil also served on the Chief of Police’s Latino Advisory Committee.
In 2003, Gil was appointed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America’s National Board of Directors. In this role, Gil was responsible for overseeing the performance of every Make-A-Wish chapter in the country.
In 2005, Gil was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to the San Diego Ethics Commission, which monitors and enforces the City’s campaign finance and ethics laws and proposes new governmental ethics law reforms. Between 2007 and 2009, Gil served as the Ethics Commission’s Chairman. During his tenure, the Ethics Commission recommended, and the City Council passed, a complete overhaul of the City’s Lobbying Ordinance, which created greater transparency of lobbying activities in San Diego.
In 2009, Gil was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative Committee, co-chairing the panel in 2012 and 2013. He is an alumni of the Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court. And has been a active member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego since beginning his practice. Between 2013 and 2015, Gil served as a member of the San Diego Taxpayers Association Board of Directors.
In February 2012, Gil was appointed to the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Board of Directors. He presently serves as the Center’s Secretary and on the Executive Committee.
Most recently, in February 2014, Gil was appointed by Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and the San Diego City Council to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation’s Board of Directors, which oversees the operations of the San Diego Convention Center. Gil presently serves as Chair of the Board’s Budget Committee overseeing the Convention Center’s $33 million budget.
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