Westside residents found out this week of Councilmember Bill Rosendahl's decision to not pursue a third term in office and focus on his health and battle with cancer.
"I sought to empower neighborhoods by returning control over local decisions. For seven and a half years, that philosophy has been the cornerstone of how I approach my responsibility as your councilman." - Bill Rosendahl, in a letter to his constituents earlier this week explaining his situation and how he arrived at his decision.
He also endorsed his Chief of Staff Mike Bonin to be his successor. Bonin announced his candidancy shortly thereafter.
Council District 11 has responded in a big way to Rosendahl, who will serve out his term through June 30, 2013. Here's the feedback Rosendahl supporters submitted to Patch:
Mar Vista Farmers' Market has been so lucky to have Bill as a regular visitor and supporter. He has raised our expectations for what to expect from our Councilman. He is warm and human while being all business. We will miss Bill tremendously but want him to use all of his energy to recover from his illness. We are pleased by his endorsement of Mike Bonnin who has been very helpful and knowledgeable in our work with him and whom we will support in the upcoming election.
Mar Vista Farmers' Market
We, at Sustainable Works, are very sad to hear that Bill Rosendahl is not seeking reelection as his environmental stewardship as a Los Angeles City Council member, representing Council District 11, has been crucial to Los Angeles. He has also been one of Sustainable Works' greatest supporters. Don't go Bill!
Bill is a true champion of the neighborhood council system. He's helped make NCs trusted and relevant on the westside. We can't thank him enough for that and we will support his brave fight in any way he needs.
President of the Del Rey Neighborhood Council
Bill Rosendahl has been a supportive partner of the Venice Neighborhood Council. He understands and respects our role as a bellweather of community sentiment. Where other Council members see neighborhood councils as a threat, Councilman Rosendahl embraces the move towards grassroots democracy. On a personal note, I am saddened that Bill has chosen not to run as he thrives on being a champion for his constituents. But, the most important thing now is for him to focus on taking good care of himself.
President of the Venice Neighborhood Council
As the Chair of the BCC, Bill Rosendahl has been my friend. We don't always agree, but we have been able to focus on many situations that have made life better in Brentwood. His sincerity is genuine, his soft spot in his heart is big and although everything he involved himself with in Brentwood wasn't always popular, he acted in a way he felt was fair. I have had a great time with Bill and hope he will beat cancer and find a niche where his effervescent personality can once again bring entertainment to issues important to him. I love working with Bill, he is a unique human being, I am fortunate to have crossed his path, and wish for his full recovery and full life.
Chairwoman of the Brentwood Community Council
Bill's strong support of social justice and environmental issues will be missed. He was the conscience of the 11th district. However, I am glad he is making the wise choice and putting his health first t this time. I am sure Mike Bonin shares Bill's passion and will do us proud.
Mar Vista Green Committee
He wielded himself to not only his office but continue his race. In consideration of his constituents, he felt that he wanted to be there for them. He wanted to protect them. That was really the goal. He was like a parent to his contituents. He felt that he should and could not give up on them. However, as a good parent probably would, he realized his strength was not sufficient at least for a period of time to follow through [with] the expectaitons that he had of himself. He had the greatness to say, "It’s better for every one. I'm stepping back and handing the reins to Mike Bonin. With Mike, I'm convinced he will carry forward the values that Bill Rosendahl so much cherishes and supported, and I believe that Mike is commited to that and able to do that. No one will be like Bill. Mike will have to find his own signature and his own style to carry forward his job to the constituents. I firmly believe he will be able to fulfill that.
I don’t know where to begin to express my respect, admiration and affection for Bill Rosendahl. I had not worked with civic leaders prior to my involvement with the Mar Vista Community Council. Bill set the bar for me – I don’t think I fully appreciated at first how unique it is to have a Councilmember – or any civic leader – who is so accessible and responsive. As Mar Vista worked to promote sustainability in Los Angeles, Bill Rosendahl began as our cheerleader and then stepped up to become our partner. When we launched the Green Garden Showcase, Bill made sure that the entire city heard about it. His enthusiasm drove the meteoric growth of our sustainable garden tour. Recognizing our community’s passion for sustainability, he made sure that every city department knew that Mar Vista was where they wanted to pilot new programs. He stepped up and supported us as we worked to get LA off coal, to ban plastic bags, to implement solar feed in tariffs, legalize urban beekeeping and our continued efforts to ban fracking, eliminate Styrofoam and label GMO’s. Bill will ask us the hard questions and helps us shape an approach that works. And when he saw the difference that the Sustainable Works Green Living Workshops made to Mar Vista, he got them an LADWP grant to pilot the program in Los Angeles. Bill has never been more than a phone call, text or email away. His door is always open and he is always there to collaborate. Bill has the biggest heart of anyone I know and watching him fight for those needing housing and shelter has been an inspiration. Bill has built a legacy on the Westside and nothing would be sadder than seeing that cast aside. Of the many things I am grateful for, near the top is that he has been a mentor to Mike Bonin and that Mike is there to ‘take the baton’ and continue that legacy. I am grateful that over the course of five years Bill also became a friend – although I am surely one of thousands enjoying this privilege!
Mar Vista Green Committee
On a personal level, I acknowledge the seriousness of what he’s going through. My thoughts and prayers are with him.
President of the Pacific Palisades Community Council
This is very sad news. Bill is a neighbor and a friend and I wish him a quick recovery. And, I am looking forward to seeing him in action broadcasting--with no holds barred!
Mar Vista Community Council Chair
I was deeply saddened to learn of Bill's battle with cancer and I wish him nothing but the best. His decision not to run for a third term is the right thing for him at this time. He's been a fantastic representative for Mar Vista over the years and it's been a privilege to know him.
Bill has always made decisions from his heart, thinking about the best for the district that he so profoundly cares about.
Mar Vista Community Council
On one hand, I think Bill is making the right decision, to take care of himself and rest and get his health back. Campaigning and serving in office at the same time is a challenge for any healthy person and really impossible for anyone whose health is compromised. I wish him a full recovery. On the other, I'm disappointed that he is endorsing Mike. Through all the issues we have fought over in Venice, Bill frequently told me that he had to keep his support for the VSA's positions secret from his own chief deputy because Mike always takes the side of the homeless advocates and RV dwellers over the concerns of residents. I appreciate where Mike's heart is, but he should go sign on with United Way and leave City administration to those who care about the people that pay city employee salaries - the residents.
President of the Venice Stakeholder’s Association
I hope he has a speedy recovery and I'm grateful for his service. He always led with his heart and we always knew his desire was to serve the people.
And here are some comments from social media and previous posts:
Marcia Hanscom Bill Rosendahl is one of the best elected officials I've ever known. He has given me the gift of knowing that true representative democracy is possible. I wish him to recover his health and pray for strength for him in this time of challenge. I send great gratitude and LOVE to Bill Rosendahl who has championed nature and the Ballona Wetlands more than any elected official in the history of the City of LA.
Annie Siegmann Dear Bill, My first meeting with you was at the memorial for our fallen fire fighter. You embraces me and thanked me and Rusty, my blind therapy Cocker Spaniel, for coming and supporting our own. On every occasion that I have had the pleasure to see you and say hello, there was that amazing smile, warmest heart and commitment to all of us and this City of Angels. Bill, you are my Angel of This City. Because of your commitment to Always fight the good fight for all of us. Now you are in the biggest fight of all. Know this. Your Light is Your Healing Energy!!! Keep The Light Going!!!!! Annie Siegmann, PDR
Jimmy Hoffa When they made Bill they broke the mold. Never going to vote for Mike Bonehead.
Jonathan Friedman That's too bad. Good luck to Bill on his cancer fight.
Mark Sleeper Healing thoughts to you (and to all) Bill!
Laurel Ray We need more like you, Bill. You are, and always have been, an inspiration. All our love...