Friday, October 12, 2012

Celebrity Friday: Bill Rosendahl, L.A. Councilmember

Some sad news this week when Los Angeles's only openly gay City Councilmember announced that he would not seek re-election in March 2013 in order to focus on his ongoing fight with cancer. Bill Rosendahl was well-known as a host of a local public-access community affairs show on cable in the 1990s when he came out of the closet and ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 2005 and won. He became the first person to run and win as an openly gay person in the history of the Los Angeles City Council. Jackie Goldberg had been an openly gay member of the L.A. City Council before Rosendahl (serving in the 13th district that includes Eagle Rock and Occidental College) but she came out after she was elected.

Rosendahl publicized his decision not to run in a blog post:
When I took my oath of office on July 1st, 2005, I gave you my heartfelt commitment that I would fight the good fights with you. Together, we made Los Angeles stronger and our communities safer by putting people first. We jump-started modernization at LAXcreating thousands of jobs for our city, while protecting local residents from excessive airport impacts. We laid the groundwork for a 21stCentury public transit system that will end historic LA gridlock by getting us out of our cars and reconnected to our neighbors in other parts of the city. We funded and built permanent supportive housing and moved more than 100 people from streets to homes. That’s real progress!
There is no question that we still face plenty of big issues, but we are doing better by thinking outside of the box and coming up with new approaches to tackle difficult problems. I promise you that I won’t stop getting things accomplished for you, for our neighborhoods, and for our city as long as I remain in office.
It is because of these accomplishments and the promise of many more to be realized that I have decided not to seek a third term as your councilman.
When I first ran for office my goal was to rebuild our local democracy by putting the PEOPLE back at the forefront of local government, and raising the voices of community residents above the big bucks of lobbyists and special interests. 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.
While this style of leadership isn’t nearly as common as it should be, I know that I share it with my dear friend and top adviser – Mike Bonin. Mike has served as my chief deputy from the day I took office. He has been a loyal public servant to the residents and businesses in CD 11 for over 16 years. That is why I’m endorsing Mike Bonin as Council District 11’s next Los Angeles City Councilmember.
I have known Mike Bonin for years in Los Angeles and I'm sure that he will make an excellent Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 11th Council District, which covers large swaths of the Westside of Los Angeles.

But for today I want to call attention to the public service of Bill Rosendahl. He is today's subject of Celebrity Friday.

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