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Rosendahl Will Not Seek Re-Election to L.A. City Council

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl has announced that he won’t seek re-election next year in order to focus on his fight against cancer.

Rosendahl, 67, has been representing Council District 11, which includes Venice, since his election in 2005.

In an email titled “Passing the Baton” that was sent to constituents Monday night, Rosendahl said that he was endorsing his longtime chief deputy, Mike Bonin, for his City Council position.

Rosendahl announced in August that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his pelvic region and vowed to return and seek a third term. He underwent chemotherapy and missed work, but returned last week to lead the council’s repeal of a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries. Rosendahl during a debate on the issue told the council how he used medical marijuana to alleviate nerve pain.

Rosendahl’s signature issues while in office include endorsement of modernization at Los Angeles International Airport over expansion, working on public transit improvement in the city and funding and building permanent supportive housing for more than 100 homeless people.

“With Mike ready to fill my shoes, I can step aside with confidence, knowing the issues we have worked on and the vision that we share in rebuilding our local democracy will move forward without interruption, without hesitation, and with a genuine appreciation for the needs of this district and it’s amazing constituency,” Rosendahl said in his message to constituents.

Rosendahl was a longtime fixture on cable television public affairs shows such as “Week in Review,” “God Squad” and “Mideast Perspective” before running for public office. He said in his message that he┬ádid not plan to fade way and will return to public affairs broadcasting on television or radio after he beats cancer.

Rosendahl is the first openly gay man to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council and is the city’s highest ranking gay official.

The filing period for candidates to declare their candidacy for open seats on the City Council starts Nov. 5.
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