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When it comes to illness, LA's elected officials take different paths to disclosure (updated)

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

Andres Aguila/KPCC

When it comes to disclosing medical issues, some Los Angeles city politicians wait weeks or months. Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced his cancer diagnosis within a week of hearing the news.

Within a week of finding out he had cancer, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl used his blog to tell constituents and reporters about the diagnosis. 

The gregarious councilman described how he discovered what he thought was a back injury was, in fact, cancer in his pelvic region. Rosendahl detailed his pain and announced that he was starting medical treatment.

That level of disclosure, which was immediate and open, is not always the case when a public figure has a personal medical issue. With no clear guide regarding disclosure, it is often up to the individual politician to determine when and what to share. 

In April of 2007, then-city Controller Laura Chick discovered she had breast cancer. She underwent surgery four months later, but it wasn’t until January of the following year that she acknowledged her condition. The decision not to share that information was reflective of Chick’s personality, she said. 


LA Councilman Bill Rosendahl diagnosed with cancer (updated)

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl

courtesy CD 11.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl revealed today he has been diagnosed with cancer and will begin treatments immediately.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced today he is being treated for a cancer diagnosis. 

The Eleventh District councilman had been missing council meetings due to what his office said was a back injury that followed months of nagging pain. In a letter to his constituents, Rosendahl revealed that the back pain turned out to be cancer. 

“The cancer is in my pelvic area and is pinching some of my nerves, causing a lot of pain and discomfort, which has kept me away from City Hall for the past week," Rosendahl wrote in his letter. "The doctors are confident they can get the pain under control so I can return to work while I undergo treatment.” 

The cancer is described as slow-moving, and has not spread to any vital organs. Rosendahl began medical treatments today.

“I am going to beat this cancer and return to work soon,” he said.


LA City Council supports ban on therapies to "convert" gay minors

warsaw waving a rainbow flag

Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images

The Los Angeles City Council celebrated LGBT Heritage Month by endorsing a state bill to ban therapies that "convert" homosexual minors to heterosexuals.

A state bill that would ban therapies that seek to "convert" minors from homosexual to heterosexual was unanimously endorsed today by the Los Angeles City Council.. 

The vote came as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city leaders celebrated the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. 

State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-El Segundo, introduced SB 1172 to prevent psychotherapists from performing “sexual orientation change efforts” on anyone under the age of 18.

“This doesn’t work. It’s not just that parents are wasting their money on therapists who are engaging in what is really junk science, it’s also dangerous,” Lieu told the city council. “The American Psychiatric Association has said this poses great dangers, can lead to self-hatred, depression, in some cases suicide.”