Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bill Rosendahl tells LA City Council he'll finish term and keep fighting

Bill Rosendahl - 1

Anibal Ortiz / KPCC

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl donned his veteran's cap as he told colleagues he will retire at the end of his term in June to focus on his continuing battle with cancer.

It wasn’t quite his swan song, but Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl took to the council floor Tuesday to make it official: he won't run for a third term as had been planned. Rosendahl's wide-ranging speech concluded with an endorsement of his chief of staff as his successor.

The decision was made just in the past few days, though there had been ongoing discussions since Rosendahl’s cancer diagnosis at the end of July, according to Mike Bonin, who will run for his boss’ seat next spring. When he learned of the cancer, doctors told Rosendahl the disease was already in stage four. The councilman believes the cancer may have gone undetected for more than a year.

“I’ve never given up on hope," Rosendahl said. "I always believe that if you can go forward in a positive spirit, you might, with the Lord’s help, make a difference with your soul and with yourself.” 

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LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl decides against run for re-election (updated)

Betsy Annas/City of LA.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (second from the left) will not run for a third term of office. The Westside councilman is undergoing cancer treatment.

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl will not run for a third term of office. The decision comes as the Westside representative is battling cancer.

The 67-year-old councilman had pledged to run next Spring for a third term of office, but after undergoing more than 13 radiation treatments and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, Rosendahl has decided he must remain focused on his health.

He explained his decision in an e-mail to constituents.

“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,” he said in his email. “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.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa released a statement that said: "I was saddened to learn that Bill Rosendahl will not seek re-election. He is the Conscience of the Council, and City Hall will miss his energy and dynamism. I wish Bill a full recovery and good health."

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