In an email to his constituents last night, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced he won’t seek a third term in office, and has instead endorsed his Chief of Staff, Mike Bonin, to run for Council District 11 in the March 2013 election.
Rosendahl has been battling cancer, although he did not cite that as the reason he has decided to withdraw from the race in his email, which is reprinted below.
Bonin, who announced his candidacy today, said that it had been an honor to work with Rosendahl over the years, and that, “I am determined to continue Bill’s tradition of community empowerment and creative problem-solving.”
Here is the text of Rosendahl’s email:
As most of you have heard, a few months back I received the difficult news that I have cancer. It was a shock but, like every challenge I have faced during my lifetime, I decided to meet it head on. Right now, I’m receiving treatment and I’m determined to beat this thing and join the ranks of millions of other cancer survivors!
What I discovered in the days that followed my diagnosis is the reassuring fact that I’m not fighting this health crisis alone. Thousands of you have showered me with well wishes, prayers, phone calls, letters, visits, emails, Facebook posts, and more. I feel the love and support in every message that comes my way. Those loving wishes have meant the world to me, and have given me strength.
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 LAX, creating 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.
On every issue that is important to this district, Mike has been a leader. On police hiring, modernizing LAX, and building mass transit, Mike was there. When it came to improving our parks, balancing the budget, and housing the homeless, Mike was there. Mike Bonin has the heart, the smarts, and the guts to be the voice of this district on the City Council.
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.
Please know that I don’t plan to fade away. On the contrary, once I have beaten this cancer I plan to return to public affairs broadcasting on television or radio. I want to create a space for honest and open dialogue on the important issues facing our city, our state, and our country; a space where people can finish their sentences, share their thoughts, and contribute in a positive way to the public discourse.
I am eternally thankful for the trust you have given me in electing me to represent you on issues that directly impact your lives, and the lives of your loved ones. I look forward to serving you and the public for many more years to come.
Councilmember, 11th District
Here is the text of Bonin’s email announcement:
Dear Friend –
This morning, I took the first steps of a great new adventure, and I’d like you to join me: I am running to succeed my friend Bill Rosendahl as the representative of the 11th District on the Los Angeles City Council.
This district is an area of unparalleled talent, vision, and resources. Working together, we can harness that energy and spirit to grow our economy, green our environment, keep our streets safe and clean, and make Los Angeles a city of vital neighborhoods.
Yes, times are tough and budgets are tight, but I have an abundant optimism about Los Angeles, and I know we can make our city government as smart, creative, and forward-thinking as its people.
My optimism is so strong because I have spent the past 8 years at the side of Bill Rosendahl, the most joyously, relentlessly, and abundantly positive person I have ever met. He has taught me that with vision and hard work, all things are possible.
Bill is my friend and mentor. Today, he announced he will not seek re-election in order to focus on his battle against cancer – a battle I know he will win. I have promised him that I will carry on his tradition of community empowerment and continue his fight for our neighborhoods and for positive change for Los Angeles.
I have been advocating for the Westside for nearly two decades. Before partnering with Bill, I fought for this district with Congresswoman Jane Harman and City Councilmember Ruth Galanter. I know these neighborhoods, and I have the experience and knowledge to deliver for them.
In the coming weeks, I will begin to outline a vision and a program for this district and for Los Angeles. You can find out more, sign up for campaign updates, endorse, and donate at my website, mikebonin.com.
Thank you for your support.
Paid for by Mike Bonin for City Council 2013
777 S. Figueroa Street, Ste. 4050
Los Angeles, CA 90017