Recently retired 11th District City Councilman Bill Rosendahl was honored Sunday by local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for championing "the homeless, the veteran and the seniors."
Rosendahl received the first annual “Community Values Award,” a small statue of two cupped hands, presented by local ecclesiastical leader, Santa Monica Stake President Levi Heath.
"Who among us is not proud to endorse, commemorate and celebrate the service given to so many who were without an advocate?” said Heath during the award presentation.
During his acceptance speech, Rosendahl talked about his motivation for helping others. “Ethiopia was the first real starvation I had ever seen. People were dying because they couldn’t eat. I walked around and there were hundreds of kids, so I gave them money and everything I had on me.
"From that day on, every time I eat anything, I thank God I am privileged enough to be able to eat. To live on a planet right now in 2013 where there are people starving to death is totally unacceptable,” he said.
During his remarks Rosendahl said, “The messages are the same: love yourself, love your neighbor as yourself, and don’t judge. That is our religion right here. It’s about love. I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Buddhist, a Jew, a Christian, an atheist—we’re all connected.”
The Santa Monica Stake consists of eight congregations of the Latter-day Saints Church, numbering approximately 3,000 members spanning Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Mar Vista, Palms and Culver City.
Rosendahl, a former cable TV executive, served the 11th District from 2005-2013, when he retired due to health concerns.
Highlights of his accomplishments while in office included: hiring 700 additional police officers to help protect the community; cutting taxes for small businesses; pushing green building ordinances and recycling programs; improving local parks, farmers markets, and roads; securing a substantial grant to the Mar Vista Family Center, according to a press release.