City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said today he will not seek re-election in March in order to focus on his battle with a severe form of cancer that doctors initially said could take his life in a short period of time.
Rosendahl, 67, will make a formal announcement to his constituents and supporters in a letter that will go out later tonight.
"I need more time to work on the cancer," Rosendahl said. "I will tell the council I love them, but I'm going to focus on myself."
Rosendahl plans to throw his support behind his chief of staff, Mike Bonin, to become the next councilman for the Westside district, which includes Marina del Rey, Los Angeles International Airport, Venice, Palms and Pacific Palisades. Rosendahl called Bonin "ethical and honest" and a "first-class guy" who "knows more about government than anyone down there (at City Hall)."
Rosendahl said he also plans to endorse a candidate for mayor by the end of the week.
Rosendahl said he plans to stay involved in progressive politics, including gay rights issues and affordable housing.
Rosendahl, a medical marijuana user, has been battling a stage four cancer that started in the ureter, the tube connecting the bladder and the kidney. The condition caused tumors to grow in two places on his spine that prevented him from walking.
"On the 20th of July, I had an MRI that was very, very serious, and the bottom line on that was, they didn't give me much time to live. And I said no, no, no, no. I'm not ready to go. I certainly want to live a long time," Rosendahl said last week during a City Council hearing on medical marijuana.
"If I can't get marijuana and it's medically prescribed, what do I do? What do all the people who have health issues and have been relying on it?"
After 13 radiation treatments and several rounds of chemotherapy, Rosendahl said he was expecting a new diagnosis of the cancer from his doctor tonight.
Reached on Monday night, District 11 City Council candidate Odysseus Bostick said Rosendahl will forever be remembered.
"I hope he has a speedy recovery and I'm grateful for his service," Bostick said. "He always led with his heart and we always knew his desire was to serve the people."
Mark Sleeper Healing thoughts to you (and to all) Bill!
Marcia Hanscom Bill Rosendahl is one of the best elected officials I've ever known. He has given me the gift of knowing that true representative democracy is possible. I wish him to recover his health and pray for strength for him in this time of challenge. I send great gratitude and LOVE to Bill Rosendahl who has championed nature and the Ballona Wetlands more than any elected official in the history of the City of LA.