Politics

June 2008 – Good Bill, Bad Bill

Good Bill – 

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl Applauds Same-Sex Marriage Decision

I am elated and moved beyond words by the news that the California Supreme Court has struck down the ban on same-sex marriage. Like my sisters and brothers in the LGBT community, I am thrilled, proud and excited by the court’s just and wise decision affirming our basic civil rights.

As a teenager living in the closet, or as gay man watching my friends die from the scourge of AIDS, I never thought I would see the day when our rights would be fully recognized. This is an important and historic day. I am proud to be a Californian, and proud to be a gay man.

I applaud the legion of activists, lawyers, and elected officials who have made this day possible. There have been tens of thousands of quiet, invisible soldiers who have applied remarkable talent, incredible heart, and tireless commitment to this issue for more than a generation. We are part of a community rich with heroes.

I also applaud and thank our allies, of all political parties and sexual orientations, who helped make this day possible. Just as we shared our struggle for civil rights with them, we share our moment of celebration.

Together, we will make sure that this decision is not overturned at the ballot box. And together, we will work to make sure that someday soon our equal rights are recognized by the federal government. 

–Bill Rosendahl

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Bad Bill –

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl Calls RVs “Blight” on our community

Dear Neighbor-   

Thanks so much for your email regarding City government efforts to prevent people from living in their vehicles on city streets. Many of you have asked about my position on an ordinance banning the overnight parking of oversized vehicles, such as campers and RVs, on certain City streets.  I voted in favor of the ordinance in 2006.  I supported it then, and I continue to support it now. I believe strongly that you, me and our neighbors deserve a quality of life that includes clean and safe neighborhoods. Oversized vehicles and people living in cars on our residential streets imposes blight upon our community.  That problem must be stopped. 

Currently, the City’s Department of Transportation is implementing a pilot program enforcing this ordinance in two neighborhoods in San Pedro and Brentwood.  As soon as these pilot programs are completed (in about a month), DOT will evaluate how well the program worked and was enforced, and report to the Transportation Committee.  At that time, I plan to ask DOT to begin implementing the ordinance in Venice.  I am confident that LAPD will effectively enforce these new rules. 

Many of you are also asking about the status of requests for more comprehensive Overnight Parking Districts.  At my request and with funding I have secured, the City’s Bureau of Engineering is working on issuing the permits for those parking districts, which would allow parking by permit only from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. in certain areas.  The OPDs are being fast-tracked and should be in place by late August, unless they are appealed to the California Coastal Commission. 

While I am moving forward with these restrictions, I want to underscore that I am determined that we not criminalize homelessness and punish those who live on the margins and in the shadows of society.  I continue to seek alternative locations — in Venice, in other areas of the 11th District, and other parts of the City of Los Angeles — where people who are forced to live in their vehicles are allowed to park.  I am encouraged by the leadership and vision of the Homeless Task Force of the Venice Neighborhood Council, and I look forward to reviewing the VNC’s recommendations. 

This is a difficult and wrenching issue for many people, in and out of government, who genuinely struggle with the sometime competing interests of protecting our neighborhoods and preserving the social safety net.  I encourage each side of this difficult issue to appreciate the concerns and needs of the other side, so that we can work together as a community to address this controversy. 

Regards, 

–Bill Rosendahl

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