Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

City councilman Bill Rosendahl, left, and actor Dick Van Dyke share a light moment after Councilwoman Jan Perry honored Van Dyke and his wife, Arlene, at the City Council meeting on Feb. 26.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl tours the premises of Herbalcure, a medicinal marijuana collective, in Los Angeles in February. Rosendahl is a supporter of medicinal marijuana and uses it as part of his cancer treatment.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Bill Rosendahl speaks in April at a news conference on Proposition D, a medical marijuana measure that passed in May, as fellow supporters and fellow patients listen outside City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee member Bill Rosendahl watches a video monitor during at Los Angeles City Hall in April.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Bill Rosendahl, right, listens as Venice street performer Jingles, left, sings at the councilman's home in Mar Vista during a party marking the so-called Mayan apocalypse in December.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, at left, speaks in April during a news conference in front of City Hall in support of Proposition D, a medical marijuana measure that passed the following month, as fellow supporters and patients including C.J. Yektazarian, 22, right, listen.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Councilman Bill Rosendahl makes his way up the steps of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles in April with the help of his field deputy, Len Nguyen.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Councilman Bill Rosendahl greets Sherrie Wilkie after a news conference in support of Proposition D, which was approved by voters in May. Rosendahl and Wilkie use medical marijuana for their conditions.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl attends a council meeting in May.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, center, is greeted by Gary Carver, right, a fellow medical marijuana patient, after an April news conference on Proposition D.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine, left, watches as Bill Rosendahl gives eggs from his chickens to Los Angeles Fire Commission President Genethia Hudley-Hayes at City Hall in May.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl enjoys an organic meal while listening to Venice street performer Jingles sing at his home in Mar Vista during a party in December.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl attends a budget meeting at City Hall in December.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl heads to his office after a council meeting at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles in December.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Christina House / For the Times

Los Angeles City Council member Bill Rosendahl wipes his face after making an emotional plea in October 2012 for his colleagues to lift the ban on pot dispensaries.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl: a life of contrasts

Behind his house, out back where the hens cluck, a statue of St. Jude stands amid the flowers. It was a 50th birthday gift to Bill Rosendahl from a friend who said he reminded her of the Christian apostle known as the patron saint of lost causes.

For decades, Rosendahl has opened his doors to people who need help. In the 1970s, he let a group of homeless teenagers stay in his Venice Beach apartment, including a young couple who camped in his walk-in closet. Seventeen years ago, he took in an aging street performer, Swami X, who now receives hospice care under Rosendahl’s watch.

They’re a part of the sprawling bohemian universe that Rosendahl has shaped far away from the buttoned-up world of Los Angeles City Hall, where he has served on the City Council since 2005. He steps down June 30 after two terms representing a wealthy Westside district that stretches from Westchester to Pacific Palisades.

One friend affectionately describes his Mar Vista home as a commune. Another calls it a three-ring circus.

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