Los Angeles’s newest City Councilman Bill Rosendahl is off to a fast start — scheduling open houses at his field offices, introducing his staff members to the residents of the 11th District, and staking out positions on issues.
Rosendahl took office July 1 at ceremonies at Venice Beach. The first open house was held yesterday at his West Los Angeles field office at 645 Corinth Avenue. The second open house will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. next Thursday, July 28, at his Westchester Field Office, 7166 West Manchester Avenue.
Drawn heavily from the District, Rosendahl’s 20-member staff includes City Hall veterans, community activists, business people, retired city employees, and a former LAPD officer, and ranges in age from 25 to 77.
“I am happy that my staff is as diverse, creative and as energetic as my constituency,” Rosendahl said. “They will set a new standard for constituent service and for moving our neighborhoods in a positive direction. They each understand my mantra: People come first.”
Rosendahl also announced an office ethics policy that is stricter than city guidelines. It forbids the receipt of all gifts and meals from lobbyists, city contractors, and constituents. City policy permits limited meals and certain gifts, as long as elected officials and their employees make proper declarations with the City Ethics Commission.
He also applauded a court decision blocking further demolitions at Lincoln Place (see related story, page 1), saying it buoyed his efforts to preserve it.
“I have an amazing staff of talented, energetic and brilliant people,” Rosendahl said. “I want them to be above reproach and this policy will insure that there is not even the appearance of impropriety.”
The Councilman’s chief of staff is Mike Bonin. A Venice resident, Bonin managed Rosendahl’s campaign. He has served as deputy chief of staff and district director for U.S. Rep Jane Harman, and worked for seven years for former Venice Councilwoman Ruth Galanter.
His executive assistant is Margaret Hasheminejad, who has worked with him since 1995. When he did public affairs programming for cable TV, she was his producer, and served as his chief executive assistant as well.
District director and senior counsel is attorney Norman Kulla, chair emeritus of the Pacific Palisades Community Council.
Rosendahl’s legislative and communications deputy is Safiya Jones, a Westchester resident who was field deputy and senior advisor to former 11th District candidate Angela Reddock.
Staff planning deputy is Grieg Asher, a former Mar Vista resident, who held a similar post in Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s office.
Legislative deputies are Phil Tate, an attorney who heads a Brentwood homeowners association, and Stephanie Zarro, a former aide to both State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and Congresswoman Jane Harman.
Deputy chief of staff Aaron Gross has worked in various capacities for former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, former Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski, and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.
Office manager, City Hall, is Nikki Kelley, who has worked for Miscikowski and for Councilman Nate Holden.
A resident of Playa del Rey, John Crosse is Rosendahl’s environmental deputy. He retired from the City of Los Angeles as Executive Assistant Director of the Bureau of Sanitation where he oversaw the operation and maintenance of the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plants and the Wastewater and Stormwater Collection Systems. From 1990 to 1998, he was Plant Manager of the Hyperion Treatment Plant during its $1.6 billion expansion to full-secondary treatment.
Field deputy for Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Andrea Epstein is a resident of Brentwood, and has worked for several elected officials.
Field deputy for West LA, Mar Vista and Palms, Len Nguyen is a resident of Palms, was an organizer of the Palms Neighborhood Council and served as its president from 2002 to 2005. For seven years, he was an Equity Associate and Senior Consulting Analyst with Wilshire Associates, a Santa Monica-based investment firm.
Field deputy for Westchester, Playa del Rey and Del Rey is Kathryn Frengs, a resident of Del Rey, who had an White House internship and has worked for Harman.
Field deputy for Venice and Marina del Rey is Brodie Seagrave, a resident of Venice who worked as a patrol officer for the Los Angeles Police Department from 1996 to-2001. An advocate for homeless people, she was recently awarded a master’s degree in conflict resolution.
Rosendahl’s arts, education and culture deputy is Laurie Sale, a resident of Pacific Palisades and a recognized leader and innovator in creating community and out-reach resources for parents, kids and teachers.
Constituent advocate is Jim Horwitz, a resident of West LA and dean of the staff at 77. He’s a Korean War veteran, a UCLA graduate, and a community and political activist, who was an associate of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) and is a former member of KPFK’s advisory board.
West LA office manager Mary Misono is a legend in city government as she has worked for the 11th District since 1959.
Special projects deputy is Mark Antonio Grant, Mar Vista, who recently worked as community liaison for the Rita Walters Learning Complex in South Los Angeles. He has produced television for LAUSD, and served as a special projects coordinator for former Superintendent Dr. Ruben Zacarias.
Westchester office manager Laurel Gallant has held administrative positions with several Council members.
Constituent advocate Reza Akef is a resident of the Palisades and a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara.For more information, please go to: www.councilmanrosendahl.com.