Mayor Villaraigosa scooped the local media with a statement on the passing of former councilman and congressman Edward Roybal. He was 89 and is the father of Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.
MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA'S STATEMENT ON
THE PASSING OF THE HONORABLE EDWARD R. ROYBAL
I am deeply saddened by the passing of my good friend and a true American leader, the Honorable Edward Roybal. Edward Roybal fought for what was right, just and true. A champion for civil rights and social justice like him does not come around every day.
After bravely serving in the United States Army during World War II, Mr. Roybal returned to Los Angeles to engage in the civic and political life of his city. In 1947, Edward Roybal helped found the Community Services Organization which began one of the most dramatic grassroots movements in the history of Los Angeles. Under his leadership as president, Edward Roybal created the first broad-based organization within the Mexican American community. And in 1949, Edward Roybal became the first Latino in modern times to serve as a Los Angeles City Councilman.
A trailblazer his entire life, he became the first Latino from California to be elected to Congress in the 20th Century. From leading the fight to provide bilingual proceedings in courts, to helping outlaw age discrimination, Congressman Roybal always served as a voice for the underserved. Time and again he stood up and spoke out on behalf of those whose voices weren't heard. He leaves a legacy of leadership and justice that is unmatched.
Edward Roybal served as a symbol of Latino hopes and dreams. He represented a community active in civic life who wanted nothing less than what all Americans strive for - a good job, safe neighborhoods, quality schools and a place to call home.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Congressman Roybal's family in this solemn hour.
The mayor ordered that all flags at City of Los Angeles buildings be flown at half-staff from today, October 25, 2005 until the memorial services. * Media kicks in: Channel 2's website reports that Roybal died Monday night. Channel 4 too. At 3:14 pm LATimes.com posted a canned obit under the byline of George Ramos. He's called "Times staff writer" even though he left the staff in 2003 to become chairman of the journalism department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Worth mention: In today's La Opinión, Agustín Durán had a front-pager on Roybal being gravely ill in the hospital.
Also: Lots of obituaries all of a sudden. I want to also note the passing of Robert H. Timme, Dean of the USC School of Architecture. He was 60.