Skip to content

Comments from legislators on the passing of Mervyn M. Dymally


Congresswoman Maxine Waters:
“The people of California and this entire country have lost a good and faithful servant with the passing of Mervyn Dymally. The former lieutenant governor, state legislator and congressman dedicated his life to public service and advocating for social justice in the state of California, the nation and internationally.

In the House of Representatives, he was a true leader and was always willing to share a word of wisdom. Dymally was devoted to helping others, particularly his consistent work on human rights in Africa and the Caribbean.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Alice, and the entire Dymally family at this time. He was a dear colleague and friend, and will be sorely missed.”

Congressman Howard Berman:
“Mervyn Dymally was a trailblazer, a community leader who became a national change agent. Our society is stronger, more just and equitable because Mervyn led us forward in that fight. It was always a learning experience watching Mervyn as he rallied for social justice, both in Congress and in state government. Mervyn’s insights will be forever missed and at this time of sorrow and celebration, his family should be comforted with the knowledge that Mervyn made a meaningful and impactful influence on all of us and leaves behind a proud legacy.”

Congresswoman Janice Hahn:
“Mervyn Dymally was an icon, a legend, and one of the most loved and revered leaders in all of California. He was a fierce advocate for his constituents as a state legislator, member of Congress, and as California’s 41st lieutenant governor. He was a man of strong principles and values. We will always be grateful for his leadership in the building of MLK Hospital in Watts. He’s always been a mentor and a friend. Mervyn will surely be missed.”

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris:
“I am tremendously saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, former Congressman and Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally. Representative Dymally was a true role model for generations of Californians, not least because of his barrier-breaking legacy as one of the first persons of color to serve at the state and federal levels of our great nation. His lifelong commitment to justice during his time in Congress, the state Legislature and the lieutenant governorship of California will continue to inspire us as we work to further the vision of equality that he championed for more than five decades. My prayers are with his wife, Alice, daughter Lynn and son Mark during this difficult time.”

Chair, California Board of Equalization, Jerome E. Horton:
“It is with great sadness that I reflect upon the passing of a dear friend, a true pioneer in California politics, and an undeniable icon among California’s most esteemed history makers. Merv’s record of statewide, elected accomplishments is among the most distinguished in our history.  From his first political assignment as a campaign organizer for President John F. Kennedy, to the progressively more responsible elected positions he garnered in California political contests, Merv, stands alone. My deepest condolences are extended to his devoted wife that he leaves to savor his memory and his children and grandchildren, who will be able to cherish all that he has done for the state of California for a lifetime.”

State Senator Curren Price:
“African Americans and all Californians have lost a powerful champion with the death of the legendary Mervyn M. Dymally. As chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, I know I speak for all African American legislators, who have walked through the doors opened by this trailblazing public servant and pioneering legislator.
Mr. Dymally, a former Lt. Governor and state Senator and Assemblyman, dedicated his entire life advocating for those most in need. He became a voice for the voiceless before the phrase became a cliché.  .”

He was brilliant, courageous and tenacious, his impeccable Trinidadian eloquence serving him well in speeches as well as in tense negotiations. During more than six decades of public service, Mr. Dymally exhibited an unequalled commitment to his community. Well in to his eighth decade of life, he still spent long days and nights working to ensure access to health care and education for the poor in our cities. There will never be another Mervyn Dymally. And all of us who dare to follow in his huge footsteps will do well to remember his integrity as a fearless leader and the true passion he had for serving his community.

Los Angeles City Council member Eric Garcetti:
“Lt. Governor Dymally was a pioneer who paved the way toward a more diverse and inclusive government in California. His staunch commitment to civil rights and equality for all was the hallmark of his half century in public office, and our city and state are better places for it.  I join the many, many people who are mourning his passing and thinking of his family and friends at this difficult time.”