Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver released the following statement regarding the death of former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Mervyn Dymally on October 7, 2012. Mr. Dymally served as Member of the Congressional Black Caucus from 1981-1993 and served as Chair during the 100th Congress:
â€œMembers of the Congressional Black Caucus are deeply saddened by the passing of our former Chairman Mervyn M. Dymally who was a pioneer in public service, breaking numerous barriers for African Americans and for all people of color during his extraordinary career as an elected official on the local, state and federal levels.
â€œThrough his leadership in the House and tenure as a Member and Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Mr. Dymally used his influence to bring and keep civil, economic and human rights issues on the national and international stage. He was instrumental in passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 that implemented sanctions against South Africa, secured the freedom of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, and helped to end apartheid in the country.
â€œAs Californiaâ€™s first black state senator and first black lieutenant governor, Mr. Dymally was a staunch advocate for protecting the civil and economic rights of African Americans in his community. His fervent efforts to mobilize and empower a diverse coalition of people that spanned ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds ensured the most vulnerable Americans had a voice in protecting their futures. Through Mr. Dymallyâ€™s voice, people of color, the poor and the working class always had a seat the table. He worked to make sure no one was left behind.
â€œThe impact of Mr. Dymallyâ€™s legacy of service to his community, his country and to people around the world will be felt and remembered for generations to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this very difficult time.â€