In 1987, House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas), sponsor of the 1983 redress bill, asked Rep. Mervyn Dymally to coordinate his landmark visit to Los Angeles. Wright (right) and Dymally (center) are pictured with NCRR members Bert Nakano (left) and Miya Iwataki (second from right).

The family of former lieutenant governor, congressman and assemblyman Mervyn Dymally has announced a public memorial service.

In addition to the public viewing on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a limited-seating funeral at 12:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Mortuary, 5835 W. Slauson Ave. in Culver City, there will be a service at 2 p.m. at Faithful Central Bible Church, 321 N. Eucalyptus Ave. in Inglewood.

Both NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, formerly National Coalition for Redress/Reparations) and the Japanese American Citizens League have praised Dymally for his support of redress for Japanese Americans interned during World War II. The congressman, whose district included Gardena, introduced redress legislation in 1982 and later supported the bill that was signed into law as the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. He was instrumental in getting the support of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Dymally passed away on Oct. 7 at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Alice; his daughter, Lynn; his son, Mark; and three sisters.

In a statement proclaiming Oct. 17, 2012 as Mervyn M. Dymally Day in California, Gov. Jerry Brown said:

“Today we celebrate the life of a great Californian leader, Mervyn Dymally. His career as educator, state assemblyman, state senator, lieutenant governor and member of Congress spanned the terms of six California governors, including my father and Ronald Reagan.

“For more than four decades of public service, Mervyn Dymally worked to improve the lives of Californians, particularly those burdened by racial, gender or ethnic discrimination. He championed the cause of civil rights, and broke new ground as our state’s first African American state senator and as one of the first African Americans to be elected to statewide office since the Reconstruction era. He was an outstanding mentor, organizer and leader in his community. I had the privilege of working with him during my first term as governor.

“Mervyn Dymally came from humble origins and achieved great things, opening doors of opportunity not just for himself, but for Californians of every background. For this reason, it is fitting and proper that we dedicate this day to honoring his memory and the generous life of service that he exemplifies.”

An Asian Pacific Islander community dinner for Speaker of the House Jim Wright was hosted by Rep. Mervyn Dymally with the support of NCRR at Jimmy’s of Beverly Hills in 1987. Pictured with Dymally (center) are, from left, NCRR members Kay Ochi, Miya Iwataki, Bert Nakano, Glen Kitayama, Jim Matsuoka, Kathy Masaoka, Joel Iwataki, Mary Ann Ito and Suzy Katsuda.

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