SACRAMENTO, CA — Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) today announced Senate Concurrent Resolution 126 to commemorate the 100 birthday of the late legendary Latino political trailblazer Edward Ross Roybal.
“Ed Roybal’s visionary leadership broke countless barriers and continues to impact the lives of Americans across this country,” said Senator Lara. “From Los Angeles City Hall to the halls of Congress, his dedication to public service ushered in an era of increased representation for the Latino community. His legacy includes the founding of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials – two entities continuing his commitment to social justice, civic participation and fair representation for underserved communities. Today, we celebrate the many contributions of this unparalleled leader and celebrate the impact he made throughout his life.”
Born February 10, 1916 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and moving to Los Angeles at the age of 6, Edward Ross Roybal dedicated his life to public service. He founded the Community Service Organization before being elected to represent East Los Angeles in 1949, where he served until 1962. In November 1962, Roybal was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives becoming the first Latino from California to serve in Congress since the 1897 election of Romulado Pacheco. He served the people of California in Congress until 1993. After his term in Congress, Roybal returned to California and founded the Lucille and Edward R. Roybal Foundation provides internships/scholarships to students pursuing careers in health care, and financial assistance to programs and facilities dedicated to health care and/or health education, thereby carrying forward its founders’ legacy of leadership and community service.
As part of his visionary leadership, Roybal is credited with launching several organizations that help promote the Latino community, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials and the Mexican American Bar Association.
“40 years ago Congressman Edward R. Roybal founded NALEO, and five years later its sister organization NALEO Educational Fund, upon a fundamental principle and mission to increase the participation of Latinos in American Democracy, regardless of their political affiliation,” said Arturo Vargas executive director of NALEO. “Congressman Roybal had a vision to improve the lives of Latinos and all Americans by ensuring that the voice of the Latino community could be heard in the halls of Congress and in every major policy decision our country would make. His leadership and commitment to public service can be felt by the impact Latinos have had as voters, candidates and as elected and appointed officials.”
The resolution will be taken up before the Senate for a full vote at a later date in April.