Mervyn M. Dymally, long time advocate for Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park died on Sunday, October 7, 2012, after a period of declining health.
On March 11, 1970 Senator Dymally introduced Senate Bill 557 that directed the Department of Parks and Recreation to study the feasibility of including Allensworth in the state park system and to appoint a 25 member advisory committee. On April 3, 1972 Senator Dymally introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 32 that requested that the Department of Parks and Recreation actively pursue funding for the acquisition of the historic town site of Allensworth.
In 2007 Assemblymember Dymally, chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, spoke out against the mega-dairies scheduled to be built near Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park. Dymally and the California Legislative Black Caucus sponsored Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter’s Assembly Bill 576 which would have created a 2.5 mile buffer around the park.
According to Cal State Los Angeles political scientist Raphael J. Sonenshein , “Dymally built one of the most important black political organizations in Los Angeles”. In 1962 Dymally was elected to the California State Assembly, in 1966 he became California’s first and only black lieutenant governor. Dymally served as a U.S. Congressman from 1981 to 1993. He was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus from 1987 to 1989.
In 2002 at age 76 Dymally was elected to fill the same Assembly seat he won in 1962.
After learning of Dymally’s passing Congressman Charles B.Rangel said:
“I had the great honor of knowing and serving with Mervyn while he served in Congress. I always admired how tirelessly he worked to advocate for civil, economic and human rights issues. I will never forget working with Mervyn to pass the ‘Rangel Amendment’ in the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 to end apartheid in South Africa.”
Dymally is survived by his wife of 44 years, Alice Dymally; his daughter Lynn Dymally; his son Mark; and three sisters.
We will always remember Mervyn Dymally’s unending dedication to Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park.