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Tribute to Congressman Ed Roybal

Location: Washington, DC

TRIBUTE TO CONGRESSMAN ED ROYBAL -- (Extensions of Remarks - November 17, 2005)

* Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of former Congressman Ed Roybal, an individual who had an extraordinary and inspiring dedication to public service. Ed Roybal's fight for social justice and the rights of the underserved mark him as a true American patriot.

* Congressman Roybal's lifelong commitment to public service began at the California Tuberculosis Association, where he eventually became the Director of Health Education. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and then returned to Southern California to found the Los Angeles Community Service Organization, an agency dedicated to mobilizing Los Angeles' Mexican-Americans against discrimination. He was the first Hispanic to serve on the Los Angeles City Council. Representative Roybal was also the first Hispanic from California to serve in the United States Congress in nearly one hundred years. During his 30 years of service, Representative Roybal sat on the Appropriations Committee and chaired the Treasury, Postal Service General Government Subcommittee.

* Representative Roybal spent his career fighting for and protecting the rights of the underprivileged. Through his leadership in Los Angeles, he advocated for an end to discrimination against Mexican-Americans in housing, employment, and education. On the national level, Representative Roybal fought for funding for civil rights, health programs, and education initiatives. In 1967, he introduced and won approval for the first federal bilingual education law, which established English classes for migrant children and others. Representative Roybal was also one of the first members of Congress to press for HIV/AIDS research funding. In addition, he fought for the elderly, campaigning for funding for senior programs and successfully maintaining Meals on Wheels. In 1993, the retired congressman founded a non-profit agency dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of health and human services for older persons.

* Representative Roybal will be remembered for his distinguished service and his remarkable leadership in the fight for civil rights and justice. His work is a legacy that serves as an important example for all of us about the immense good that a dedicated and committed public servant can accomplish. I am proud to serve with Representative Roybal's daughter, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, who continues the legacy of her father with honor and distinction.

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