Congressman Roybal was a true leader. He opened the doors for Hispanics and minorities in so many ways. He was the first Hispanic to serve on the City Council for the City of Los Angeles. He should have been the first to serve on the County Board of Supervisors.
He went on to be elected to the Congress of the United States, where he distinguished himself as a courageous defender of minorities, senior citizens, and the poor. As the Chairman of the Select Committee on Aging, he defended Social Security and Medicare, both of which are now under attack. He also worked to expand access to health care and improve long-term care.
He was a gentle man. He was a man of impeccable integrity. He was a man whose face reflected what he really cared about and who he really was. I will never forget those huge eyes and the way he looked at you. You knew you had to handle yourself a certain way in his presence. You had to handle yourself in a proper way. He was a very dignified man.
I shall never forget how I felt each time I was in his presence; and a testament to who he was and what he cared about certainly is reflected here today in his daughter, LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD.