Rep. Bass Issues Statement On Passing Of Ralph Fertig
“Ralph was a lifelong fighter for social justice. A son of Chicago, he made it his life’s work to fight on behalf of marginalized people across the world. From segregation in the Deep South, where he was a Freedom Rider, to oppression of ethnic minorities in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, to one of the worst housing crises in the history of Los Angeles, Ralph’s service to and defense of those most neglected in our world never ceased.
“I first met Ralph when he moved to Los Angeles to serve as the executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Community Action Agency. His work then, as it was throughout his career, was singularly focused on helping those forgotten and abused by society. Throughout our careers we supported each other’s fights and causes – Ralph, an early supporter of Community Coalition, was a tremendous ally in our fight to better our community. It was the work of people like Ralph that enabled me to become a community organizer, and eventually a member of the State Assembly, and a Member of Congress.
“Later in his career, Ralph continued to give back to the community by teaching and leading younger generations at USC. It was a privilege to be able to speak as a part of his classes and discuss social work, social welfare policy, what it means to be a public servant with his students.
“Ralph’s thumbprint will forever be left tipping the scales against injustice. My friend will be missed by the city we both loved. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."