LOS ANGELES - MALDEF hosted its 2010 Los Angeles Awards Gala at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. At the Gala, MALDEF paid tribute to three pioneering individuals for their long-standing commitments to public service, civil rights and Latin American music and culture respectively. The Gala brought together leaders, civil rights advocates, lawyers and others from across the city. Honorees included: The Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles; Ramona Ripston, long-standing Executive Director of ACLU of Southern California; and José José, one of the greatest Latin American singers of all time.
"All of our community's many opportunities seem much more achievable with friends, allies, and partners like our honorees tonight: the kindly and renowned Jose Jose, who has used his talent in unparalleled ways to serve community; the tenacious and wise Ramona Ripston, who has become an irreplaceable bedrock in the Los Angeles civil rights community; and the bold and innovative Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose record of public service in tackling the most difficult problems is exemplary. And, tonight we also acknowledge with sadness the loss of one of our leading co-founders, Mario G. Obledo, an innovator and strategist of unmatched caliber," stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel.