Longtime leader of ACLU's Southern California chapter dies

Ramona Ripston, a longtime activist who built up the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California into a major organization, has died. She was 91.

Chapter spokesman David Colker says Ripston died Saturday at her home after several years of illness. As executive director of the ACLU SoCal from 1972 to 2011, Ripston oversaw the chapter's work on issues such as the Los Angeles Police Department spying on community activists, voting rights, abortion rights, racial profiling and gay rights. ACLU SoCal said in a statement on its website she also led efforts to get California to spend more money on schools in poor and minority neighborhoods.

ACLU SoCal Executive Director Hector Villagra says "she had two things that are all too precious in this world — a vision of a better future and the courage to pursue it.”


Dawn Kamber