LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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.
David Colker, a spokesman for the chapter, 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 says on its website that she also led efforts to get California to spend more money on schools in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Ripston was born in New York City and started working for the ACLU there as a volunteer.