Mervyn Dymally biography


[California Lieutenant Governor letterhead]


Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally brings twelve years of experience, educational expertise and political know-how to the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, plus a depth of knowledge and concern in a broad range of people-oriented problems. His main goal for Californians: more jobs!

As Lieutenant Governor, he has vowed to help make state government more meaningful and more attentive to the needs of all of California’s citizens, and to help bring its diverse groups together.

The Lieutenant Governor serves on the three-member State Lands Commission, which oversees leasing and control of millions of acres of state-owned land, including the vital offshore oil resources. He is Chairman of the State Economic Development Commission, which is responsible for proposing over-all economic plans and approaches for California’s future. He heads the Commission for the Californias, an organization of California and Mexican citizens devoted to improving cultural and economic ties and good will between California and Mexico.

He also serves on other boards and commissions tackling state problems such as land use planning, interstate cooperation and disaster preparation. He serves on the Board of Regents of the University of California, and on the Board of Trustees of the State College and University system.

Lieutenant Governor Dymally was a teacher of exceptional children in Los Angeles for six years before election to the State Assembly in 1962, and his constant stream of bills to aid the state’s children and youth showed that this remained one of his major concerns during 12 years as a Legislator.

He was elected to the State Senate in 1966, and served as Chairman of the Democratic Caucus and as Chairman of the following committees: Social Welfare, Military and Veterans Affairs, Elections and Reapportionment, and the Subcommittee on Medical Education and Health Needs. He also headed the Senate Select Committee on Children and Youth, the Joint Committee on Legal Equality (women’s rights) and the Joint Committee for Revision of the Elections Code.


He successfully authored major legislation to expand the state’s child, youth and adoption services, speed educational reform, strengthen campaign contribution regulations, provide more child care centers and greatly expand women’s rights. He consistently won ratings as a top Legislator by consumer, environmental, labor, women’s and civil rights groups. He authored the Equal Rights Amendment and the 18-Year-Old Vote Resolution in the Legislature.

He found time to represent the Department of State overseas as Goodwill Ambassador in Africa and the West Indies, serve as a member of the California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, set up the Urban Affairs Institute to provide training and schooling for students interested in government and public affairs careers, and organize student task forces to probe government problems. The most noted of these was Project Loophole, a probe of state tax laws.

He has studied at Oxford, and is now working on his Ph.D. He holds a B.A. in education from California State University, Los Angeles, and an M.A. in government from California State University, Sacramento. He serves on the Board of Directors of Lincoln Law University, and the University of West Los Angeles. He was the original organizer of the National Conference of Black Elected officials.

Lieutenant Governor Dymally is a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, American Association of University Professors, American Political Science Association and the American Political Academy, and a Visiting Fellow of the Metropolitan Applied Research Center in New York.

He originally came to this country from the former British West Indies as a 19-year-old student, worked as an oil worker and teachers’ union organizer before beginning his political career. He is married to the former Alice Gueno, a former teacher herself, and is the father of two children, Mark 19, and Lynn, 17.

His political philosophy:

“I believe it is the responsibility of government–local, state and federal–to assist those citizens in need to become productive members of our society.”

“For as John Kennedy said, a society that is not concerned for its many who are poor, cannot save its few who are rich.”

May, 1975