LOS ANGELES, CA – MALDEF mourns the passing of former board member Grace Montañez Davis, who died at age 93 earlier this week. In 1975, Davis became the first Mexican American woman to serve as deputy mayor of Los Angeles. An activist for Latino civil rights, Davis was a loyal supporter of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and served on its Board of Directors in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF:
“Grace Montañez Davis was a precedent-setting deputy mayor in Los Angeles. As a boy growing up here, I saw her as an inspirational model of civic leadership for the Latino community. Her prominent place in Latino history and in the history of the City of Los Angeles is firmly established.”
Please attribute the following statement to Ambassador Vilma Martinez, president and general counsel of MALDEF from 1973 to 1982:
“Grace Davis was such an accomplished and busy woman and leader who nonetheless made time to serve on MALDEF’s board and guide us through MALDEF’s early days. We are in her debt.”
Please attribute the following statement to Antonia Hernández, president and chief executive officer of the California Community Foundation, and who served as president and general counsel of MALDEF from 1985 to 2004:
“Grace was a pioneer. As a woman, I had few role models, and she was the one woman I could look up to. Her name aptly fit; gracefully she nudged, cajoled and advocated for our community.”