John Mack. City and County leaders said because of this “civic warrior” LA is a better place. The mayor said that, unlike many in the community today who display just anger... Mack got things done with a sense of calm.
Council President Herb Wesson said, “John was one of these unique activists at a time when he was able to deal with government, get concessions, work things out.”
His early college days coincided with the civil rights marches of Dr. Martin Luther King
The current Urban League President, Michael Lawson, says King really influenced Mack..
A high point for John Mack was when he was appointed President of the LA Police Comission by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. But, it was his leadership - his presidency - of the Urban League Chapter here for which he was most proud.
LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and John Mack were good friends. He tells a story of how “John Mack had just called me on Fathers Day to wish me a Happy Fathers Day." He knew Mack was battling cancer and having a tough go.. but, had no idea that would be his last conversation with him. “And, then I got a call last night saying that John had passed and so I’m still stunned by that.”
Ridley-Thomas says Mack was a calming voice during the 1992 uprising, but a critical one of LA Police Chief Daryle Gates. He called on President George H. W. Bush to help a troubled community and “to say this issue needed Federal support in order to turn matters around.”
And, with regard to calling for Gates resignation, Ridley-Thomas says, "he did that in the interest of the city of Los Angeles. He was echoing the voices of many who were unheard.”
To those who knew and loved him he will be missed.
John Mack was 81.