California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez vows justice for Alex Odeh, American Palestinian Arab activist murdered in 1985 when he opened the doors of his ADC offices at 1905 East 17th Street, Santa Ana. The murder has remained unsolved and American Arabs continue to ask “Why?”
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California delivered remarks this week in the House of Representatives, about the life and legacy of Alex Odeh.
The remarks come one week after Congresswoman Sanchez spoke at the rededication of the Alex Odeh Memorial at the Santa Ana Public Library in Santa Ana, California. In her statement on the House Floor, Congresswoman Sanchez stated, “I will continue to fight for answers to Alex’s death and bring those that killed him to justice, but let us mark his death by remembering what he stood for and what he dedicated his life to: the pursuit to civil and human rights, as well as peace and mutual understanding between our diverse communities.”
Click here to read the full text of the remarks given by Congresswoman Sanchez.
The rededication was hosted by the ADC Orange County Chapter (ADC-OC). Along with Congresswoman Sanchez, in attendance were many family members and close friends of Alex. The memorial statue was erected in front of the Santa Ana Public Library in April of 1994. In commemoration of the upcoming 30th Anniversary of Alex’s murder, the memorial was renovated and rededicated by the City of Santa Ana. At the rededication, Alex’s daughter Helena Odeh, along with close friends spoke of the legacy Alex left behind, and the importance of bringing his killers to justice. Representatives from a broad coalition of community groups were present, including Dr. Don Craig, President of NAACP Orange County Chapter.
Also at the ceremony were representatives from The Arab American Democrats of California, the Friends of Sabeel North America, the Palestinian American Women’s Association of Southern California, the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, South County Labor, and the Union of Palestinian American Women.
Remarks were also delivered by Mr. Rusty Kennedy, the Executive Director of the Orange County Human Relations Commission; Mr. Ray Cordova, the Chair of South County Labor and advocate of the Arab-American community; Mr. Benny Diaz, the California State Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens or LULAC (LULAC) and co-founder of the Latino-Arab-American advisory committee; and Ms. Estee Chandler from the Los Angeles leader for the Jewish Voice for Peace.
The ADC-OC Chapter presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the City of Santa Ana – Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Agency. This agency is logistically and financially responsible for the memorial’s upkeep and renovation. Without their hard work and dedication, this renovation would not be possible. The library also hosts a history section which highlights the life and legacy of Alex Odeh. The award was accepted by Mr. Gerardo Mouet, Executive Director of the agency.
This October marks the 30th Anniversary of Alex’s death. ADC and the Arab American community are shocked, dismayed and outraged that the FBI has not resolved this case. The lack of closure of Alex’s murder by the FBI and the Department of State (DOS) has been viewed as a sign that the life of an American civil rights advocate with Palestinian roots is not valued by the U.S. Government as much as other American lives.
We will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice.