Rose Matsui Ochi, a trailblazing Los Angeles attorney who tapped far-flung political networks from City Hall to Congress in her fierce advocacy of civil rights, criminal justice reform, and Japanese American causes, has died at 81.
Ochi broke barriers as the first Asian American woman to serve as a Los Angeles Police Commission member and as an assistant U.S. attorney general.
She advised L.A. Mayors Tom Bradley and James Hahn on criminal justice, served on President Jimmy Carter’s Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, and worked with President Clinton on drug policy and race relations.
Ochi died on Dec. 13 after being diagnosed with a second bout of COVID-19, which exacerbated existing health problems.