Remembrances Around Dayton For Longtime City Commissioner Dean Lovelace
Many in the Dayton area have been paying tribute to longtime city commissioner Dean Lovelace. Lovelace died Sunday, more than a year after vacating the seat he held for six terms. He was 70 years old.
Lovelace was seen by many in Dayton politics as a champion for poor and disadvantaged communities throughout his two decades in office. He advocated for a host of economic issues, including fair housing, financial literacy, the earned income tax program and free tax-preparation services.
His activism also had a national profile. Lovelace was affiliated with the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. He helped organize Jackson’s 1984 Democratic presidential campaign in Dayton.
Mayor Nan Whaley was a close political ally and former student of Lovelace’s at the University of Dayton, where he headed up the Dayton Civic Scholars program. She says his campaign against predatory lending was an inspiration to many in politics and activism in the Miami Valley.
“Education around economic issues was his cornerstone. He early on saw the challenge of predatory lending in our neighborhoods, and city commission was one of the first cities in the state and in the country to pass an anti-predatory lending bill,” she says.
Predatory lending was later acknowledged as a major factor behind the foreclosure crisis in many cities during the Great Recession. State lawmakers subsequently preempted Lovelace's predatory lending legislation with a law blocking cities from enacting such banking regulations.
Lovelace survived a stroke in 2008 and his health had declined in recent years. His survivors include his wife Phyllis, a longtime civil rights and community activist in her own right.
There will be a wake for Lovelace Monday, June 5 from 4-8 p.m. at House of Wheat Funeral Home in northwest Dayton. Funeral home organizers say family members will be present at the wake between 6 and 8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held next Tuesday at 11 a.m., at Corinthian Baptist Church, 700 South James H. Mcghee Blvd in Dayton.
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