Hilda Mason, who served more than 20 years on the D.C. Council, died Sunday morning at Washington Hospital Center. She was 91.

Mason was a longtime DCPS teacher, counselor, and administrator before gaining the Ward 4 school board seat in 1972. When At-Large Councilmember Julius W. Hobson died in 1977, Mason was appointed to finish his term. As a Statehood party member, Mason was elected to five additional full terms. She ran for a sixth, but was defeated by David A. Catania in 1998.

Here’s a couple of the tributes now rolling in. From DC Vote:

…Mason, who dedicated her life to the civil rights movement, was a staunch supporter of congressional voting representation and statehood for the District of Columbia.

Her ceaseless support for progressive issues, including human and civil rights, socio-economic opportunity, quality education, affordable and accessible housing, public transportation, and health care, had enormous impact of the residents of the District….

Hilda Mason and her late husband Charles were recently recognized as DC Vote Champions of Democracy, and her grandson, Stefan Nicholas, serves on the Board of Directors of DC Vote. He and his family are in our prayers.

From Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray‘s office:

“Hilda Mason was the kind of champion for education in her time that drives people like me today,” said Chairman Gray. “Her brand of fortitude and tenacity is what we all aspire to in our public service.”