September 7, 2018 - Issue: Vol. 164, No. 149 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 2nd Session
HONORING RONALD V. DELLUMS; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 149
(Extensions of Remarks - September 07, 2018)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E1224] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING RONALD V. DELLUMS ______ speech of HON. SHEILA JACKSON LEE of texas in the house of representatives Thursday, September 6, 2018 Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise to remember and pay tribute to Ronald V. Dellums, the pioneering, legendary, brilliant, and dynamic former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee who represented the residents of California's 9th Congressional District in this body for 27 years. Ronald Dellums died peacefully on July 30, 2018, at his home in Washington D.C. after waging a heroic but losing battle against prostate cancer; he was 82 years old. Born November 24, 1935 in Oakland, California, to Verney and Willa Dellums, Ronald Vernie Dellums would go on to lead a consequential life marked by public service, active engagement, and passionate leadership. These qualities--service, engagement, passionate commitment--were Dellums family traits; Ron's father was a longshoreman and active in the labor movement and his uncle, Cottrell Laurence Dellums, helped A. Philip Randolph organize the Brother of Sleeping Car Porters, before being elected President of the union in 1966. In 1954, after graduating from high school, and during the height of the Cold War, Ronald Dellums enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served two years before being honorably discharged in 1956. His honorable service to the nation enabled him to attend college on the G.I. Bill and in 1958 he earned an Associate of Arts degree from Oakland City College, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in 1960 from San Francisco State University, an M.S.W. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1962. Upon graduation from UC-Berkeley, Ronald Dellums worked as a psychiatric social worker for the California Department of Mental Hygiene and taught at San Francisco State University and the University of California at Berkeley, work which soon led him to become involved in local politics. In 1967, at the age of 32, Ronald was elected to the Berkeley City Council, where he served until 1970, when he was elected to Congress as an anti-Vietnam War activist, defeating the incumbent in the primary, and winning the general election in a landslide. In 1972, Ronald Dellums was reelected to the 93rd Congress and to the succeeding Congresses, never winning election with less than 57 percent of the vote. During his tenure in Congress, Ronald Dellums served on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, the District of Columbia, Post Office and Civil Service, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Armed Services, which he chaired from 1993 to 1995 and was Ranking Member from 1995 until his retirement from the House in 1998. Throughout his congressional career, Ronald Dellums, who cofounded the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971 and the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991, was one of the Capitol's leading authorities and voices challenging the underlying assumptions of the U.S. military budget. Ronald Dellums also led the congressional opposition to the apartheid regime in South Africa, winning passage of the Comprehensive Anti- Apartheid Act of 1986 by congressional override of President Reagan's veto, the first override in the 20th century of a presidential foreign policy veto. Ronald Dellums championed for equal rights for Americans and was one of the first to call for the integration of gays and lesbians into the military. In addition to championing equal rights, Ron Dellums was a strong supporter of historic preservation. He emerged as one of the most radical and outspoken Congressmen in Washington, and a spokesperson for African American community affairs and for his radical political beliefs. After retiring from Congress in 1998, Ronald Dellums served as president of Healthcare International Management, an organization that worked with the newly democratic South African government to develop low cost, affordable healthcare and bring awareness, prevention and treatment in response to the AIDS epidemic. Mr. Speaker, Ron Dellums lived a long and fulfilling life and made his mark in the world by making a difference in the lives of untold numbers of individuals. I hope that Ron's family and loved ones are comforted by the fact that the lives of millions of people here at home and around the world were touched by the service of one of the great social activists, political leaders, and statesmen of the 20th century. Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to observe a moment of silence in memory of Ronald V. Dellums, a tireless and eloquent voice for justice and equality, who did so much to ensure that America always strives to live up to the promise of its founding ideals and remain a beacon and example for the world. ____________________