Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Ron Dellums

Ron Dellums

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ron Dellums'
Start a new discussion about 'Ron Dellums'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Ronald Vernie "Ron" Dellums (born November 24, 1935) served as Oakland's forty-fifth (and third African-American) mayor. From 1971 to 1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 from Northern California's 9th Congressional District
California's 9th congressional district
California's 9th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California that covers a significant portion of the East Bay portion of the San Francisco Bay Area...

, after which he worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C..

Dellums was born into a family of labor organizers, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 before serving on the Berkeley, California
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

, City Council. Dellums was the first African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 elected to Congress from Northern California and the first openly Socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 Congressman since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. His politics earned him a place on President Nixon's enemies list
Nixon's Enemies List
Nixon’s Enemies List is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon’s major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell , and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971...

.

During his career in Congress, he fought the MX Missile project and opposed expansion of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber
B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is an American heavy bomber with low observable stealth technology designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty -class JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen ...

 program. When President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 vetoed Dellums' Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act
Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act
The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 was a law enacted by the United States Congress. Sponsored by U.S. Representative Ron Dellums in 1972, the law was the first United States anti-apartheid legislation. The act was initiated in reaction to the plight of blacks in South Africa and...

 of 1986, a Democratic-controlled
99th United States Congress
The Ninety-ninth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1985 to January 3, 1987, during the fifth and sixth...

 House and a Republican-controlled
99th United States Congress
The Ninety-ninth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1985 to January 3, 1987, during the fifth and sixth...

 Senate overrode Reagan's veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

, the first override of a presidential foreign policy veto in the 20th century.

Early years and family life


Dellums was born in Oakland to Verney and Willa (née Terry) Dellums. His father Verney was a longshoreman. His uncle, C. L. Dellums
C. L. Dellums
Cottrell Laurence “C. L.” Dellums was one of the organizers and leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.He was born in Corsicana, Texas on January 3, 1900, and died on December 6, 1989, in Oakland, California...

, was one of the organizers and leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was, in 1925, the first labor organization led by blacks to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor . It merged in 1978 with the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks , now known as the Transportation Communications International Union.The...

. He has a younger sister Theresa. His mother Willa died on August 17, 2008, at the age of 89.

He attended Oakland Technical High School
Oakland Technical High School
Oakland Technical High School, known locally as Oakland Tech, or just simply "Tech", is a public high school in Oakland, California, and is operated under the jurisdiction of the Oakland Unified School District.-Background:...

 and McClymonds High School
McClymonds High School
McClymonds High School is a public high school in the West Oakland neighborhood of Oakland, California, USA.In addition to being the third oldest high school in Oakland, it is the larger of the two high schools in West Oakland , and the only high school in West Oakland operated by the Oakland...

.

He served in the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 from 1954 to 1956. Dellums later received his A.A. degree
Associate's degree
An associate degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and bachelor's degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years...

 from the Oakland City College
Laney College
Laney College is a community college located in Oakland, California, next to the Lake Merritt BART station and the Kaiser Convention Center. Laney is the largest of the four colleges of the Peralta Community College District which serves northern Alameda County.Laney College originally opened in...

 in 1958, his B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 from San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University is a public university located in San Francisco, California. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers over 100 areas of study from nine academic colleges...

 in 1960, and his M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 in 1962. He became a psychiatric social worker and political activist in the African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 community beginning in the 1960s. He also taught at the San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University is a public university located in San Francisco, California. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers over 100 areas of study from nine academic colleges...

 and the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

.

Dellums is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Phi Alpha
Alpha Phi Alpha is the first Inter-Collegiate Black Greek Letter fraternity. It was founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Its founders are known as the "Seven Jewels". Alpha Phi Alpha developed a model that was used by the many Black Greek Letter Organizations ...

 fraternity. He is a member of the fraternity's World Policy Council
World Policy Council
The World Policy Council of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank established in 1996 at Howard University to expand the fraternity's involvement in politics and social and current policy to encompass important global and world issues...

, a think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 whose purpose is to expand the fraternity's involvement in politics, and social and current policy to encompass international concerns.

Dellums has been married three times. He married his second wife, attorney Leola "Roscoe" Higgs, in 1961. The two divorced in 1998. He married his third wife, Cynthia Lewis, in 2000.

Dellums has eight children and stepchildren. One son, Michael, was convicted of a drug-related homicide in 1979, and remains in prison, being repeatedly denied parole due to bad behaviour. Dellums has four other children: professional actor Erik
Erik Dellums
Erik Todd Dellums is a U.S. actor. He has had parts in television police dramas such as New York Undercover, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire...

, Piper
Piper Dellums
Piper Dellums is an author and producer, and the daughter of United States politician Ron Dellums.Her story about a white South African girl coming to live with her family in the 1970s titled "Simunye", Which is the Zulu word for "We Are One" was the basis for the Disney movie The Color of...

, Brandy and Pam; five grandchildren: Danielle Henderson, Jacob Holmes, Sydney Ross, Dylan Ross, and Olivia Dellums; and two great-grandchildren: Jared Henderson and Charli Henderson.

Political career


Dellums has been in politics for over forty years. He has held positions on the Berkeley City Council, in the US House of Representatives, and was the mayor of Oakland from 2007 to 2011.

Berkeley City Council


Dellums was elected to the Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

 City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

, after prompting from Maudelle Shirek
Maudelle Shirek
Maudelle Shirek is a former Vice Mayor and eight term City Council member the City of Berkeley California.Shirek moved to Berkeley in the 1940s and immediately gained a reputation for her dedication to civil rights issues...

,
and served from 1967 to 1970.

U.S. Congress



He was elected to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in 1970 after being recruited by anti-Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 activists to run against the incumbent, Jeffery Cohelan
Jeffery Cohelan
Jeffery Cohelan was a United States Representative from California. He was born in San Francisco, California and attended the public schools and San Mateo Junior College. He earned his B.A. from the University of California's School of Economics...

, a white liberal close to organized labor who had not opposed the war early enough to win reelection in the district. Dellums defeated Cohelan in the Democratic primary and won the general election, serving without interruption for 27 years.

His politics earned him a place on the so-called Nixon's Enemies List
Nixon's Enemies List
Nixon’s Enemies List is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon’s major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell , and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971...

, where his notation stated Dellums "had extensive EMK
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

-Tunney
John V. Tunney
John Varick Tunney , is a former Democratic Party United States Senator and Representative.-Biography:He is the son of the famous heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and Connecticut socialite Polly Lauder Tunney....

 support in his election bid."

Vietnam war crimes hearings


In January, 1971, just weeks into his first term, Dellums set up an exhibit of Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s in an annex to his Congressional office, coordinated with the Citizens Commission of Inquiry
Citizens Commission of Inquiry
The Citizens Commission of Inquiry into United States War Crimes in Indochina was founded, according to Michael Uhl, by Ralph Schoenman in November 1969 in New York. Schoenman had earlier worked on Bertrand Russell's unofficial War Crimes Tribunal in Europe. In 1970, Tod Ensign and Jeremy Rifkin,...

 (CCI). The exhibit featured four large posters depicting atrocities committed by American soldiers, embellished with red paint.

The My Lai massacre
My Lai Massacre
The My Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass murder of 347–504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968, by United States Army soldiers of "Charlie" Company of 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the Americal Division. Most of the victims were women, children , and...

 was followed shortly thereafter by a series of hearings on war crimes in Vietnam, which began April 25, 1971. Dellums had called for formal investigations into the allegations, but Congress chose not to endorse the proceedings. As such, the hearings were ad hoc and only informational in nature. As a condition of room use, press and camera presence were not permitted; however, the proceedings were transcribed. A small number of other anti-Vietnam War congressional representatives also took part in the hearings.

Anti-apartheid campaign


In 1972, Dellums began his campaign to end the apartheid
History of South Africa in the apartheid era
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority 'non-white' inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained...

 policies of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. Fourteen years later, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Dellums' anti-apartheid legislation, calling for a trade restriction against South Africa and immediate divestment by American corporations. The bill, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act
Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act
The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 was a law enacted by the United States Congress. Sponsored by U.S. Representative Ron Dellums in 1972, the law was the first United States anti-apartheid legislation. The act was initiated in reaction to the plight of blacks in South Africa and...

 of 1986, had broad bipartisan support. It called for sanctions against South Africa and stated preconditions for lifting the sanctions, including the release of all political prisoners. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 called for a policy of "constructive engagement" and veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

ed the bill; however, his veto was overridden. It was the first override in the 20th century of a presidential foreign policy veto.

Dellums' fight against apartheid in South Africa was the subject of a Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

 made-for-TV film, The Color of Friendship, released in 2000. The role of Congressman Dellums was played by actor Carl Lumbly in the film.

Cold War conflicts in southern Africa


As part of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 struggle for influence in southern Africa, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 joined with the apartheid government of South Africa in support of UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

, led by Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Malheiro Savimbi was an Angolan political leader. He founded and led UNITA, a movement that first waged a guerrilla war against Portuguese colonial rule, 1966–1974, then confronted the rival MPLA during the decolonization conflict, 1974/75, and after independence in 1975 fought the ruling...

, against the ultimately victorious Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

n forces of the MPLA supported by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. Dellums was criticized for his support of Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

's involvement with the MPLA in Angola and was called "the prototype of the Castroite congressman" by the conservative press. He also introduced legislation (which was unsuccessful) in September 1987 to prohibit economic and military assistance to Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

, citing poor human rights, corruption, and alleged collaboration with South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

.

Military budgets and arms control


Throughout his career Dellums led campaigns against an array of military projects, arguing that the funds would be better spent on peaceful purposes, especially in American cities. Programs he opposed included the Pershing
Pershing missile
Pershing was a family of solid-fueled two-stage medium-range ballistic missiles designed and built by Martin Marietta to replace the PGM-11 Redstone missile as the United States Army's primary nuclear-capable theater-level weapon. The Pershing systems lasted over 30 years from the first test...

 and MX missiles, and the B-2 bomber
B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is an American heavy bomber with low observable stealth technology designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty -class JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen ...

 (popularly known as the "stealth bomber"). Because of his commitment to the closing of unneeded military bases
Base Realignment and Closure
Base Realignment and Closure is a process of the United States federal government directed at the administration and operation of the Armed Forces, used by the United States Department of Defense and Congress to close excess military installations and realign the total asset inventory to reduce...

, Dellums did not oppose the closing of the former Naval Air Station Alameda
Naval Air Station Alameda
Naval Air Station Alameda was a United States Navy Naval Air Station in Alameda, California, on San Francisco Bay.NAS Alameda had two runways: 07-25 and 13-31...

 in his own district.
Opposition to the MX (Peacekeeper) missile

The Peacekeeper missile was a "third-generation" inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). One of its advantages over earlier missiles was its greater survivability
Survivability
Survivability is the ability to remain alive or continue to exist. The term has more specific meaning in certain contexts.-Engineering:In engineering, survivability is the quantified ability of a system, subsystem, equipment, process, or procedure to continue to function during and after a natural...

. One early aspect of the design was for fifty missiles to be placed on trains that would be shuttled between numerous hiding sheds around a railroad loop located in remote Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

. Another advantage was that the Peacekeeper had a greater MIRV capacity than the Minuteman III — each missile had up to ten nuclear warheads
Warhead
The term warhead refers to the explosive material and detonator that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo.- Etymology :During the early development of naval torpedoes, they could be equipped with an inert payload that was intended for use during training, test firing and exercises. This...

, compared with the three aboard the Minuteman III.

Dellums argued that constructing the Peacekeeper would only propel the ongoing arms race and cause the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 to construct more weapons. He also argued that the issue of survivability
Survivability
Survivability is the ability to remain alive or continue to exist. The term has more specific meaning in certain contexts.-Engineering:In engineering, survivability is the quantified ability of a system, subsystem, equipment, process, or procedure to continue to function during and after a natural...

 of existing missiles was a red herring; the Soviet Union could not expect a first strike to go unpunished — U.S. nuclear-equipped submarines, bombers and cruise missiles would inflict devastating damage even if all American ICBMs were disabled. As part of the campaign, Dellums met with the LDS Church in Utah.

The rail project was eventually canceled and the missiles were placed in hardened silos, as with previous missiles such as the Minuteman III. The last Peacekeeper was decommissioned in 2005 as part of the START II
START II
START II was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and Russia on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. It was signed by United States President George H. W...

 treaty.
Opposition to the B-2 Stealth Bomber

The B-2 Stealth Bomber
B-2 Spirit
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is an American heavy bomber with low observable stealth technology designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy both conventional and nuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty -class JDAM GPS-guided bombs, or sixteen ...

 is a long-range strategic bomber
Strategic bombing
Strategic bombing is a military strategy used in a total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability and public will to wage war rather than destroying its land or naval forces...

, that features stealth technology
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 that makes it far less visible to radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

. The B-2 was a major technological advance; however, it was designed during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 for military scenarios that some argued were less relevant following the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Its total program cost was estimated in 1997 at over US$2.2 billion per airplane.

Although Dellums opposed the B-2 project from the start, Congress approved initial funding for production of 135 bombers in 1987. However, with the winding down of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, total B-2 production was reduced to 21 aircraft in the early 1990s. But in 1997, seven former Secretaries of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 signed a letter urging Congress to buy more B-2s, citing the difficulty of assembling a similar engineering team in the future should the B-2 project be terminated. Dellums, citing five independent studies consistent with his position, offered an amendment to that year's defense authorization bill to cap production of the bombers with the existing 21 aircraft. The amendment was narrowly defeated; nonetheless, Congress never approved funding for additional B-2 bombers.

Opposition to integration of gays in the military


In 1993, Dellums was Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Though he argued in favor of integration, Dellums was the sole sponsor of H.R. 2401, introduced on 14 June 1993, adding language to the Defense Authorization Act of 1994 to ensure continued support for unit cohesion
Unit cohesion
Unit cohesion is a military concept, defined by one former United States Chief of staff in the early 1980s as "the bonding together of soldiers in such a way as to sustain their will and commitment to each other, the unit, and mission accomplishment, despite combat or mission stress"...

 in the military. Although the bill contained that language, Dellums pointed out that he personally found the language unacceptable, stating in the Congressional Record on August 4, 1993, 'The bill also contains at least one policy that, while unacceptable to this Member in substantive terms, is not as retrograde as it might have been: It supports the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the issue of allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve their country.' Remaining in the bill was Title V Section G "[e]xpresses as congressional policy the prohibition against homosexual conduct or activity in the armed forces. Requires separation from the armed forces for such conduct or activity. Directs the Secretary to ensure that the standards for military appointments and enlistments reflect such policy." Dellums' "yes" vote on the bill with the unit cohesion support language was the first time in his 22-year congressional tenure that he voted in favor of any defense spending bill, previously opposing them on economic principles. However, Dellums gives several economic reasons in the Congressional Record for his 'yes' vote, on H.R. 2401, including that 'It cuts ballistic missile defense to $3 billion—less than one-half the level planned by the Bush administration . . .' And, 'it devotes a record $11.2 billion to environmental cleanup and improvement, and does so in a way that will stimulate the development of new technologies and new markets for American firms;'

1982 Grenada factfinding


In 1982 Dellums took a trip to Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government
People's Revolutionary Government
The People's Revolutionary Government was proclaimed on 13 March 1979 after the New Jewel Movement overthrew the government of Grenada in a revolution...

, Maurice Bishop
Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...

. Grenada was building an airstrip that U.S. administration officials claimed could be used for Soviet military aircraft. Dellums traveled to Grenada on his own fact-finding mission and described his findings before Congress:
...based on my personal observations, discussion and analysis of the new international airport under construction in Grenada, it is my conclusion that this project is specifically now and has always been for the purpose of economic development and is not for military use.... It is my thought that it is absurd, patronizing and totally unwarranted for the United States Government to charge that this airport poses a military threat to the United States’ national security.


Among the government documents retrieved when the government in Grenada was eventually overthrown were the letters from Dellums’ chief aide, Carlottia Scott to its prime minister Maurice Bishop
Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...

. Scott wrote: "Ron has become truly committed to Grenada. . . .He’s really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn’t want anything to happen to building the Revolution and making it strong. . . . The only other person that I know of that he expresses such admiration for is Fidel."http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=50430890-309C-4E16-9C3A-5B92A4D4C164

"Dellums v. Bush" (1990)


In 1990, Dellums and forty-four

of his congressional colleagues sued then president President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 in D.C. Federal District Court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 in 1990, in the case Dellums v. Bush
Dellums v. Bush
Dellums v. Bush, 752 F. Supp. 1141 , was a D.C. Federal District Court decision by United States District Judge Harold H. Greene, denying the plaintiffs, members of Congress, a preliminary injunction against President George H.W...

, 752 F. Supp. 1141 (1990) attempting to halt a preemptive military buildup in the Middle East in response to Iraq's invasion
Invasion of Kuwait
The Invasion of Kuwait, also known as the Iraq-Kuwait War, was a major conflict between the Republic of Iraq and the State of Kuwait, which resulted in the seven-month long Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, which subsequently led to direct military intervention by United States-led forces in the Gulf...

 of Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. The plaintiff members of Congress asserted that military action without a declaration of war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 would be unlawful under U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 11 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Dellums is notable in that it is one of only a few cases in which the Federal Courts have considered whether the War Powers Clause
War Powers Clause
Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:...

 of the U.S. Constitution is justiciable in the courts. The Court in Dellums indicated that, in that instance, it was, but because Congress had not yet acted as a majority, the lawsuit was premature.

U.S. House Committee positions


Dellums served as chairman of the House Committee on the District of Columbia and the House Armed Services Committee.

Dellums also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate the Intelligence Community.

Dellums co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus
Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks, and its chair in the 112th Congress is Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.-Aims:...

 in 1971.

Dellums' last Congressional election


Dellums easily won his next eleven elections in the traditionally Democratic 9th District. In his last House election race, in 1996, Dellums bested his opponent, Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Deborah Wright, by a 77%-18% margin.

In 1997, Dellums announced that he was retiring from Congress in the middle of his term and a special election was called — which created a series of five special elections in 12 months as various East Bay politicians ran for different political office. For more detailed information, see Special election musical chairs
Special election musical chairs
"Special election musical chairs" is a term used by editorialists to describe a series of special elections triggered by the mid-term resignation or death of an officeholder, with elections being won by other officeholders, triggering further special elections until either the next election...

.

Dellums' successor, Barbara Lee
Barbara Lee
Barbara Jean Lee is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1998. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She is the first woman to represent that district. Lee was the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and was the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus...

 won the 2000 election by an even larger, 85%-9% margin.

Congressional tribute


Upon his resignation, several members of Congress, including Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

, Jane Harman
Jane Harman
Jane Margaret Lakes Harman is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party....

, William Coyne, Nick Rahall
Nick Rahall
Nick Joe Rahall II is the U.S. Representative for West Virginia's 3rd congressional district, serving since 1977. Rahall is currently Ranking Member of the House Resources Committee. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes much of the southern portion of the state, including...

, Ike Skelton
Ike Skelton
Isaac Newton "Ike" Skelton IV is the former U.S. Representative for . During his tenure, he has served as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a member for the Democratic Party...

, Juanita Millender-McDonald
Juanita Millender-McDonald
Juanita Millender-McDonald was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1996 until her death in 2007, representing California's 37th congressional district, which includes most of South Central Los Angeles and the city of Long Beach, California...

 and Tom DeLay
Tom DeLay
Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in...

 gave speeches on the floor of the House in honor of Dellums. Millender-McDonald described Dellums as a "distinguished, principled [and] educated man." Her tribute went on:

Congressman Ron Dellums is revered on both sides of this aisle because of his integrity and his commitment to progressive ideas. He was always on the cutting edge of the issues. California will miss him in the ninth district, but the State has been enriched by Ron Dellums. While he towers above most of us physically, this attribute is matched by his intellect, faith in the process and optimism for peaceful resolution of conflict.


Congressman Danny Davis
Danny K. Davis
For other persons named Danny Davis, please see Daniel Davis .Daniel K. Davis is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

 of Illinois described Dellums:
A creative, piercing, probing, incisive, thought-provoking, inspiring, charismatic, careful, considerate and deliberative mind. The mind to stand up when others sit down. The mind to act when others refuse to act. The mind to stand even when you stand alone, battered, bruised and scorned, but still standing. Standing on principle, standing tall and standing for the people.


Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
Tom DeLay
Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in...

 described Dellums as "...one of the most giving, open and stalwart, a real stalwart man when he was Chairman"
We are losing one of its finest Members, a Member that I have great respect for, because he always did his homework, was so articulate and eloquent on this floor.
He always got my attention when he stood up and took the microphone. He would stop every Member in their tracks to hear what he had to say, and there are very few Members that have served in this body that can claim the respect that both sides of the aisle had for the gentleman from California.
And the incredible reputation that the gentleman from California has brought to this House; he has elevated this House. He has elevated the distinction of this House by serving here, and this House will greatly miss him when he leaves.

Voting record


Dellums' voting records in Congress were "almost without exception straight As" from groups such as the Sierra Club
Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...

, the National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women is the largest feminist organization in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and has a membership of 500,000 contributing members. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S...

 and the AFL-CIO
AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

. He received 100% on consumer group Public Citizen
Public Citizen
Public Citizen is a non-profit, consumer rights advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., United States, with a branch in Austin, Texas. Public Citizen was founded by Ralph Nader in 1971, headed for 26 years by Joan Claybrook, and is now headed by Robert Weissman.-Lobbying Efforts:Public Citizen...

's scorecard. In contrast, he received an 'F' from NumbersUSA
NumbersUSA
NumbersUSA is an immigration reduction organization that seeks to reduce US immigration levels to pre-1965 levels without country of origin quotas as established in the Immigration Act of 1924. It advocates for immigration reduction through user-generated fax, email, and direct mail campaigns...

, a group dedicated to limiting immigration.

Dismissal of drug use allegations


An eight month investigation vindicated Dellums of allegations that he had used cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 and marijuana
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

, finding there was no basis for the allegations. The investigation of Dellums and two other congressmen, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 Democrat Charlie Wilson and California Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Barry Goldwater, Jr.
Barry Goldwater, Jr.
Barry Morris Goldwater, Jr. , is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California, 1969–1983. He is the son of the late Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee who ran against Lyndon B. Johnson for President of the United States during...

, began in 1983, based on a complaint from a House doorkeeper, who pled guilty to drug charges on Capitol Hill himself in March 1983.

Presidential nominations


In 1976, Dellums was nominated for president by the National Black Political Assembly but refused, stating "It is not my moment; it’s not my time." That year, he received 20 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention for the Vice-Presidency.

Four years later, he was again nominated as the presidential candidate, this time for the Independent Freedom Party, but refused the nomination because the IFP had not yet created an effective political structure. In that year’s Democratic National Convention, Dellums received three delegate votes for the Presidential nomination.

Lobbyist


Dellums has worked as a legislative lobbyist, which has drawn criticism described in the East Bay Express
East Bay Express
The East Bay Express is an Oakland-based weekly newspaper serving the Berkeley, Oakland, and East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area...

, a local newspaper. Shortly after leaving office, Dellums began consulting for an international health-care company, Healthcare Management International which invests in health insurance programs in developing countries.

Dellums worked in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist for clients such as the East Bay
East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area)
The East Bay is a commonly used, informal term for the lands on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay, in the San Francisco Bay Area, in California, United States...

 Peralta Community College District
Peralta Community College District
The Peralta Community College District is the community college district serving northern Alameda County, California. The district operates four community colleges: Berkeley City College, Laney College and Merritt College in Oakland, and College of Alameda. From 1968 to 1988, non-contiguous Plumas...

 and AC Transit
AC Transit
AC Transit is an Oakland-based regional public transit agency serving the western half of Alameda County and parts of western Contra Costa County in the western, Bay-side area of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area...

, the public transit district charged with offering mass transit throughout the East Bay
East Bay
-Places:In Canada:*East Bay, Nova Scotia, a small town in Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia*East Bay , the east arm of the Bras d'Or Lake located in Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia on Cape Breton IslandIn the United States:...

. Dellums' firm lobbied for Rolls Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

, a company that manufactures aircraft engines. He has also worked on behalf of
the San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

 during its attempts to build additional runway capacity, which has been vigorously opposed by environmental groups. His company has been engaged in community relations work for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. It is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus...

 which generates and handles radioactive waste, and has long had a contentious relationship with its residential neighbors and the Berkeley city council In addition he has lobbied for Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb , often referred to as BMS, is a pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City. The company was formed in 1989, following the merger of its predecessors Bristol-Myers and the Squibb Corporation...

, a multinational pharmaceutical corporation.

Dellums lobbied for the Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

an government in 2001–2002 and has worked to support Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian former Catholic priest and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies...

, the first democratically elected, former President of Haiti who was deposed in a 2004 coup.

When running for mayor of Oakland, Dellums listed his most recent profession as "retired Congressman" in election filing forms. When assistant City Clerk Marjo Keller informed the Dellums campaign that this description was unacceptable, the campaign elected to leave the occupation field blank.

A former East Bay Express columnist once wrote a column titled "Dellums for Dollars" criticizing Dellums' lobbying. Speaking in defense of Dellums, Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said that, if asked, Dellums would likely say "just because I'm advocating for a company that may be paying me consulting fees, I'm not selling out my beliefs."

2006 Oakland mayoral election


After Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente
Ignacio De La Fuente
Ignacio De La Fuente is an Oakland City Councilmember. He was also the President of Oakland's City Council until January 2009, when he became vice mayor of Oakland.-Background:...

, and District 3 City Councilmember Nancy Nadel
Nancy Nadel
Nancy Nadel is a U.S. politician, businesswoman, and member of the Oakland City Council serving her fourth consecutive term. After two terms on the Board of the East Bay Municipal Utility District, Nadel was elected to the District Three Downtown-West Oakland City Council seat in 1996. In 2006,...

 declared their mayoral candidacies, Dellums was recruited to run for Mayor of Oakland. An informal committee, "Draft Dellums," collected 8,000 signatures and presented them to the former Congressman at a public meeting at Laney College. Crowds of Oaklanders chanted "Run, Ron, Run".

In October 2005, reportedly after weeks of deliberation and speculation, Dellums announced that he would run for mayor of Oakland
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

. The previous mayor, former California Attorney General
California Attorney General
The California Attorney General is the State Attorney General of California. The officer's duty is to ensure that "the laws of the state are uniformly and adequately enforced" The Attorney General carries out the responsibilities of the office through the California Department of Justice.The...

 and current California Governor Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

, would have been prohibited by term-limits from running again.

On June 16, 2006, after a careful ballot count, and a dispute over whether votes for unqualified write-in candidates such as George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 counted towards the total, Dellums was unofficially declared the winner in the Oakland mayoral race. Dellums garnered a 50.18 percent majority to win the election This was 155 votes more than needed to avoid a runoff. Dellums received 41,992 votes, while his nearest challengers received 27,607 votes, and 10,928 votes respectively.

Transition and citizen task forces


Mayor-Elect Dellums' transition to office involved 800 Oaklanders who joined 41 task forces to make recommendations on issues ranging from public safety to education and affordable housing.
Many of these recommendations helped to shape the policy agenda of the Dellums administration. The task forces recommended a land use policy which would emphasize zoning for job-creating business. This policy was adopted in 2007, and the city is being zoned. The task forces recommended a stronger policy on the hiring of local residents, and the City Council appointed a group to pursue this change. The task forces recommended a focus on the green economy, and the Mayor, along with a variety of community organizations created the Green Jobs Corps, an office of sustainability and the East Bay Green Corridor
East Bay Green Corridor
The East Bay Green Corridor is a regional partnership working toward promoting the San Francisco East Bay as a global center of the emerging green economy. The members are thirteen East Bay cities, schools and research institutions...

. The Mayor reports that approximately two-thirds of the recommendations had been implemented as of the end of 2009. The Task Forces and the Inauguration itself, which included hundreds of the city's least affluent residents, were considered examples of grassroots democracy.

Public safety initiatives


Crime rates were high when Dellums took office in January 2007 and at his first State of the City Address in January 2008, Dellums called for hiring more police officers. Dellums promised that by year's end, the police department would be fully staffed at 803 officers. On November 14, 2008, 38 Oakland police officers were added to the force after graduating the 165th academy, bringing the department's force to 837 officers, the most in OPD history.

In addition, to follow through on his calls for hiring more officers, Dellums offered Measure NN on the November 2008 ballot, a voter initiative parcel tax to hire 70 additional police officers at a hiring and training cost of $250,000 each. Though 55 percent of Oakland voters supported Measure NN, this failed to meet California's "two thirds" constitutional requirement for the enactment of a new tax.

Dellums's administration negotiated the passage of a new police contract which was especially noteworthy, as it broke the Oakland Police Officers Association’s opposition to the civilianization of certain OPD positions which were previously staffed by "sworn," uniformed police officers, with concomitant payrolls and police academy training costs. OPD then hired "non-sworn" personnel to work some of its desk jobs and administrative jobs, freeing up academy uniformed officers for street patrol and investigative work.

Dellums instituted a new community policing program under which Oakland has been divided into three geographic areas — central, east and north-west, the officers in these three areas overseen by three police captains who are purported to be held accountable for getting to know residents and neighborhood issues and reducing crime in his or her district. Dellums' staff successfully negotiated a police officers contract which allowed the police chief to set officers' hours which resulted in a larger number of police on the streets during the hours of greatest crime.

Dellums called on the City Council and Police Chief Wayne Tucker to increase the number of recruits in the city's police academy, to establish incentives to keep older officers on the force beyond retirement — some of them to train new recruits — and to better prepare Oakland residents and others interested in law enforcement for jobs with the city's Police Department.

Other plans to reduce violence include training at-risk youth and ex-offenders for jobs, and intensifying police efforts to get weapons off the streets by cracking down on illegal gun dealers and establishing a city program to buy back guns.

On Saturday, March 21, 2009, during the 2009 Oakland police shootings incident, the Oakland Police Department lost three sergeants and one officer. One of the officers left instructions in his emergency packet that if he were killed in the line of duty that Dellums not be permitted to speak at his funeral. Two of the officers' families requested the same, and when Dellums attended the March 28 public memorial service at the Oracle Arena he honored the requests

In his State of the City address in 2008 Dellums promised to reduce the crime rate by 10% during 2009; the crime rate actually went down by 13%.

In 2009 Dellums hired the highly regarded Anthony Batts, formerly the Long Beach police chief. Batts had a record of reducing both crime and officer-involved shootings in that Southern California city.

Education Initiatives


Noting that reducing teacher turn-over and improving the engagement of teachers with the families of their students would require increasing the number of teachers who came from the local community, Dellums initiated a program to create more teachers who were diverse local residents. He held teacher recruitment summits in City Hall, helped the Teach Tomorrow in Oakland program to obtain $2.7 million in federal funding, and spoke to the U.S.
Conference of Mayors about the national potential of such programs. The Community Task Forces remained active in these efforts.

In 2009 Dellums launched an anti-drop-out initiative which included sponsoring back to school rallies at City Hall and participating with the school district in truancy reduction efforts. He accepted an invitation from the national organization, America's Promise, to join their efforts at drop-out prevention. As part of this effort, he started Oakland's Promise, recruited several dozen community based organizations to participate, held a Summit with 350 participants, and adopted an Action Plan to cut Oakland's drop-out rate in half.

Commission appointments


The resident task forces requested that the Mayor appoint a resident of the "frontline" communities which are most health-impacted by truck and shipping emissions of the Port of Oakland. His first appointment to the Port Commission was Margaret Gordon, a well-known community activist credited with playing a major role in altering public policy on air quality.

In September 2008, members of the Oakland City Council blocked Mayor Ron Dellums' appointment of Ada Chan to the Oakland Planning Commission in a 3-4-1 vote. Chan has a history of land-use activism in San Francisco. In January 2008, newly elected at-large City Coucilmember Rebecca Kaplan appointed Chan as her office's Policy Aide.

Promoting Oakland


As Mayor, Dellums proposed the idea of Oakland as a "Model City." He argued that Oakland is "big enough to be significant and small enough to get your arms around," and that the federal government needs a city like Oakland on which to try out new urban policy inventions.

Since 2008, Dellums has campaigned to bring millions in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act federal stimulus funding to Oakland, using both his extensive Washington contacts and the idea of the Model City. By the end of 2009, his efforts had yielded US$65 million in stimulus funding for Oakland, including the largest police grant of any city in the country, and the second largest amount in competitive funding after Chicago.

Criticism and recall efforts


After his election to mayor of Oakland, Dellums came under criticism for a wide range of issues, including a lack of transparency in government, ineffectual governance, and alleged extended absence from his duties at City Hall. He was criticized for refusing to disavow a staff-generated letter sent in his name in July 2007 to a Federal Bankruptcy Court in support of the Your Black Muslim Bakery
Your Black Muslim Bakery
Your Black Muslim Bakery was a bakery opened by Yusuf Bey in 1968 in Santa Barbara, California, and relocated to Oakland in 1971. A power broker at the center of a local community, it was held out as a model of African American economic self-sufficiency. However, it was later linked to widespread...

, whose owners were suspects in the 2007 murder of reporter Chauncey Bailey
Chauncey Bailey
Chauncey Wendell Bailey, Jr. was an American journalist, noted for his work primarily on issues of the African-American community. He served as editor-in-chief of The Oakland Post from June 2007 until he was shot dead on August 2, 2007...

. In 2009, Dellums and his wife were cited with failure to pay over $239,000 in federal income taxes.

In 2007, Oakland reporter Elise Ackerman launched an unsuccessful campaign to recall Dellums and released an open letter addressed to Dellums. Other petitions to recall Dellums circulated at the same time. When addressing a town hall-style meeting in 2007, Dellums declared, "I'm giving it everything that I have. If that's not enough, that's cool. Recall me and let me get on with my private life."

Dellums later announced he would not seek a second term as mayor of Oakland in the 2010 election. He was succeeded by Jean Quan
Jean Quan
Jean Quan is the Democratic mayor of Oakland, California. She previously served as City Council member for Oakland's 4th District...

.

Partisan affiliations


Though he ran as a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, and caucus
Caucus
A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement, especially in the United States and Canada. As the use of the term has been expanded the exact definition has come to vary among political cultures.-Origin of the term:...

ed as a Democrat in Congress, Dellums describes himself as a Socialist. In the 1970s, Dellums was a member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee
Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee
The Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee was founded in 1973 by Michael Harrington, who led a minority caucus in the Socialist Party. Harrington's caucus supported George McGovern's his call for a cease-fire and immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam...

 (DSOC), an offshoot of the Socialist Party of America
Socialist Party of America
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

. He later became vice-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America
Democratic Socialists of America
Democratic Socialists of America is a social-democratic organization in the United States and the U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International, an international federation of social-democratic,democratic socialist and labor political parties and organizations.DSA was formed in 1982 by a merger of...

 (DSA), which was formed by a merger between the DSOC and the New American Movement
New American Movement
The New American Movement was founded in 1971 by a group of leaders of opposition to the Vietnam War to serve as a forum for discussing where and how to redirect their activities. The call to convene was issued by Michael Lerner...

, and which works within and outside the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. As of 2006, Dellums is no longer a vice-chair of the DSA.

While running for mayor of Oakland, Dellums was officially registered
Voter registration
Voter registration is the requirement in some democracies for citizens and residents to check in with some central registry specifically for the purpose of being allowed to vote in elections. An effort to get people to register is known as a voter registration drive.-Centralized/compulsory vs...

 as a member of the Democratic party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. All city offices in Oakland are officially non-partisan.

On October 1, 2007, Dellums endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary at a press conference held at Laney College
Laney College
Laney College is a community college located in Oakland, California, next to the Lake Merritt BART station and the Kaiser Convention Center. Laney is the largest of the four colleges of the Peralta Community College District which serves northern Alameda County.Laney College originally opened in...

 in Oakland. He was named national chair of Clinton's Urban Policy Committee.

Autobiography


in 2000, Dellums published an autobiography, cowritten with H. Lee Halterman, entitled Lying Down with the Lions: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power.

External links