He says as Major-elect: “We can solve the problems of Oakland. We can be a great city.” And: “I accept this responsibility with honor, humility, optimism and idealism,” Dellums said. “We can solve the problems of Oakland. We can be a great city.” (See People’s Weekly World).
He said: “What am I ducking about? I am equal to you intellectually, I am equal to you as a human being. I respect you, you respect me. And in an honest discourse in a free and open society, I have to have the right to step up and define who I am. What gives you the right to define who I am? I am not here to judge you, who are you to judge me? And if we’re going to deal with each other in a free and open society with a legitimate exchange of ideas in the marketplace, then I cannot put myself in a second-class role to you to allow you to assume the capacity to even think that you could judge me. So if I’m not going to judge you and you don’t judge me, now there are two equals in discourse. So I don’t accept the labels that you place upon me. And if there are other people out there who are wondering what all these labels are about, let me tell you who I am.” (See the whole interview on berkeley interview).
He was legislating for the people, as a U.S. Representative from California from 1971 until 1999.
See also R.V.Dellums Homepage.
Ronald V. Dellums – USA
The contest between Dellums and De La Fuente — Oakland’s longtime City Council president — triggered a debate over Oakland’s civic identity and a referendum on the eight-year tenure of outgoing Mayor Jerry Brown. While race per se was not an issue, class was. A housing and development boom under Brown forced out many lower-income residents, mainly African Americans, while more middle-class residents moved in. The result was an expanded tax base that boosted business activity in Oakland, but simultaneously left many lower-income residents feeling excluded. For poorer residents, Oakland is in crisis, with violent crime increasing and the schools in state receivership.
While Oakland’s business establishment backed De La Fuente, as did many residents who applauded his skill at making the bureaucracy function, it was Dellums’ promise to include residents in crafting a new vision for Oakland that seems to have resonated with voters. “Those of us who have been locked out of the process for the last 20 or 30 years, we are so elated,” Mustafa Ansari, an Oakland political scientist and human rights attorney told Dellums on Monday. “The door is now open,” Dellums answered. “You are going to be part of the process.” (See more on today’s Los Angeles Times).
Read also the Final Vote Tally in Oakland Race.
Thirty-three years after Black Panther Party Co-Founder Bobby Seale ran for Mayor of Oakland, it’s now official. Ronald V. Dellums — the tall, dignified, articulate, and passionate crusader for justice and peace who came of political age in Oakland during the time of the Black Panthers — will be the next Mayor of Oakland. Dellums has pledged to work to make Oakland a model city. In 1973, the Panthers sought political office to harness the power of government and put it in service to the people. People have marched, struggled, sacrificed, and died for the ideal of giving “All Power to the People.” Now Ron Dellums is mayor, and we have a historic opportunity to use that power to improve the lives of the people of Oakland and provide a shining example to the country of what is possible in terms of enlightened municipal governance. Let’s get to work. (Read this on PowerPac, and also on San Francisco Gate).
Interviewer Harry Kreisler: “your goals in life were to go off and get a Ph.D. after you had gotten an M.A. in social work, but you were caught up by the Movement and were chosen by the Movement to be its voice, really”. Answer: Yes. And it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. As a matter of fact, when I came home at 3:00 a.m. in the morning from a meeting where I had been drafted to be a candidate for the Berkeley City Council, and I was a psychiatric social worker, for the next week I literally stayed in a fetal position for five or six days, called into my job deathly ill, you know with that voice that many of us use: [feebly] “I’m sorry, I can’t come to work.” Because I was overwhelmed by this idea that people wanted me to be in public life. I agonized over this. And then I finally went to my friend and I said, “Look, I love you, and I love you guys, but this is what you want for me, this is not what I want for me. I want my life back. I don’t want to be in public life.” “It’s too late man!” It was at that point that he said “There’s no way, you’re the guy. It’s done. (See more on berkeley interview).
A California native, Dellums was born in Oakland, California, on November 24, 1935. He and his wife, Leola (Roscoe) Higgs Dellums, have three children: Brandy, Erik, and Piper. Dellums served as an enlisted member of the U.S. Marine Corps prior to receiving an Associate of Arts degree from Oakland City College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State College, and a Master’s of Arts degree in social work from UC Berkeley. Prior to elective office Dellums enjoyed a distinguished career as a psychiatric social worker, job training and development program manager, and a nationallly prominent consultant on community job-development programs. He served on the Berkeley City Council from 1967 to 1971 prior to his election to the House of Representatives in November of 1970. (See Institute of International Studies , UC Berkeley).
Dellums was the first African American elected to Congress from Northern California.
Book: In 2000, he published his memoirs ‘Lying Down With the Lions’. (Review see on this wikipedia page).