Ron Dellums, My Friend and Mentor

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Tuesday July 31, 2018 - 04:15:00 PM

I was lucky to call Congressman Ron Dellums not just my predecessor, but also my mentor and dear friend. Today, I share my deepest condolences with his family and remember the impactful legacy he left behind. 

Congressman Dellums was the father of coalition politics. He co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus, advocating for social and economic justice for his community and communities across the country. 

His principles and values were evident in not just his policies, but also his actions. He was proud to be a feminist, way ahead of his time, ardently supporting women’s rights before it was the norm. His anti-apartheid work, anti-war efforts, civil rights advocacy and historic chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee improved countless lives. 

He was a social worker, which was evident in the way he tackled challenges and fought for the most vulnerable among us. Congressman Dellums always said that when constituents came to his office asking for help, we must ask ourselves “Is this the right thing to do?” He said if the answer is yes, you help that person. No doubt about it. 

Simply put, Congressman Dellums was a progressive warrior. A caring, courageous, and bold leader who gave it his all to truly represent and help the people of East Bay while fighting for peace and justice not just throughout the country but across the world. His legacy lives on in our hearts and in the lives he’s changed, forever.