Norton Statement on the Passing of Her Good Friend and Former Colleague Ron Dellums
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) issued the following statement on the passing of 13-term Member of Congress and Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.
“The loss of Ron Dellums will be felt by Members past and present and of all backgrounds and political views. I had the privilege of working with Ron as he carried out several leadership roles here in Congress. District of Columbia residents will always be grateful to Ron for his championship of the District, before and after home rule. Ron chaired the Committee on the District of Columbia, which no longer exists, for 14 years and always sought increasing empowerment for the city, from strengthening our role in Congress to fighting for D.C. statehood. In effect, Ron Dellums took care of two districts—his own in the East Bay area and the District of Columbia. At a time when I was new to Congress, I personally benefitted immensely from his wisdom and use of his chairmanship and seniority on our behalf.
“I know of no precedent in Congress for a member known as a principled leader for peace who, at the same time, managed to gain the confidence of his peers to become chair of the Armed Services Committee. I felt Ron’s leadership in my work in the Free South Africa Movement when he spearheaded the effort in Congress to achieve the divestment of U.S. companies from South Africa and, ultimately, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. Ron was such a talented public official that he was not finished serving when he left Congress, later becoming mayor of Oakland, CA. Ron Dellums will be remembered as one of the most transformational men to serve in either chamber of Congress.”