WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Ron Dellums, founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus:
“Ronald Dellums was a dedicated public servant and a fierce champion for social and economic justice for all. Throughout his 27 years in Congress, he fought fearlessly for his constituents in Oakland, California and against injustice as it happened in America and throughout the world. He was a prominent opponent of the Vietnam War and led a 14-year fight to denounce Apartheid in South Africa, which culminated in the passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act in 1986. I had the great privilege of serving alongside Dellums during my time as a member of the House of Representatives. He will always be remembered for governing on a platform of both conviction and compassion that sought to empower the voiceless and call upon all American leaders to do the same.
“Dellums was a pioneer himself, rising to become the first Black chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and establishing, along with 12 other distinguished members, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in 1971. Through his leadership in the CBC, in Congress and later as mayor of Oakland, he continued to courageously advocate for disadvantaged communities through his progressive policies.
“While his actions helped push forward the vehicle of progress, we are still working to preserve many of the ideas that Dellums fought for today. Dellums’ principled leadership and thoughtful advocacy will serve as inspiration for the next generation of Black lawmakers and community leaders for years to come.”