Today not only the Bay Area but also the world lost a former Oakland Mayor, US Congressman and social justice giant Ron Dellums.
Congressman Dellums was a tireless fighter for what he believed in and established the roadmap that, to this day, public servants in Oakland and beyond follow.
His passion and commitment made a deep impression on me, when I was a young politician. I will never forget reading his response, when then a Berkeley Councilmember, Dellums was called a radical, “ If it’s radical to oppose the insanity and cruelty of the Vietnam War, if it’s radical to oppose racism and sexism and all other forms of oppression, if it’s radical to want to alleviate poverty hunger, disease, homelessness, and other forms of humanity, misery, then I’m proud to be called a radical,” he said.
I was pleased to get to work with Congressman Dellums and always appreciated his kindness and humanity and belief in working for society that respects all people. Besides our work- related interactions, I was also honored to have the opportunity to share bible study with him.
Let us take strength from the legacy of Congressman Dellums as we continue to fight the injustices of sexism, racism and all other forms of oppression, and as we champion the people that he spent a lifetime defending. May his memory be a blessing.
Rebecca Kaplan is the Oakland’s 3-Term At-Large Councilmember