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Alameda County, CA June 6, 2006 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Ronald V. "Ron" Dellums

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Oakland

This information is provided by the candidate

Bio: Ronald V. Dellums

An Oakland native, Ron Dellums grew up on Wood St in West Oakland, attended Oakland schools and graduated from Oakland Tech, Oakland City College (now Merritt) (AA), SF State (BA), and UC Berkeley (MSW). Ron served two years active duty in the United States Marine Corps,

Following graduate school, Ron worked as a psychiatric social worker for the California Department of Mental Hygiene. He then directed various programs in Bayview/Hunters Point before becoming Director of the Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center. Subsequently, he was Director of employment programs for the SF Poverty program and then Senior Consultant on manpower programs for Social Dynamics Inc, a leading Bay Area consulting firm.

In 1967, he was elected to the Berkeley City Council and in 1970 to the US House of Representatives. He represented Oakland, Berkeley, and surrounding areas, in the Congress for 28 years, rising to become Chair of the House DC Committee and then Chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

Initially elected in opposition to the Vietnam War, Ron became a recognized expert in military and foreign policy. He became the leading Congressional voice challenging the underlying assumptions of the military budget and brought forth annual alternative military and full U.S. (recognized by budget experts, including the Administration's budget director, as the most honest and accurate proposals under debate.)

As Chair of the DC Committee, Ron converted the committee into the only Congressional committee focused on the problems of cities. The Committee addressed issues facing many urban centers including the unfunded pension liability of city workers, affordable housing, homelessness and mental health, the problems of urban infant mortality, the negative impacts on local tax bases of public and non-profit development (hospitals, universities, etc.), and the financial inability of city governments to finance adequate and appropriate urban services for their residents.

On the Armed Services Committee, Ron used his leadership positions to question US policy and brought about the first real strategic debates on military policy in the post-Cold War world. He led successful fights to stop the misguided MX missile system, to limit the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") and B-2 bomber programs, as well as other expensive and unusable nuclear war-fighting weaponry. As important, his leadership resulted in substantially improvements in the working and living conditions of those serving in the military and their families. Despite opposition to US military policies, Ron continually fought to better the conditions of the men and women who were the instrument of these policies.

From his first days in Congress, he authored bills to withhold support from the Apartheid South African regime and it was the Dellums bill that passed the House and made divestment US national policy with Congress over-riding a Reagan presidential veto. This divestment pressure helped the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa to win the release of Nelson Mandela and his election as President of a democratic South Africa.

Ron was a leader on the environment, labor, consumer issues, and civil rights and was continually acknowledged by the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation voters, the AFL-CIO, the National Organization of Women, Public Citizen, among many others, as having a perfect voting record.

In addition to representing his district's views in the Congress, Ron was exceptionally effective in bringing home substantial federal funds for the benefit of Oakland. His achievements included: the dredging of Oakland's harbors indispensable for maintaining the competitiveness of Oakland as a major port, while restoring wetlands; bringing jobs and anchoring downtown development with the new Federal Building and related development (despite aggressive lobbying to have it located in SF); the creation and development of the Chabot Space and Science Center; as well as monies for BART, AC Transit, health centers, HIV/AIDS programs, senior housing, and for the economic conversion of the Naval Air Station and Oakland Army Base.

Throughout his career, Ron used his office to bring parties together, to remove obstacles, to break down bureaucracies, and to get things done. When Port dredging was stalled, he brought the parties together and found solutions acceptable to the previously warring interests of the Port, the environmental community, labor, and the Corps of Engineers. Similarly, Ron was instrumental in resolving countless labor disputes and in working the various bureaucracies on behalf of the victims of the Oakland fire.

He is the author of several books, including a recent autobiography Lying Down With the Lions: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power as well as Defense Sense: The Search for a Rational Military Policy.

Since leaving Congress, he has been President of an international management company and a leading spokesman on the tragedy of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and throughout the world. He was Chair of President Clinton's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS.


Ronald V. Dellums



M.S.W., University of California, 1962. B.A. (Psychology), San Francisco State College, 1960 A.A., Oakland City College (now Merritt), 1958. Ph.D. (Honoris Causa), Medical University of Southern Africa, 2001. Honorary Doctor of Laws, California State University, Hayward, 2000. Honorary Doctor of Law, Wilberforce University, 1975.


Present: Founding and Senior Partner, Dellums & Associates, LLC. Providing consulting services in strategic planning, negotiation and mediation, communications and government affairs to domestic and international clients.

Recent: President, Healthcare International Management, 1998-2001. Worked with the newly democratic South African government to develop comprehensive, low cost and affordable health care strategies.

Government Service:

Member, U.S. House of Representatives [D-CA, Ninth District], 1971-1998

Chairman, 1993-1994, and Member, 1973-1994, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Democrat and Member, House National Security Committee, 1995-1998

Chairman, Military Acquisition Subcommittee, 1991-1993 Chairman, Military Installation and Facilities Subcommittee, 1987-1989 Chairman, Research and Development Subcommittee, 1989-1992; Member, Defense Policy Panel 1987-1989 Member, Investigations Subcommittee, 1987-1990 Chairman, 1979-93, and Member, 1971-93, House Committee on the District of Columbia Vice Chairman, House Temporary Commission on Financial Oversight of the District of Columbia, 1979-80 Chairman, Education Subcommittee, 1973-74 Chairman, Education, Labor, and Social Services, 1975-76 Chairman, Fiscal and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee, 1977-78 Chairman, Fiscal Affairs and Health Subcommittee, 1979-82; Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 1991-92 Member, North Atlantic Assembly, 1987-94 Member, National Capital Planning Commission, 1983-84, 1987-92 Member, Post Office and Civil Service Committee, 1981-83 Member, House Select Committee on Intelligence (Pike Committee), 1975-76 Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1971-72 Member, Berkeley City Council, 1967-71

State and Private Employment: Psychiatric Social Worker, Department of Mental Hygiene, 1962-64 Program Director, Bayview Community Center, 1964-65 Associate Director, then Director, Hunters Point Youth Opportunity Center, 1965-66 Planning Consultant, Bay Area Social Planning Council, 1966-67 Director, Concentrated Employment Program, San Francisco Economic Opportunity Council 1967-68 Senior Consultant, Social Dynamics, Inc. (specializing in manpower development programs, 1969-70 Part-time lecturer, San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Social Welfare, 1969

Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps, two years' active duty, Honorable Discharge, 1954-56


Vice Chairman, United States-South Africa Business Council (an industry association promoting commercial and industrial relations between the United States and South Africa), 2001-present

Member, Board of Trustees, Public Health Policy Advisory Board (a health-care policy institute founded by former Health & Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan), 2001 -present

Member, Eminent Persons Panel on HIV/AIDS, Strengthening U.S. Leadership, Center for Strategic & International Studies (HIV/AIDS policy issues panel), 2001

Chairman, President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (principal advisory panel to U.S. President on issue of HIV/AIDS), 2000-01. Member, 2000-present

Chairman, Board of Directors, Constituency for Africa, (Non-governmental Organization [NGO] dedicated to issues facing the continent of Africa), 1999-present

Member, Board of Directors, AIDS ACTION, (NGO focused on AIDS-related policy issues), 1999-present

Member, Panetta Institute, (NGO dedicated to providing leadership training for youth), 1998- present

Distinguished Chair, Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution, University of California, Berkeley (dedicated to the development of comprehensive peace and conflict resolution strategies)

Currently Establishing: The Ronald V. Dellums Scholarship at Mills College, CA, sponsored by The Albert Penick Fund (five year endowment), established 2001

Lifetime Member, National Association of Social Workers Lifetime Member, NAACP Lifetime Member, Alpha Phi Alpha

HONORS David R. Brower, Ronald V. Dellums Institute for Sustainable Policy Studies, Merritt College, Oakland, CA, established 1999

Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, CA, dedicated 2000

Ronald V. Dellums Building, Chabot Science Center and Observatory, Oakland, CA, dedicated 2000

African-American Museum and Library at Oakland, archives of career established 1999

Distinguished Alumni, Hall of Fame, San Francisco State University, 1996

Numerous other awards, honors and recognitions


LYING DOWN WITH THE LIONS: A Public Life from the Streets of Oakland to the Halls of Power, with Halterman, Beacon Press, Boston, 2000

DEFENSE SENSE:. The Search for a Rational Military Policy, with Halterman and Miller, Ballinger Publishing Company, Cambridge, 1983

THE DELLUMS HEARINGS: Social and Political Implications of the OMB Cuts on Social Research, Institute for the Study of Social Changes, UC, Berkeley, Berkeley, 1981

THE DELLUMS COMMITTEE HEARINGS ON WAR CRIMES IN VIETNAM, edited with an introduction by the Citizens Commission of Inquiry, Vintage, New York, 1972

"Defining National Security: The African American Stake in U.S. Defense and Foreign Policy Formulation" in FOREIGN POLICY AND THE BLACK (INTER) NATIONAL INTEREST, edited by Charles P. Henry, State University of New York Press, Albany, 2000.

"Peace through Partnership" in Mediterranean Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 3, 1994.

"Toward the Post-Transition World: New Strategies for a New Century" in SAIS Review, Winter- Spring 1995

"Bringing it All Back Home" in Race, Poverty & the Environment, Volume IV, Number 4/Volume V, Number 1, 1994.

"Preventive Engagement: Constructing Peace in a Post-Cold War World" in Harvard International Review, Volume XVI, No. 1, 1993.

"Towards Increased Defense Sense", with Dan Lindheim, in Winning America: Ideas and Leadership for the 1990s, edited by Marcus Raskin and Chester Hartman, South End Press, Boston MA,1988

"Welfare State vs. Warfare State-Legislative Struggle for a Full Employment Economy" in The Black Scholar, Volume 17, Number 6, 1986.

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