Ron Dellums died earlier this week. Known for being a champion of progressive movements before they became popular, his career in politics spanned more than 40 years, 27 of them in the U.S. Congress.
His stance against the Vietnam War earned him a spot on President Nixon’s “Enemies List” and Spiro Agnew labeled Dellums “an out and out radical.” I love his response: “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 human misery, then I’m proud to be called a radical.”
Throughout my campaign, I’ve been asked “why” I’m running for a seat in the U.S. Congress. In some respects, my answer has not been much different than most candidates for office. But, something Ron Dellums once said comes closest to the depth of my desire to serve: “To get up every day…to march on the floor of Congress knowing that, in your hands, in your very being, you have life and death in your hands, it is an incredible thing.”
We’re all imperfect human beings. Certainly Ron Dellums wasn’t a role model for everyone. But no one can deny his passion for his beliefs and call to service are worthy of honor when compared to some office holders we now see in Washington.
Many of the issues Dellums fought for are still with us today. But, are they radical ideas? I know what I stand for.
I'd rather fight for universal health care than tax cuts for the 1%.
I’d rather fight to protect Veterans benefits than deny them services.
I’d rather fund school nutrition programs than deny a hot meal to a starving child.
I'd rather protect asylum seekers than abuse them.
I'd rather deal with climate change than deny it.
I'd rather defend America from Russia's cyberattack than smear the FBI.
I’m a candidate for Congress. If you’d rather fight for these protections than see them devastated, then please join our “People’s Campaign” – they may call us radical, but we can be the change that reforms how we respond to life and death issues for all Americans.