RONALD V. DELLUMS, Founder and Senior Partner for Dellums, Brauer and Halterman, LLC retired from a distinguished congressional career spanning nearly three decades. Universally lauded as one of the most compelling and articulate speakers to serve in the House chamber, Dellums occupied many leadership positions in the House of Representatives. As the respected chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Dellums would take his struggle against militarism and war to the very heart of the national security establishment. During his chairmanship of the House District of Columbia Committee, he would have an opportunity to advance legislation addressing some of the most pressing national problems: mental and community health delivery, pension fund solvency and infant mortality to name just a few. As chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus he led the effort to redefine national priorities through the budget process.
First elected to Congress in 1970, against the backdrop of the Indochina War, Dellums quickly became one of the leading voices for peace and disarmament in the Congress. He became a recognized expert in both military and foreign policy, and perfected his craft as the acclaimed chairman of the Armed Services Committee. His leadership in the field led to the abandonment of plans to deploy the MX-mobile missile; to the curtailment of production of the B-2 bomber; and to the requirement that President Bush secure congressional approval before launching offensive military action in the Gulf War. In the early 19805, Dellums challenged the House of Representatives to conduct a full-scale inquiry into the "full implications" of the Reagan-era military buildup. When it failed to do so, he conducted the hearings, which led to the publication in 1983 of his book DEFENSE SENSE: The Search for a Rational Military Policy.
Dellums has long advocated the inextricable link between peace and justice. In this connection, he was the visionary leader of the successful congressional effort to end U.S. support for the racist apartheid regime of South Africa. He was among the first to recognize the growing responsibility for the United States to participate with the international community in international peace operations, as among the various means by which to deter, prevent and contained armed conflict. He remains a vigorous advocate for arms reductions, nuclear disarmament and the use of diplomacy and conflict resolution as the key elements of U.S. foreign policy.
Dellums also distinguished himself with domestic legislative initiatives as well. The most prominent of these was his National Health Service Act, a proposal that has long been considered the most comprehensive and progressive health care proposal since it was first introduced in 1977. In addition, Dellums initiatives in the fields of civil rights and liberties, the environment and affirmative action have been widely applauded.
Dellums HIV/AIDS activism lead to an appointment by President Bill Clinton, as the Chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. Dellums believes that "my appointment is a recognition of two things that the face of AIDS is changing in America and that the problem is of global proportions." Dellums also serves as the Chair of Constituency for Africa and on the board of directors for AIDS Action.
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