On Saturday July 28th, the California Democratic Party Executive Board will meet in Anaheim. One of their tasks will be to select 19 members to the Democratic National Committee for the 2012-2016 term. My friend Dot De Leon is campaigning for one of those seats.
The bio on Dot’s website describes her as follows:
Dot De Leon has been politically active since 1964 when she walked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dot hasn’t stopped since then. She has done tireless work in the civil rights movement, labor movement, community activism and in numerous presidential campaigns. She is currently working in the Diamond Bar office for Obama 2012. Dot is extremely goal oriented and tenacious.
I would say that tenacious is a bit of an understatement. The election process is a bit of a marathon, but that doesn’t worry her because she has some experience running in marathons.
In 2007 Dot was about 335lbs and at 5’4″ carried far too much weight that didn’t help her in her fight against cancer while living with Myasthenia Gravis.
Dot made a decision and a commitment like many people would want to do in similar circumstances to lose weight, beat cancer and run in the LA Marathon.
Having diligently trained, as race day approached Dot was bouncing off the walls with excitement. Her walks had given her a new strength and it showed in her step even though she walks with a cane and light brace on her leg.
The starter finally shouted out the count down while Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” blared over the loudspeakers. The pack was buzzing. That was it for Dot. She couldn’t contain herself, when we reached the start banner she was jumping up and down shouting “We’re doing it! We’re doing it. We’re doing the LA Marathon”.
It would be a long and painful race. But none of that mattered. All that mattered was getting to the finish. Throughout her run, Dot kept insisting “I’m not quitting!” Dot, a 60-year-old (now 62) cancer survivor who had lost 189 lbs and finished the LA Marathon in 12 hours and change and has never looked back.
Today, Dot is running another kind of marathon. She is tackling the long-term effects of homelessness and poverty in her community (Los Angeles and Orange Counties). With the help of her friend Vera (seen in the upper left photo), she helped found Warm the Homeless, Inc. This 501(c)3 non-profit is making strides to ensuring homeless and low-income families are able to have access to hats, gloves, scarves, canned goods for Thanksgiving, and toys for Christmas.
It all started when a homeless man was outside a store. He asked Dot and Vera to buy him some gloves. The store manager would not let him in the store. Dot was upset because it was so cold outside. She went in and told the Manager that they would buy him gloves, a hat and a scarf and to let him in the store. From that day on we knew what we had to do……Warm The Homeless.
Most recently Dot has been actively involved as a volunteer and donor to the political campaigns of Julio Perez for State Assembly, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez for Congress, and President Barack Obama. Dot is an organizer for a Southern California Women for Obama fundraiser on August 4th (the President’s Birthday) in Los Angeles.
The contest for DNC is a tough one. 80 candidates are competing for 19 spots. The The top nine female vote-getters and top nine male vote-getters are awarded the first 18 slots. The 19th slot is awarded to the next highest vote getter, irrespective of gender. There are 17 incumbent members running in this election.
I want to encourage all members of the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party to cast one of their 19 votes for Dot Deleon. She will be an enthusiastic and dedicated member of the DNC when elected.