By C.N. Editorial Board
Nearly a year has passed since Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May was elected. Her election came on the heels of the passing of former ‘Mayor for Life’ and Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. May entered into a crowded field in the race for his seat, but came out victorious against contenders.
By: Eyasu Delesa
About 14 years ago, the idea to put a child development center in Ward 8 was planted. On March 15. 2016 that idea reached its first tangible outcome as many gathered together to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ward 8 Bright Beginnings Child Development Center.
The William O. Lockridge Community Foundation Is Shaping Future Leaders In SE Washington, D.C.
By Wanda Lockridge
On Saturday evening, November 14th, over three hundred elected officials, family members, friends, and former colleagues of the late William O’Neal Lockridge gathered at THEARC in SE Washington for the “Dancing with the Scholars V” Fundraiser. The much anticipated premiere community event raises funds to support both domestic and international programs of the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation (WOLCF).
By Barrington M. Salmon
Special to Capital News
A commission assembled to come up with appropriate ways to honor the life and legacy of the late DC Mayor Marion S. Barry, Jr., and whittled a list of 30 recommendations to four.
On Monday, November 23, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the list at a ceremony in Southeast DC that included Barry’s widow Cora Masters Barry, relatives, friends and former colleagues of the mayor and DC Council member. The ceremony coincided with the first anniversary of Barry’s passing.
By Barrington M. Salmon
Several painters who studied under acclaimed artist and educator Loïs Mailou Jones recounted their experiences at a recent reception marking the opening of an exhibit that captures her almost 70 years as a painter, designer and sculptor.
By Phinis Jones
Marion Christopher Barry, son of late “Mayor for Life” and Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, died Sunday August 14th of a drug overdose of the synthetic marijuana drug K2 and PCP. A mystery man to many, Barry lived a very public life because of his father’s public role. Growing up in the eye of the media can be hard and Christopher made that known. While he died an entrepreneur, owning a successful construction company, he also had his struggles with drugs, which brought about run-ins with law enforcement.
Christopher was the only child to his parents, Barry senior and Efficiency “Effie” Slaughter Barry. Christopher graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School and went on to attend Hampton University, where his mother worked. He also attended The University of the District of Columbia, but did not finish there or Hampton University.
His construction company was named after his mother, Efficiency Contractors, LLC. Through his company he employed local Ward 8 residents who were out of work. He started the company in 2007 to serve as a one-stop-shop for competent skilled and unskilled labor force for plumbing, electrical and mechanical and specialized demolition. His company played a significant role in the Bald Eagle Recreation Center in Ward 8, doing most of the painting for the job’s construction work.
His company just recently received its recertification for the Certified Business Enterprise distinction from the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Business Development Program Assistant with Congress Heights Community Training and Development Corporation, Jakayra Branch, helped Christopher throughout this process. She said he came in for his initial consultation in late 2015 and due to a few obstacles he didn’t get recertified until February. However, she said, “He worked hard. He came into my office multiple times a week for nearly 3 months until he got all his paperwork together. I could see his dedication.” She said each time he faced a setback he worked to overcome it.
Not only did he seek help for his construction company, but Branch said Barry was in the process of starting a non-profit centered around training young men with lifeskills. “He talked about the need to reach out to the younger generations in the ward and how his non-profit would serve to fill a gap of service he believe existed,” she said.
Outside of his business ventures Branch also saw a man who was focused on getting his personal matters in order. “From all my interactions with him, I would say he was a productive business person, but also someone who cared about making sure all his personal life matters were taken care of.”
Others who knew Christopher have said he was a good guy. Ward 8’s Democratic nominee for the Council seat, Trayon White was close with him. He said, “Chris was like a brother to me. He cared about the community. He had a lot of things that he wanted to work on to better the community.”
Christopher was also heavily invested into the Ward 8 community. After his father’s death in November 2014, he ran to fill his seat in a special election in April 2015. He appeared on the ballot as ‘Marion C. Barry’ and was endorsed by former councilmembers and several community activists. His bid was unsuccessful and he finished in sixth place. His former campaign manager, Liz Matory said that he was planning his next move coming off the loss. According to the DC Board of Elections website he picked up and turned in petitions to run for his neighborhood’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8B04 seat.
Matory also said, “He was very strong. And he was able to handle a lot. And I think he inherited that from his father. But he also inherited the hubris, where he was like ‘I can handle this.’” Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May said Christopher continued the work of his father. “One of the things I appreciated about him was his commitment to the people in our community,” she said. ” As a small business owner Christopher continued the legacy of his father by many times offering job opportunities to people.”
In a statement, Christopher’s stepmother and widow of his father, Cora Masters Barry said, “My heart is broken. I am in shock. The news of his death is beyond comprehension.” Christopher is survived by his grandmother Polly Lee Harris.