Oh, so much of it. I knew we had to develop downtown.
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Knew we had to develop our neighborhoods, we knew we had to do summer jobs for everybody … And I had that on my head and so it was like a road map for success for our city … People called me the job czar. Two hundred thousand dollars. Same city. I think you have to have role models … There are black boys in the Ward 8, low-income communities, [who] have never ever seen a black man get up and go to work on time.
Jones, I can be like Mr. My desire to help somebody along the way. I could have retired a long time ago. Editor's note: In , Barry was wounded during a siege on three buildings in Washington, D. A dozen gunmen formerly associated with the Nation of Islam seized the buildings. Then a City Council member, Barry was hit by a ricocheted bullet and rushed to the hospital. Well, no, no. Who wants to live that kind of life?
Marion Barry’s Lost Generation
It happened. God saved me from being killed. There were two people killed that day — one security guard and one reporter — and so I look on the bright side of that. I think Machiavelli was deceptive, be it fooling people, trying to act like and be like that, or act like this one way and deceptive over here.
Do somebody else.
As mayor, you were not without your share of controversies. The longest-serving mayor of any major American city, Riley turned a seedy southern city into an international cultural destination. More than half of black college graduates are underemployed, according to the Center for Economic Policy and Research.
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No cause of death was immediately given. After all these years, people still call you mayor. And you worked in the fields. Marion Barry as a teenager. Marion Barry. Then-Mayor Marion Barry leaving U. District Court in How do you break the cycle for those young people now who are born into poverty? What keeps you in politics now? Do you still think about that, about having been shot?
Marion Barry Statue Unveiled in D.C. | | The Washington Informer
Marion Barry, a few days before he was busted by the FBI. Do you think that you will run again for Council? I reject the comparison. In , Marion Barry was elected to the school board.
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Getty Images. I said, I wonder what your thoughts are. Yeah, you got to do that. But in order to get respect you have to give respect too. He has impressed more than a few Republicans with his knowledge of Washington's intricate budget problems -- in the early 80's, before his "focus" problems, he was known as a good number-cruncher, and those skills, like his political skills, appear to be intact. And he does have a few choice cards left, including the always potent race card which the Mayor was playing when Johnnie Cochran was still a prosecutor.
And Barry has his remarkable ability for reinvention, and his loquacious charm. Most of all, though, he has something that Newt Gingrich desperately wants, and doesn't have. At the same time, given the fact that he had been convicted and had done some time, and had been in a situation where you would say normally, 'He can't win,' I said at the time that this was a commentary on the city, on the desperation of the people, that they turned back to their symbolic leader.
And he called me the next day and said, 'Hey, I'm not this guy you think I am Gingrich continues: "He said, 'Let's talk,' and the truth is, I said, 'I don't want. I hadn't figured out the advantage, and I knew he could outtalk me, and I knew he'd get me to believe it whether it was true or not. Barry grins broadly. They make up one of the odder couples in Washington, but they seem to charm each other, and the evening at times threatens to become as squishy as an episode of "Friends," except with blacks.
When asked to talk about perceptions of race in society, Gingrich holds up his hand and says, "I think I'm white. Two-thirds of race is poverty. They haven't disappeared yet, though, and both men recognize that their fast friendship might unsettle their own constituencies. Barry is dressed in a kente-trimmed, cream-colored westernized Ghanaian business suit; Gingrich is not. It is rare to see two such mismatched politicians try so earnestly to act in concert. But Barry, a pragmatist and, above all, a self-preservationist, is ideologically elastic enough to agree with Gingrich, the man who must pay the city's bills, on most everything he says.
Barry is the ultimate insider-as-outsider. In the 70's, rich white liberals voted him in as Mayor. In the 80's, rich white developers paid for his re-election campaigns. Now, he needs the rich white Republican Congress to fund his government. We have to look at different systems, different ways of getting things done. It is striking, on one level, that Gingrich even bothers to sit down with Barry.
The Speaker is, after all, intent on "transforming" -- his word, now cleverly adopted by Barry -- the entire world. Yet he is pouring his energy into repairing this one midsize city, an overwhelmingly Democratic one at that.
This is Gingrich as Jack Kemp, bent on creating what sounds like a contradiction: a Republican urban policy. But this is also Gingrich as Jimmy Carter, believing that weak inner cities mean a weak America, and even Gingrich as Lincoln, believing that blacks might actually be willing to return to the Republican Party. But Gingrich is vague on just what he wants to do with Washington. When I ask what programs he'd like to see implemented in six months or a year, he snaps, "I don't think that way.
source site On Washington, at least, Gingrich doesn't sweat the details. I'm for a balanced budget, but that's not historic. If you don't replace the whole way we're approaching Anacostia, it will stay a wasteland. And Gingrich cannot change Anacostia, he acknowledges, without Barry by his side. So when Kemp, the bleeding-heart conservative who has been pushing Congress to grant Washington huge tax relief, brokered the first Barry-Gingrich meeting, Gingrich says, "I walked into the room saying to myself, 'We're both in a very interesting position.
He has the popular will but doesn't have the resources. I have the legal power and some of the resources, but nobody in Anacostia is going to believe Gingrich wants to help. Worrying about public support in places like Anacostia has not always been a priority for Gingrich. In , he told his college students in Georgia: "I think we should take five to seven cities, and every aspect of the welfare state should be replaced simultaneously in these five to seven cities.
I believe it is possible to have comprehensive projects, but let's do it in a handful of places to see if it works. Today, though, he says: "No whites, whether they are congressmen from Georgia or reporters from New York, understand Anacostia. For us to go in and say, 'Hi, I think I'll play lab technician and you human beings will be my laboratory,' that's totally unacceptable.
Gingrich's newfound urban sensitivity, which he seems to practice selectively, comes from two women: Jane Fortson, his adviser on inner-city issues, a white Democrat who is a senior fellow at Gingrich's Progress and Freedom Foundation; and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District's Congressional delegate and a former chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Norton, who is black, has been another unlikely partner of Gingrich's: her lobbying has helped preserve home rule and kept Barry, her ally and sometime adversary, from being shoved aside. Beyond the advice from Norton and Fortson, Gingrich also seems to sense a willingness on the part of Washington's black elite to hear his ideas out, and he recognizes the real dangers for him if he moves too quickly.
As summer gave way to fall, there were whispered fears on Capitol Hill that dismantling home rule could result in civil disobedience or even violence. In fact, the implicit threat of disorder is one of Mayor Barry's most dependable race cards. One afternoon, I asked Cora Masters Barry, the Mayor's wife and a key adviser, about white fears of black protest.
She is a sharp-eyed political operator, and I expected her to issue a ringing denunciation of white congressmen who believe in the infinite capacity of blacks to riot.
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Instead, she said: "Nobody knew it would be Rodney King that would send L. I mean, you never know what one thing is going to set the people off. Newt knows that. He's smart like that.
When I asked Gingrich if he thought that tampering with home rule could actually provoke violence, he shook his head emphatically, saying, "No, no, no. Armed with this enlightened, if self-serving understanding of home rule, Gingrich set out to rein in the same congressmen he had already commanded to re-engineer the District, leaving them confused and more than a little angry. They seem to be angry at the moral decay, and it's natural, I suppose, to approach this from an almost punitive perspective.