Marion Barry remembered for love of DC

Marion Barry, who served four terms as the mayor of the District of Columbia and served on the D.C. Council as the representative for the city’s Ward 8 until his death Sunday at the age of 78, was remembered for his love for the city he served:

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“Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Marion Barry. Marion was born a sharecropper’s son, came of age during the Civil Rights movement, and became a fixture in D.C. politics for decades. As a leader with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Marion helped advanced the cause of civil rights for all. During his decades in elected office in D.C., he put in place historic programs to lift working people out of poverty, expand opportunity, and begin to make real the promise of home rule. Through a storied, at times tumultuous life and career, he earned the love and respect of countless Washingtonians, and Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathies to Marion’s family, friends and constituents today.” — President Barack Obama.

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“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city. He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.” — District of Columbia Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

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“He has been an inspiration to so many people, and a fighter for people, and a champion for the people of Ward 8. Mr. Barry, I can say this, lived up until the minute, the way he wanted to live. He has left a strong legacy for so many young people to follow. He has left lessons about how he helped people in this city that will carry on for years and years to come.” — D.C. Councilmember and Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser.

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“Marion was a political genius, community outreach expert, champion of the over-looked and the left-out while emphasizing the inclusion of everyone. He was a warm compassionate human being and proud public servant who was the only DC politician with coattails. While his history of accomplishments began decades prior to his entry onto the DC political scene representing the SNCC in the 1960s, even today, he remains the city’s favorite politician and truly loved by most, and many across the nation. I’ll remember him for his capacity to turn the cheek, forgive and move forward no matter the adversity. He was a remarkable, powerful, proud leader of people that will be hard to forget.” — D.C. Councilmember Anita Bonds.

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“Marion Barry was a strong advocate for Ward 8 and devoted his life to the residents of Washington, D.C. His strong passion for making our city a great city was only surpassed in effort by his incredible commitment to ensuring that the poorest of our residents were never forgotten. It has been an honor for me to sit next to Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry on the dais and serve with him on the education committee for the past two years. I learned a lot about my beloved city from him and a lot about him. I will forever respect what he has done for this city in spite of his many challenges over a 40-year career.” — D.C. Councilmember David Grosso.

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“He lived his life in service to the public and reminded us all that, with grit and determination, we can overcome any obstacles life brings our way. For more than five decades, Mayor Barry was an outspoken voice for the voiceless. He believed in making government work for the people, and his public service provided hope and opportunity to many constituents who hadn’t had it before. As we reflect on his life, many will surely focus on his struggles. However, even those struggles could not match his determination to serve the citizens of the District of Columbia and the love he received in return from those who lovingly referred to him as ‘mayor for life.'” — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

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