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Term: Jan. 2, 2005 - Jan. 2, 2017
Political Affiliation: Democratic Party
Office: 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 102, Washington, DC 20004
Tel: (202) 724-8045 | Fax: (202) 724-8055
Represents: Ward 8
Chan Tei DuRant
Chief of Staff
To know Marion Barry, Jr., was to understand his stalwart assertion to public service. Marion Barry, Jr., dedicated 40 years of his life to public service living by the motto of “always fighting for the people.”
Barry's service to the District began in 1971, when he was elected to the city's first school board. Upon Congress granting the District of Columbia the right to hold its own local elections, Barry won a seat on the DC City Council in 1974, and was named chairman of the Finance Committee. While serving as a member of the Council, Barry spearheaded the movement to require that all contracts considered by the District government for services, supplies, and development include a mandatory 35 percent participation for minority owned companies.
He was reelected to the City Council in 1976, and two years later, became the second Mayor ever elected in DC, serving for three terms until 1990. Among his accomplishents: directing all of his department heads to comply fully with the 35 percent goal of minority participation, significantly increasing the number of contracts awarded to qualified African American and Latino businesses; creating the District Youth’s Employment Act of 1979 guaranteeing a summer job to every young person who resided in the District regardless of their economic status; and always advocating for economic inclusion - on behalf of African Americans, women, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders.
In 1992, Barry returned to DC politics by winning a seat on the City Council and made history in 1994 by winning a landslide victory returning him to the Mayoral seat.
Barry retired from politics in 1998, but then decided to run for the Ward 8 City Council seat in November 2004 and won.
Marion Barry passed away on November 23, 2014. His life and accomplishments were celebrated by the District’s residents over the nearly two weeks between his death and his burial, and remembrances are ongoing.