Marion Barry, District Councilman and Former Mayor, Dies at 78
Despite his faults, Barry is credited with opening the city’s government to black citizens; for creating a massive summer jobs program that while wasteful in many cases offered a job or paid internship to any city youth who wanted one; and for treating senior citizens as a top priority with homes and programs for those in the twilight of life. His pro-business stance helped fuel the downtown real estate boom in the 1980s and helped fill his campaign war chest. He completed the city’s first convention center on time and on budget. In his last term as mayor, Barry landed the deal to get the MCI Center (now the Verizon Center) built downtown.