Marion Barry remembered for love of DC

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2014 4:54 PM

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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"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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"As a long-time resident of Washington, D.C., I can attest to the fact that former Mayor Barry was a consequential figure in the city that I call home. His vision, and his hard work, helped to transform Washington into the world-class city it now is. Mayor Barry was, as we all are, a complicated man and a person who had to deal with many personal issues. But his focus on those who are often without a voice in this community, and his critical role in creating economic opportunity too long denied many of the city's residents, are significant parts of his legacy." — Attorney General Eric Holder.

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"He was one of those who had the courage almost at the beginning to admit that what we were living under simply was not right. ... The whole business of drugs and what not in my judgment does not deny the fact that he was a strong organizer of people, and he sympathized and empathized with people in their plight. Along the way, he did a lot good on behalf of people." — Civil rights leader the Rev. James Lawson in Nashville, Tennessee.

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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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"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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"He rose to become one of the most influential politicians in District of Columbia history. ... Mayor Barry will always be remembered for the most expansive youth jobs program in the United States, where summer employment was guaranteed for every school-age resident." — California Rep. Maxine Waters.

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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. ... 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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"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.