City Desk

What Should Happen To Marion Barry? A Survey of Ward 8 ANC Commissioners

City Desk did a survey of ANC commissioners in Ward 8 today to find out: As the D.C. Council considers what, if any, action to take against Marion Barry following the release of the Bennett Report, what do you think should happen to him?

Mary Buckley, of ANC 8B: Buckley says "everyone should be treated the same." If the Council is planning to take any action against Marion Barry, "there should be policies, something in writing, that what happens [happens to any councilmember], not just Marion Barry. If there's a policy that already exists, a purely outlined policy, then everyone should be treated according to the written policy. I don't think there's any law that Marion Barry violated to be singled out to be treated differently." She says Barry should "absolutely not" step down. "He hasn't done anything to step down for." She adds: "This is an allegation," she says. "The court hasn't found Marion Barry guilty. If a court finds Marion Barry guilty of anything—or anyone else—they would have to face the consequences."

Barbara Clark, of ANC 8A: Of the Bennett Report, she says, "It seems like that whole thing was a gray area, for me. 'Cause it was pretty opinionated, because there was nothing that I could see, that it was just a thing of what other people do. Sometimes you might hire a friend. ... I'm saying these things happen. I wish they would concentrate more on the positive things he does." She doesn't think Barry should step down: "I'm a native Washingtonian, and I know how he has championed for the have-nots. I don't see anybody right now that I can put a finger on to say that champions the have-nots. We need to think about that. Because somebody needs to think about the poor people. There are a lot of homeless people here. And not only that, just Ward 8 itself, it is one of the poorest, it's the poorest ward in Washington, D.C. It's all social services, no business or anything else, unemployment, a lot of ex-offenders are housed here, and crimes. It's all economics, and I always felt like some of the things we do have, the programs we do have, is because of the former mayor." She adds: "As far as I'm concerned, he's always, always has looked out for the poor. I think sometimes things get taken out of context. I'm not saying Marion has always been—he's a very charismatic person. He's a good-looking guy, and no matter what, women are always going to after any man who's in power, anyway. ... Look at Tiger Woods." And to those who say Barry is too old to serve, she says, there are U.S. senators in their 80s and 90s. "He's functioning well. There's nothing wrong with his mind. He's a brilliant man. He definitely hasn't forgotten where he's come from."

Olivia Henderson, of ANC 8D: Laughing, she asks, "Will this be held against me? They always say that I'm very confrontational." She continues: "I'm not saying he was right or wrong. However, there should be some type of consequence." Should he step down? Henderson says she isn't sure anyone would even notice if he did. "We do need better leadership over here in Ward 8. He is my representation and leader when I look for a councilmember, and I just feel as though something needs to happen now. I don't know how they impeach a person or anything like that. But we hold these people accountable for what they state. I understand what he has done in the past. But what is he doing in the future? I definitely think that he needs to be made an example out of. If not, they will continue to keep doing the same thing over and over." One more thing: "It really doesn't even matter if he steps down or not because I don't think he represents us at all."

Mitchell Hawkins, of ANC 8B: "Actually, I have not been following up with it. A lot of people tell me I should keep up with current news and things. I've been hearing about it, and I know there's some investigation or something like that going on. I don't know the outcome of it." He thinks Barry should step down because of his health problems. Otherwise, he adds, "I think it should just be dealt accordingly as if it was any other councilperson."

Carolyn Bridges-Ward, of ANC 8A: "Something I don't agree with is this lady [Donna Watts-Brighthaupt, Barry's ex-girlfriend]—she's the main course to the problem. The lady who Councilmember Barry was supposed to have given the grant to, if she truly worked for the grant, there's no problem. But I'm saying if she didn't truly work for the grant, then that should be a problem." Bridges-Ward doesn't care much about Barry's personal life. "I'm a Christian, so I feel like what happens in people's bedroom should stay in people's bedroom. It's not doing the community no good." And she doesn't think Barry should step down. "I don't see the need of him stepping down, not unless they find some discrepancy. I can't tell the government what to do, I'm just saying. If there's any monies to be paid back... or if there's not any discrepancies, just move on. It's enough of that out here already." Should there be any punishment at all? "Are you going to punish him for having an affair, or are you going to punish him for doing the wrong thing with the grant? I wouldn't remove him, not at this stage. No one is perfect, I'm just saying. I say let's move on."

Absalom Jordan, of ANC 8D: First, Jordan says he finds the Bennett report "flawed," in part because "we don't know the level of evidence that constitutes proof" of any potential wrongdoing. "We don't know if it has to be overwhelming evidence or clear and convincing." Second, Jordan says, Barry has apologized to the council. The council can't remove him: "No one can stop him from serving." He adds: "My concern is that I don't see enough evidence that would warrant him stepping down. He has said he accepts responsibility for certain things, that he admits that he shouldn't have done some things. He said he made some mistakes. He's apologized. I'm not looking for him to step down."

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  • Skipper


  • Colonel K

    A lot of evasive answers here. Either that or these commissioners don't have the strongest grasp on the English language.

  • Rick Mangus

    After reading this article I am convinced now more than ever that Ward 8 is full of morons that must have eaten lead paint as a child!

    I propose to give Ward 8 and all of SE east of the river back to Maryland, WHO NEEDS THEM!!!

  • The Advoc8te

    I've said it once and I will say it again. Ward 8 needs new leaders ASAP. This is only a taste of the dysfunction. It really is very, very, very sad. I think a lot of things have led to this denial most of which is probably the way Ward 8 has been insulated for so long from poltics...heck just basic information. Your average Ward 8 resident really doesn't have access to most of the substantial news about the going ons in the community. Almost all of these ANC folks quoted are "mature" in age, they don't have access to information online and newspaper coverage in Ward 8 is spotty at best and the news reports focus on the same thing over and over again. On one hand you kind of understand how it got this way but on the other hand there comes a point when you have to stop being in denial, stop being stubborn and accept the cold hard truth.

    In short there is nothing that will convince these ANC leaders that Barry ever does anything wrong or that Marion Barry's #1 priority is Marion Barry. This is what is keeping Ward 8 in the dark ages and I am so hopefull that we will see new folks in the next ANC elections - most ANC Commissioners have been in their roles for 20+ years. It's time for some new blood - weather that blood was born and raised in Ward 8 or just moved there. It is time for a change. Perhaps that is why so many of the "established" leaders in the community are so hesistant of change because it basically marks the end of their reign.

    And they are right.

    Colbert King hit the nail on the head with his article "The Ruling Class; Home ule made the people's choices count. But now, the people need better leaders to choose from.

    The 20-year exodus from the city has cost the District plenty, and not just in terms of lost jobs and tax revenue. The District also has been losing residents with the wherewithal to contribute time, talent and treasury to this city -- its middle class. They are the people who worry about schools, taxes, their families and home values, and therefore tend to regard voting as a serious civic responsibility. And their departure has left the city weakened -- saddled with political parties bordering on dysfunctional, office-seekers beholden to narrow slices of the city, and a voting bloc of disproportionately poor, less-educated residents who are most susceptible to the activist turned self-serving politician -- the kind of candidate who, at bottom, exploits community adversities for his or her own political advantage. Add to that the ability of this kind of "leader" to scare off potential rivals by ruthlessly invoking class differences and making blatant appeals to fear and racial loyalty, and it becomes easier to understand why the District's political class is collectively second-rate, and singularly unequipped to deal with the complex social, political and economic problems confronting the city. The District's leadership deficit has not yet been fatal to home rule. It has, however, retarded the development of the kind of officials and institutions needed to save, if not more fully promote, self-government. Moving the District to the point where it has a cadre of citizens who can both get themselves elected and efficiently manage a multibillion-dollar government enterprise will require a transformation in the way in which this city looks at politics and the expectations it has of its leaders.

    There are several keys to deepening the city's political culture and producing a higher grade of contenders for elective office. For starters, a public school system that turns out graduates who can't read, count well or think critically is an abiding threat to home rule. If education is an important contributor to voter participation and turnout -- and it is -- then the public school system has fallen down on the job. A national capital that produces well-trained, high-achieving students will soon have a well-informed electorate -- the bedrock of democracy. So the first step is in the classroom.

    Residents must also begin selecting their leaders from among candidates who hail from a solid financial base. The days of electing people whose council or school board seat represents the first steady paycheck they've ever seen must end. That means residents will have to start searching for candidates with records of success in business, law, public administration, education, or experience in managing large enterprises. The District government, even with downsizing and operational efficiencies, remains a wide-ranging, high-priced undertaking. It can no longer afford to be led by unprofessional or unbusinesslike politicians. Getting there will require applying tougher criteria to the field. The candidate blessed with "folk wisdom" and a union with "the community" may be well suited to some activities. But a different set of tools is needed to deal with the liquidation of deficits or to decide which investments in technology, new skills and economic development will benefit the District's work force over the long haul. Of course, future District politicians must continue to connect with people on a personal level if they hope to win office. That comes with the territory. But meeting the community's needs and aspirations will demand a new breed of political leader who not only relates well to people across the board, but also appreciates the working of short-term and long-term capital markets, the need to sustain a viable tax base, the critical importance of maintaining investments in public education, and the relationship between revenue and spending.

    Those lessons were lost on Lockridge, Shaffer-Corona, Thomas, Barry and the like. Home rule's survival depends on their being learned by a new political class..

  • Lee

    What an embarassment! The entire lot should be kicked out of office. Mitchell Hawkins of ANC 8B is quoted as saying, "A lot of people tell me I should keep up with current news and things." This is politics, it is your job to keep current. I'll repeat what an EMBARASSMENT!

  • Skipper

    Well said Avoc8te.

    Until Ward 8 gets new leadership - both in the Council and in its ANCs, it will remain stuck at the bottom of all statistics. But it will be extremely tough given the tremendous amount of demagoguery the entrenched powers will use against any change of leadership.

  • john

    Ward 8 voters:

    1. Make bad choices
    2. Blame others and portray themselves as victims
    3. Complain about the deplorable conditions that they have created for themselves.

    Sounds like they have exactly the right leader in Marion Barry.

  • The Advoc8te

    I did a feature on my blog called "ANC Awareness Week" and the purpose was to get people educated about their ANCs so that hopefully more people will be encouraged to get involved and hopefully run for an ANC seat. Part of that feature was to ask ANC Commissioners in River East to fill out a questionaire - I got two.

    These are the questoinaires:



  • Lee

    Rick Mangus:

    I don't know if you are from DC or have ever visited any part of Ward 8. The morons that were interviewed for this article in no way represent the typical Ward 8 resident; to suggest dismissing an entire community because them is mean spirited, and destructive to the city as a whole. I worked in that section for years, and there are great people living in Ward 8 just like every other ward.

  • The Advoc8te

    @ Lee


  • The Advoc8te

    To be honest this is an example of what happens when the City turns their back and attention on an entire group of people and leave them so desperate as to really truly believe that someone as crooked as Barry really has their best interest at heart.

    As much as we can shake our heads and call "them" names it says a whole lot about the rest of the City and the City goverment that for so long allowed this type of desperation and yes ignorance allow to proliferate enough to leave these people so out of the loop.

    They have a responsibility yes to get up to date but you can't expect that overnight. Until recently no one was really thinking about Ward 8 or Barry's curroption until it threatened to effect the rest of the city.

    This is why we need transparency, real solutions and not just pandering or insults about "those stupid poor blacks across the river".

    They follow Barry so blindly because they honestly and truly believe no one else gives a damn about them and when we make cruel jokes we just enforce that.

    What I suggest that the WCP do is hold an informational session in Ward 8 and invite these same commissioners to come out and really explain to them not only the Bennett report but go over Barry's legislative record and such.

    If after they are presented with all the information in a clear, non judgemental way if they still don't see anything wrong then yes they are truly clueless. However keep in mind that 99% of the information they are getting about Barry is from Barry. They don't read the City Paper - hell we can barely get it in paper version over here and these folks are not online.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Lee', I have been a citizen of DC for over twenty years and yes I may be too harsh on Ward 8 constituents, but these so-called ANC commisions plus Barry are elected officials, so why in the hell are these people still serving?

    'Lee' and 'Advoc8te', I'm sorry to offend you all, but you all have one hell of a job ahead of you guys to clean up Ward 8 politically!

  • The Advoc8te

    Thanks Rick. To answer your question, "Why are these people still serving?"

    Easy answer.

    For the ANCs no one runs against them. You can have an ANC seat with 30 votes most win by being a write-in candidate and win with 2 votes - as in the case of Mitchell Hawkins.

    Why don't people run? They are tired of being the only sane one on a commission of nuts - or - they don't see the point.

    In Barry's case in order to beat him in an election you have to be more curropt than he is. An honest candidate doesn't have a chance. Whatever you think you may know about Barry in the earmark scandal doesn't even add up to the tomfoolery that was going on during the election. Who was keeping account of the money? Especailly cash donations?

    Ask yourself that.

  • sedcdude

    "'Lee' and 'Advoc8te', I'm sorry to offend you all, but you all have one hell of a job ahead of you guys to clean up Ward 8 politically!"

    I knew your gump ass was good for something, YOU SEE, at the end of the day when ALL BLACK ADMINISTRATORS, LEADERS, CIVILIANS, AND CONSTITUENTS work for the GOOD OF THE ENTIRE CITY, you have this mentality here that will ALWAYS CUT AT, UNDERMINE, FIND FAULT, NEGLECT, HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA, MANIPULATE, ENVY, HOLD IN CONTEMPT AND OPPOSE!

    And to think some of you feel that IN HOUSE POLICIES is a bad thing, YOU need to really read into this GUMPS comment!



  • Keith

    Thats a damn shame! So it appears that Olivia Henderson is the only ANC Commissioner in Ward 8 that has a pair of balls (so to speak)...

    If I didnt live in DC I wouldnt believe it myself...

  • Lee

    Lets be clear, my comments were not ment to endorse any of those Ward 8 ANC's. Those comments were for the good people who work and live in that ward. Ward 8 needs new political blood, a combination of the longtime residents who have been sitting on the sidelines and the folks who just arrived working together to stop the train reck that is the Ward 8 councilmember.

  • ashame

    What is very clear in the comments on this page is that in the year 2010 after the CHANGE campaign we have fellow residents looking down their noses at other DC residents, making general assumptions, and judgements based on an article written and posted on line to provide entertainment and generate readership for a newspaper given away for free. I feel shame for partaking in this dialogue with such savage people.

  • Alleged Whistleblower

    Why are people afraid to state facts and name name. Barbara Clark you know what really went on at the Ward 8 Office, you were there and witness so much. I am really appalled that people are floating around the fact that Marion, Brenda Richardson, Bunn and a host of the other cronies, are dishonest and that is a FACT. I guess some of you that do not want to 'make it plain' is straddling the fence. I guess you think by saying" if he gets out of this, I don't want it said I believed what he was accused of" or if he is formally charged, which I believe will happen and will do everything in my power to make sure of it, you might say, "I know he did something, he ought to be shame of himself", of course saying this to your pillow. Get a backbone people, stop being afraid to speak out and speak up. I am glad I was born with courage, a heart and a brain and I didn't get it from the Wizard of Oz.

  • sedcdude

    @ alleged

    AGAIN, why name names now after the fact! WHAT interventions, options or steps were taken to mediate, correct or make accountable those in the loop and commiting gross negligences at the expnse of those SERVED??!!

    To tell it now, what does it solve, what does it accomplish! You sound like a robber's accomplice who could have stopped the robbery from taking place, but once the crime hs been commited and victims victimized, YOU NOW WANNA TELL IT, NO THANK YOU! Let's stop the crime before it has victims, how about that?!

  • Sigmund Freud

    Henderson should run for CM since she's the only one who hasn't drunk the KoolAid. You sorry ANC'ers are the reason the whole ANC thing should be abolished. You are do-nothings that let a miniscule amount of power go to your heads and who even cares what you think.

  • Really

    i think that the ANC people are from that generation that sees Barry as being a victim of some conspiracy. They have excused his flaws for decades because it helped them. Why stop now?

  • sedcdude

    "It really doesn't even matter if he steps down or not because I don't think he represents us at all."

    WHAT IN SAM HELL DOES THAT MEAN??? This chick is a joke! I knew her when she was younger and her priorities ain't always been ON DA UP AND UP!

    The problem with this situation is that you have a mixture of INEXPERIENCED wanna bes who want to do the right thing, BUT FOR THE WRONG REASONS and supporters/enablers, syncophants!

    This generation gap cannot be bridged when these same individuals come from broken homes and have been filled with the FEMINIST agenda, such as this Olivia individual! Olivia is at the forefront of the I DON'T NEED A MAN FOR SHIT movement and that is an OBVIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

    Civic leaders are supposed to work together to accomplish common goals and NOT BE MOTIVATED BY PERSONAL VENDETTAS OR AGENDAS! Everybody is not a leader nor a politician!

    For her to publicly make statements like this 1 reflects that fact and shows her lack of PROFESSIONAL COURTESY!

    At the end of the day, accountability is best served when and where necessary, not when it's convenient!


  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Anacostia is the condition its in because of poor leadership across the board. I'm not saying Georgetown would be suffering without that self-serving prick Evans, but it sure hasn't hurt to have him there pushing his agenda. Graham as well has managed to push projects through his ward. Now before the onslaught occurs from other Evans/Graham haters, keep in mind that Ward 8, Barry's ward, has been given $90 million in economic development dollars/subsidies from 2001-2007, while Graham and Evans, combined, have been given less than a quarter of this. What happens to the money? At least with those other two snakes, we see where the loot is going- developers with strong connections to them. But with Barry, it goes to guys like Art Monk and Ron Motten, to run their shady non-profits, make millions, and show no tangible results.

  • Q!

    Wow...a Ward divided against itself will fall. Thanks WCP for exposing the infighting, even on this blog. To sedcdude's point, I agree. Pointing the finger at Ward 8 for their issues is pointing 4 fingers back at your collective selves. Advoc8te, your long standing opposition to Barry and all things from the old guard is noted, but really, the ANC problem isn't just because nobody runs. NOBODY shows up to vote! NOBODY keeps up with the current issues. So before you lambaste sections of your precious Ward, make sure you tell the full story. If anyone can run for ANC and has the courage to do so, why not promote/encourage/etc. them to be the best ANC's they can be.

    Now this article points out some deficiencies, but they can easily be overcome if the ANC's seize this opportunity to empower their SMDs.

  • Lightkeeper

    As Advoc8te and others have stated -there is a need for "new" more effective leadership in Ward 8 but the residents of Ward 8 must take great care in choosing from the "new breed of political leaders." The election of Fenty and his subsequent relationship with the people of Ward 8, 7 and 6 is a lesson in itself. That smiling young sophisticate that promises you that he or she is your best bet can turn out to be your worse nightmare. Stay Alert! The first thing needed is to vote that new breed of leader - Adrian Fenty, out of office.

  • The Advoc8te

    @Q - You should visit my blog. There isn't anyone more passionate or vocal about getting involved in the process - especailly the ANC process. Seriously lol. I spend upwards of 4 hours a day (for free) advoc8ting that.

  • eastside

    Sounds like the councilmembers need a procurement policy. An indivudal councilmember should not dictate who is awarded contracts.

  • sedcdude


    If you call what you do here in the blogs ADVOCATING, ward 8 is in for a whammmmy!

    You are a problem and you would much rather get off on getting on people, you point fingers and make broadstroke generalizations where there should be DETAIL!

    You are ward 8 residents and yourselfs very own worst enemy!

    All emotion and factless dribble, masked by the title, ADVOC8, LAUGHABLE!!!!!

  • Commissioner M. Hawkins- Responds to Negative BLO

    I wish to extend my telephone interview of City Paper remarks and also respond to the repeated comments of a fictitious LEE and some other comments posted here. My telephone interview remarks were caught by surprise. I could have made no comment as I thought at the time, since this was a newspaper interview; as usual they only want to hear a negative approach. So, I purposely distorted my answer to each question and not to feed into the negativity that Ward 8 already receives through media.
    As you can see from this post, it looks like NEGATIVITY is what was expected. As an ANC of 8B, I do not have to ask for authorization of ANC designed services through Ward 8's Councilmember Marion Barry. I am an Elected Official as well as he; where I by design am able to directly contact specific persons in a variety of DC Government agencies to request individualized services for the Single Member District for which I serve.
    I just happen to come across this post in my search for something else.
    With this entire blog of name calling and identifying a female with balls, I feel that my comments were just enough and perfectly quoted at my portion of the interview. I am only responsible for my single member district as record. Councilman Barry does not grade me and should only be held accountable for his own actions. It is very wrong to accuse an entire community for an outside massive hate of one person.
    If this is the case of destroy, then what are other parts of the world saying about DC on a whole with our combined Elected Officials?
    I also am not graded by the comments of this post but felt dearly that I must submit my comments in response. Decide as will.
    My record of action for my individual Single Member District speaks for itself. Elections are open for any constituent within, and I am glad that negative posts such as ones above do not determine the next. The elected position is available only to those who commit to making a difference in their residing communities.
    To comment negatively and so boldly on an entire Ward takes only a sick mind which evidently shows to have been influenced by negative media. It has also been publically noted that the same actions are being performed by other Ward Councils BUT, it is also happening in Ward 8 so let’s Blast It!. Each ANC represents 1/37th of the entire city of Washington, DC. When it comes to a selected choice of Election Vacancies, we are only responsible for ONE.
    I am not an aggressive, name dropping, name calling nor violently action person as commonly expressed here through posting and yet hiding their identity behind a fictitious name. But I stand strong to defend any negative comments of what most of you are probably are not aware of any independent issues.
    What Would Have Been Your Own Comments to the City Paper, with your name showing as the interviewee? The City Paper’s past and current articles pretty much speaks for its own views. I immediately searched to see what was mentioned knowing that I did not publically speak negativity, and it looks like some of these jerks found negativity in that. THAT’S WHY I DON’T READ THE NEWSPAPERS DAILY. I READ ONLY WHAT I WANT, WHEN I WANT. I refuse to feed into NEGATIVITY. … I’ll do the same for you…….if you lived in Ward 8. For Whom I hope is a Mr. LEE, Politics does not demand a person to continue to read each negative feed of the MEDIA. PLFFFFBBBBBBBB!
    The Media has his own agenda as well as this Blog site. Each one of your negative comments of attempting to blast everyone of a certain area of DC, yes we are too DC, should be held responsible for your own actions. The only thing that saves you is that your names are not posted with your comments.
    I wish to Celebrate and thank the following Blog Post Persons: Q, sedcdude, and j for your insight to see also the negativity of this Blog.

    So Be It.

  • Truth Serum

    I don't know what needs to be done. But I don't agree with Fenty nor Barry's style of (mis)leadership. I am college educated...and a pretty good representative of the new blood in Ward 8. FRANKLY SPEAKING, I am tired of the bullshit rhetoric. This can't be life. I like Whole Foods, Starbucks, streets without potholes, less liquor stores, more book stores...I can't get it and it's sad...
    Fenty doesn't give a crap about anybody east of the river.

  • job news weekly everything

    Including Actual,bit member pull bright performance practice herself award like along carry competition construction such newspaper assumption attempt meaning travel much weekend gas stuff read discuss background church deal show passage discover full even aware mind score subject target number apparent exhibition cry ground show local mile bring association sing past service strike me fee enough version mainly approach notice attention easily start map since apart practice source job deep jump concern blue myself observation account defence editor powerful week border those stay employer assembly before adopt upper

  • tony

    While the argument that new leadership is warranted in Ward 8, the fact remains that too many people east of the river simply do not believe that the current crop of black leaders will represent their concerns. And, it is this fear or vacuum of grass-root black leadership which make Barry so strong. Just look at the proposed new black leadership in Ward 8... The current ward 8 dems president is Mr. Patterson whom many view as the city's white power brokers "boy".And, I share this view.

    Until more black leaders who share Barry's concern for the least of thee emerge,then Barry will always be a strong player in this city.