Loose Lips

Barry Full of Praise, Then Not So Much

One might assume that Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, who is likely to coast to an easy re-election victory in April's primary, would have little use/need to sling mud at his competitors. Earlier this month, in fact, Barry told Fox 5 that he welcomes any and all comers. "I encourage everybody to run," Barry said. "Including Natalie."

Natalie in this case is Natalie Williams, Barry's former spokeswoman who is now running against her old boss. Williams recently lost her bid to be president of the Ward 8 Democrats, but not before scoring a ringing endorsement from Barry.

But that was so mid-September. This is now, and today the mercurial Barry broke out the whacking stick to take Williams to task for her "Johnny-come-lately efforts" to oppose a hotly contested woman's shelter in Ward 8.

"Natalie Williams just recently moved into the Ward and knows very little about it," Barry said in a news release today sent out from a staffer's publicly funded council email address.

"There's some people want to make a big to-do about the fact that she just moved here," Barry said a few months ago when he endorsed Williams. "But to me that's irrelevant. There are folks who have been here 40 years ain't doing a damn thing."

"She should be ashamed of herself to oppose a group that is trying to bring help, hope, jobs and, resources to 50 single women who are attempting to get their lives together," Barry said today. "I am positive that the residents of Ward 8 will see Natalie Williams for what she is."

"Natalie Williams brings a new freshness, new energy, new direction, new vision for this ward," Barry said in his endorsement. "I know her very well in terms of her committment to the people of Ward 8."

Confused? What's most puzzling isn't Barry's about face on Williams' qualifications but why he would feel the need to make such a strong personal attack on Williams in the first place.

For her part, Williams says Barry's comments today show that he's "a bit confused and misguided."

"I'm praying for our current councilmember tonight." she says, adding that: "He knows that his comments are untrue. This is just another — it's a politician's move. It's a political move."

If you say so.

Here's the news release Barry put out today:

Barry Finds Natalie Williams’ Calvary Church Efforts Off-Point and Misguided

The planned protest of the Calvary Women’s Shelter in Ward 8 led by Natalie Williams, a candidate for the Ward 8 City Council seat indicates, her insensitivity and knowledge about the shelter.

This is an issue I investigated and have been working with the Community on for over three months. Her Johnny-come-lately efforts are just that.

If she had taken the time, she would have found that Calvary Church is doing the Lord’s work and that they have successfully operated a women’s, transition house at 5th & K for almost 30 years. They are focusing on single women with health or personal problems and, working hard to get them employment. Ms. Williams apparently does not know city law which allows the transition house to be on Good Hope Road as a matter of right. While the ANC ought to be given great weight when there’s a variance, this is not true in this case. The transition house has a matter of right to be there. I couldn’t stop the transition house if I wanted to and I don’t want to.

Calvary is doing the Lord’s work. It is putting a 50 bed transition house on Good Hope Road for 50 single women, a third of whom are already working; the Calvary people intend to work vigorously to get jobs for the others. Anyone who opposes this transition house opposes 50 women trying to get their lives back together.

Natalie Williams just recently moved into the Ward and knows very little about it.

She should be ashamed of herself to oppose a group that is trying to bring help, hope, jobs and, resources to 50, single women who are attempting to get their lives together.

I am positive that the residents of Ward 8 will see Natalie Williams for what she is. I stand firmly for housing, jobs and healthcare and to help people, not hurt them.

And here is the video of him endorsing Williams in September:


Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Cap City Records Panhandler

    @42 seconds

    Did Marion B just invoke Frederick Douglass? C'mon son-son. Fred was a runaway slave who befriended and advised Presidents, etc. You're just some country-fried bamma whose stupidity to light up in a set up is only outdone by the pathetic stupidity of Ward 8 voters to keep riding with you. Barry couldn't get a check from anyone other than DC gov -- and he'll get a pension. The only thing stopping Marion is the casket. FD is turning over in his grave that you use his name.

  • Brian

    I applaud Natalie Williams for her efforts to protect the over saturation of social service programs in Anacostia. I thought there were laws against clustering? How many is too many within on block?

    Do we really want a homeless womens shelter next to a methadone clinic next to another social service and on and on?? This is poor city planning.

    Does the Office of Planning and the DHCD work together at all?

    I'll be watching this campaign and what Ms. Williams vision for Ward 8 will be.

  • Think

    Two quickies: (1) Wasn't Barry "new" to DC and Ward 8 at some point in his life? I believe he's from as far away as Mississippi. (2) Surely as long as he's been in the Ward, and the state it is in, hints to the fact that he doesn't know what the community needs.

  • Truth hurts

    Yawn.

  • U. Betty

    Is it legal to use council email to campaign against an opponent??? Sounds like an ethics problem to me.

  • Petworthy

    If he loses, he wont have anything to give his son. I seriously doubt ward 8 will break with tradition now. They've known for generations who he really is and are okay with it.
    Let's hope it's not the same with the other wards. We are not okay with it.

  • TheHermit

    "Natalie Williams just recently moved into the Ward and knows very little about it," Barry said in a news release today sent out from a staffer's publicly funded council email address."

    Unh huh. So um..why was Barry putting the force of his name, machine, whatever behind this newly arrived youngun to become president of the Ward 8 Dems?

    Was Barry selling out Ward 8 Dems then--or is he merely selling out his former "colleague" now? If she's too new for the Ward 8 Council chair she was surely too fresh to be president of the Ward 8 Dems back in September.

    Wake Up People!

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Jordan

    Barry's recent staff changes and him standing by a chief of staff that lives in ward 4 makes me think he is not loyal to the people he serves. I think ward 8 needs a change and welcome Natalie Williams. As far as I know, she does not owe taxes and or has a criminal background.

  • http://letschange.org Respected Citizens

    We agree with Jordan, Barry's chief of staff is the most nasty and evil spirit he has ever had as his COS.

    Joyce Clement Smith has the equivalent personality of Cora Barry, who ran away people for his best interest.

    Both, Joyce and Cora are evil woman that enjoy companionships with the same sex.

  • Eldon Pittman

    Marion Barry is the ultimate politician. Anyone who goes up against him had better be ready. He is highly educated, and a very effective legislator!

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