Commission holds forum for ideas to honor Marion Barry

Former Mayor Marion Barry died last November and neighbors in the community he called home gathered to come up with a way to permanently honor the man people called D.C.'s "Mayor for Life."

Barry arrived in Washington D.C. back in the 1960s as a civil rights activist. He served three terms as mayor, survived a drug scandal and jail time and then came back to win a fourth mayoral term.

He also served for 15 years on the city council representing Ward 8 until he died at the age of 78.

The city honored him in grand style for his funeral so the public could pay its respects. But on Wednesday night, a special commission to permanently honor Barry in the city listened to ideas from the community.

There are four ideas on the table. The commission said a couple of ideas were to rename Ballou Senior High School or the new student center at the University of the District of Columbia.

Another idea is to put a statue or a bust at the Wilson Building. Another proposal is to rename Oxon Run Park in Ward 8.

But residents said Barry should always be remembered.

"He's done a great job," said Al-Malik Farrakhan, a native Washingtonian. "He didn't just free black folks, but he also helped all people that were here. But mostly those who were deprived and left out and this man uplifted them. To commemorate him is the best thing in the world that could be done."

We are told more than one of those ideas may become a reality. The commission is still getting feedback from the public and it will eventually present a recommendation to Mayor Muriel Bowser at the end of the year.