MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- As we remember how thankful we are at this time of year for people who have contributed to improving the quality of life for others, let us take time to reflect on the contributions of the Honorable Marion Barry, a great American icon. Mayor Barry, a civil rights activist from Mississippi, helped change this nation and the economic future of Washington, D.C. First elected to its City Council and then to the office of mayor, he lived by the motto "always fighting for the people."
Throughout his 40 years of public service, Mayor Barry encouraged all black mayors to think as he did -- the growth of economic development in black communities would be good not only for the communities but the nation. Marion Barry was one of the most dedicated public servants I ever saw. For 40 years he served the people without compromise. He believed all people mattered, regardless of resources. While we all fall short, he never fell short in attempts to right wrong heaped on those typically left out. May his life his wisdom and dedication find its way, especially to mayors, throughout the country.
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