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Barry: Ward 8's Future "Bright"

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who has adopted poverty in the city as a key issue of his platform, will hold his annual State of the Ward address tonight.

He will give his speech titled "The New Ward 8," at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, 2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE.

This year's theme will focus on the ward's past, present and future, according to a statement released by Barry's office.

Of course, Barry's going to talk about the positive things happening in Ward 8, which has the highest level of poverty in the District. Politicians make state of the union, District and ward speeches to draw attention to their good deeds. The biggest news out of his 2006 speech was the embrace, literally a hug, shared between Barry and the Rev. Willie F. Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, after the two had fallen out.

You can expect more of that tonight when Barry takes the stage. Afterall, this is an election year. His most visible opponent, Sandra "SS" Seegars, is already appearing anywhere Ward 8 constitutents are gathered. She appeared at Barry's poverty forum in February passing out her literature. In fact, she said one of Barry's aides said it was inappropriate, but that didn't deter her.

So while Barry doesn't appear to have a lot of stiff competition, he still has to have a platform to run on. He has promised to fight Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to get more money in the 2009 budget to aid programs to help the poor.

Here's a teaser of what tonight's spectators can expect to hear:

"The future is bright for Ward 8, though we still have a tremendous amount of work left to do, we have accomplished a lot in the last three years," Barry said. "Three years ago I believed that Ward 8 needed a fighter. I became that fighter and I will continue to fight for our residents to have a better quality of life."

A highlight of tonight's event will be an appearance by the Ballou Senior High School Marching Band, which has been invited to perform at the Rose Bowl.

By Yolanda Woodlee  |  April 3, 2008; 4:58 PM ET
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Sad that Marion Barry chose poverty as his issue. After all, a great deal of the poverty in DC can be blamed on Barry and his policies. He ran the city into the ground, made sure the schools were the worst in the nations, presided over a stunningly high crime rate, and made sure real economic development was stymied by demanding that so much of the city become public housing with no emphasis on personal responsibility.

The last thing in the world Barry should be talking about is poverty in DC.

Posted by: Hillman | April 8, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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