D.C. Council member and former mayor Marion Barry (D) vowed Monday to spearhead an effort to raise $100,000 in the coming weeks for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Barry, who said he has already donated $1,000 of his own money to relief efforts, is also calling on Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) to travel to Haiti to evaluate the relief efforts. Barry is dubbing the effort "DC Delivers: Help for Haiti."
"I am asking that the District of Columbia government join me for a citywide crusade to raise funds and supplies on behalf of the people of Haiti," Barry said. "The situation in Haiti has touched my heart so that it has compelled me to personally donate $1,000 of my personal funds to the relief effort."
In recent years, Barry's financial situation has been well publicized after he was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay his taxes, causing the IRS to garnish his wages.
In separate letters to Gray and Fenty, Barry said he couldn't stand by while the people of Haiti suffer.
"As a public servant, I believe it is my duty to help in any capacity that I can even when it steps outside my jurisdiction," Barry said. " I ask you, along with the entire City Council, step up to the challenge and join me in personally donating and publicly raising whatever funds you can."
Neither Gray nor Fenty were immediately available for comment. Fenty appeared Sunday night at the BET Honors at the Warner Theater to help publicize the network's planned telethon. Fenty has also been working closely with the Haitian Embassy to coordinate relief efforts.