The day ‘One City’ died


Vincent Gray, left, greets former mayor and current Ward 8 Council member Marion Barry, right, on stage before Barry’s endorsement of Gray’s re-election at the Matthews Memorial Baptist Church in Washington. (John McDonnell/ The Washington Post)

Four years ago, Vincent C. Gray ran for mayor with the unmistakable support of Marion Barry, the former four-term mayor turned D.C. Council member. But Gray, running on his cherished “One City” theme, never fully embraced the divisive Barry as mascot, even as he cruised to victory on a margin padded with African American votes. Now on the political ropes, Gray embraced Barry’s imprimatur Wednesday, all while insisting that “One City” lives: “I don’t discriminate in terms of where the vote should come from. … Marion Barry appeals to people across the District of Columbia.” But Barry was happier talking about two cities: “This city, as most urban cities, is divided racially and class-wise. I didn’t create it. Vince Gray didn’t create that. … What we have to do is have an ideal of trying to bring everybody together, as Mayor Gray has tried to do, but the reality is that Washington has become a city of the haves and have-nots.” He added, “I think it’s up to white people to be more open-minded. Blacks are more open-minded than they are.” More from Loose LipsAPWUSA-TV and DCist.

In other news:

Dana Milbank: With Barry endorsement, “Gray has made a lamentable decision to stoke the city’s racial politics” (Post)

Jim Graham fights for his political life against Brianne Nadeau (Post)

Fire lieutenant’s trial board proceeding is closed to press and public (PostWTTG-TVWUSA-TVWJLA-TVWAMU-FMWTOPCity Desk)

Southwest Waterfront breaks ground to much acclaim (Capital BusinessWBJHousing ComplexWashingtonianWUSA-TV)

Parents to Congress: Don’t touch our TAG (Post)

Special election for Ward 8 education board seat set for July 15 (Blade)

Did a D.C. cop use his unmarked squad car to kill a dirt-bike-riding teen? (Loose Lips)

Cathy Lanier is one of Elle’s most powerful women in D.C. (Reliable SourceElle)

Self-styled progressive groups split on Ward 1 endorsements (Loose LipsRoll Call)

At least four Democratic mayoral candidates say they could not support Gray in the general election (WRC-TV)

Jack Evans, aka “Sulaimon White”? (@paulschwartzman)

So that white powder in a Georgetown dorm room really was ricin (PostVoice)

About 2,000 D.C. United fans e-mailed council members in support of stadium deal (WAMU-FM)

Democratic State Committee candidate could be first transgender resident elected to citywide office (Blade)

Darrell Issa: Height limits could be keep the Redskins out of D.C. (Roll Call)

Bad PA speakers are among the issues holding up the Silver Line (PostWAMU-FM)

DCdecoded.org offers easier access to city law (DofD)

Four classrooms eyed for cheating on last year’s DC-CAS (Post)

Some questions that D.C.’s standardized tests just can’t answer (GGW)

DDOT pushes off plans for bus lanes on H and I streets NW (Dr. GridlockGGW)

MWCOG considers the Anacostia, Capitol Heights, Congress Heights, Friendship Heights, Minnesota Avenue, Mount Vernon Square, Rhode Island Avenue and Waterfront Metro stops to be “underused” (WAMU-FM)

Coalition for Smarter Growth honcho speaks up for 16th Street bus lane (Dr. Gridlock)

Florida Avenue could get a cycletrack (DCist)

Celebrity voices for on-board Metro announcements? (GGW)

Some funky ideas for a “reimagined” C&O Canal (UrbanTurf)

Where they cleaned the streets in 1898 (GGW)

Oh god, more snow? (CWG)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · March 19