Lacy C. Streeter, District housing official and political adviser to Marion Barry and Walter Washington, dies at 77


Washington Campaign Manager Lacy Streeter poses for a portrait in the elevators at the Washington Post headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. in this Aug. 11, 1978 file photo. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
February 2, 2013

Lacy C. Streeter, a District housing official who served as a political adviser to then-School Board member Marion Barry and Mayor Walter E. Washington, died Jan. 11 at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He was 77.

He had complications from pneumonia, said his daughter, Lisa Streeter.

Mr. Streeter helped organize anti-segregation sit-ins in his native North Carolina before settling in the Washington area in 1965.

He became a community activist in the District and then a director of field operations at Youth Pride Inc., a nonprofit group co-founded by Barry that provided job and educational training to disadvantaged minorities.

Mr. Streeter was a senior adviser to Barry in the early 1970s. After a brief stint as an area director for the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Mr. Streeter joined then-Mayor Washington’s office as a senior adviser in 1975.

He counseled the mayor on issues that included minority business development, community outreach and recommendations on city appointments.

In April 1978, the mayor appointed him as his general assistant and, one month later, tapped him as his reelection campaign manager. He replaced Joseph P. Yeldell, the mayor’s top aide and political strategist, who had been indicted on conspiracy and bribery charges. Yeldell was acquitted by a federal jury in 1979.

Washington lost his 1978 reelection bid to Barry, and Mr. Streeter then held a number of directorial positions with the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

After his retirement in 1997, Mr. Streeter remained active on the executive board of the NAACP’s Washington chapter.

Lacy Carroll Streeter was born Nov. 7, 1935, in Greenville, N.C., where his father owned a construction company and his mother managed a five-and-dime store. From 1954 to 1958, he was an Air Force cryptographer stationed in Asia.

He was a 1961 chemistry graduate of what is now North Carolina Central University in Durham, where he was student body president and led the university’s NAACP chapter.

Mr. Streeter took notice of the February 1960 sit-in that desegregated the ­whites­­-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C. A week later, he organized a protest at a Woolworth’s in downtown Durham; two years later, he did the same at a Howard Johnson hotel restaurant in Durham. Both boycotts were successful.

Mr. Streeter attended the University of North Carolina law school in Chapel Hill but left when his family moved to Washington. He was a District resident.

His wife of 46 years, Anne Humphrey Streeter, died in 2009. A son, George Streeter, died in 1996.

Survivors include two children, Lacy Streeter II and Lisa Streeter, both of Washington; a sister, Alice Bullie of Rockville; and two brothers.