Sunday, July 26, 2009

Janice Eichhorn Political Adviser, Activist

Janice Eichhorn, 71, a political activist for home rule in Washington and longtime aide to former D.C. mayor Marion Barry, died July 15 at Georgetown University Hospital. Ms. Eichhorn, who had lung cancer, died of complications from cancer surgery.

Ms. Eichhorn served as a senior policy analyst to Barry from 1984 to 1992. She started working with Barry in 1978 as the issues director for his mayoral campaign. She also worked as a policy analyst for the city administrator and for the Department of Human Services.

Ms. Eichhorn was executive director of the Self-Determination for D.C. Coalition, which lobbied for home rule for many organizations. She joined the District government in 1975, working for the Mayor's Bicentennial Office after the Home Rule Act was passed.

Ms. Eichhorn was born in St. Louis and attended the University of Illinois and Washington University. She came to Washington in 1964 to work for her congressman, Rep. Kenneth J. Gray (D-Ill.), and later for Sen. Gaylord A. Nelson (D-Wis.).

Ms. Eichhorn founded the after-school tutoring program Friends of Tyler School in 1990 and dedicated more time to the program after her retirement in 1992.

The program, which later became Jan's Tutoring House, mentors 70 students each year from kindergarten to ninth grade.

Ms. Eichhorn was a past chairwoman of the Ward 6 Democrats, a delegate to the Statehood Constitutional Convention and a member of Americans for Democratic Action. She also volunteered for several local political campaigns.

Ms. Eichhorn was a foster mother.

Survivors include a sister, Diane Leibert of Northampton, Mass.

-- Rick Rojas

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