Matthew Shannon's bid for the Ward 5 City Council seat in the primary election last September was unexpectedly shattered by an auto accident. He has since recovered and has been appointed by Mayor Marion Barry as a general special assistant to the mayor.
Shannon, a 29-year-old attorney, will handle labor relations and religious affairs. Shannon said he hopes to establish a closer relationship between the mayor's office and each of those constituencies. In addition, he said he hopes to correct long-standing problems that have developed from inefficient management.
A primary concern will be to inform churches of city services, such as federally subsidized housing or aid to the elderly, which are available to residents.
In addition to establishing stronger ties to the churches, Shannon said he wants organized labor to become more involved with the city's needs.
"We want organized labor to invest in housing," Shannon said. "We went to make certain there's a give and take (relationship) between labor and this government. If we keep these two institutions (organized labor and the churches) viable, we hope to keep this city viable."
Shannon is a cum laude graduate of the Howard University Law School. He has served as assistant director of the American Savings and Loan League and as assistant counsel of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company.
He is an active member o the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, the board of the Potomac Association of Christian Education and the D.C. Citizens Association for Better Education.
Born in Pleasantville, N.J., Shannon moved to the District in 1968. He lives in Brookland with his wife, the forer Shirley Ann McGriff, a D.C. public school teacher. They have a daughter.