Mayor Marion Barry joined residents, local government officials and candidates in the May 1 election last Thursday to celebrate Southwest Community Fellowhsip Night at Amidon Elecmentary School.
Billed as District Government and Community Solidarity for Progress, the program was sponsored by a coalition of Southwest agencies. A major feature was a series of exhibits from government and private agencies designed to show the services available to Southwest residents.
"The fellowship (evening) is bringing private agenices, D.C. government agencies and the community together," said Sam Jordan, chairman of the event and a spcial assistant to Albert Russo, director of the Department of Human Resources (DHR). "With a new administration and new thrust in terms of community involvement, we're looking for community involvement to meet unment needs. We want to have the mayor personally involved."
District government exhibits included information on smoke detertors and security systems, summer jobs for youth and recreation progrrams at public schools in Southwest.
The Recreation Department even set up an 18-hole miniature golf game.
There were also exhibit by the District chapter of the League of Women Voters, Southwest Community House, the Amidon School Neighborhood Planning Councils and other private organizations with programs in Southwest.
"Southwest is a community," said Ethel James Williams, commissioner of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2D. "We are of different ages and lifestyles different social, political and economic backgrounds. We come toether this evening to reaffirm our spirit of community. E are here to 'fellowship' and to strengthen our ties and our communication with our local government."
Barry agreed with James.
"Southwest is a unique, diversified community," the mayor said. "We're arranging programs and we're going to bring people together."
Barry said his administration plans to "lower the infant mortality rate in the city," and make "housing work for people-we're going to make 1,000 public housing units decent, sanitary and livable" and provide "30,000 summer jobs for youth."
In addition, the mayor said, his administration would "do somehting about the (Waterside) Mall. It was designed to be a community facility. I'm going to appoint a working committee to work on the mall."
Several city officials attended the event, including Ward 2 City Council member John Wilson, at-large school board member Frank Shaffer-Corona, DHR Director Russo and Department of Housing and Community Development Director Robert Moore.
Severall candidates in next month's election were out campaigning, including John Ray and Douglas Moore, candidates for an at-large seat on the City Council. CAPTION: Picture 1, Christ Church Children's Choir sings at Southwest gathering. Picture 2, Terrell Smith, 9, helps Mayor Marion Barry adjust his grip. Photos by Craig Herndon-The Washington Post