PCP, Prostitutes, Poverty Pimps & The Functionally Illiterate Run DC’s Impoverished Ward 8 Politics
Ward 8 is the most impoverished part of the nation’s capital with a median household income of $31,188 at the time of the last census, far below the national average of $53,482 and $69,235 of the District as a whole. With an area that has such dire circumstances, one would think that an experienced person who knows about poverty, inclusive development and most importantly one who possesses the ability to attract development for an otherwise largely underdeveloped area would be elected for leadership. This is especially true after having a Councilmember (former Mayor Marion Barry) for nearly a decade who, although he was well liked and at one time effective as a mayor and even considered one of the leading black mayors in America, used his Council seat as retirement income. His car was vandalized once and his reaction was telling the news that “that’s what happens when you live in the ghetto.” That does nothing for the overall perception of the ward when pitching to developers etc. But this piece isn’t about bashing Barry. He just had a statue erected in front of DC’s city hall, the Wilson Building. There will be plenty of time to argue about that.
The issue comes with who was elected in his place. Following a special election of the scandal free and tame Laruby May, came Trayon White. On the surface, Councilmember White is hardly able to speak and his only move is to enact protests. Schools closing? Let’s protest in front of the Mayor’s office, but wait until the night before the closing list is set to be finalized and sing “We Shall Overcome” for safe measure. Yes, that actually happened. Starbucks coming to the community? Protest. A new apartment building with 100% affordable units? Protest that on behalf of the underemployed. The latter makes so little sense I won’t even waste the time explaining that here. I’ll be saving that for another piece. So how does someone of his stature get this position? He was a close confidante of Marion Barry’s of course. What I will say is that in the extended discussion held on Facebook about the protest, a constituent asked Councilmember White for assistance starting a culinary incubator to which he responded “You don’t need me to start your business. If you wanted to start it, it would have started already. I been in office a year and it hasn’t started by now. All talk no walk.” His Legislative Director Nate Bennett Fleming answered the question giving him resources. Perhaps that’s who should be the Councilmember since he appears to be the only person able to answer a question with any sense.
Then in the overall debate about the proper use of this privately purchased property, DC Parks and Recreation employee, Wendy Glenn that runs a local listserv referred to the Councilmember’s critics as “d*ck riders and known d*ck suckers.” Very professional, Wendy. I would advise the Councilmember to keep people with that type of language away from him and his campaign.
These issues with the ward leadership are systemic for the area. The Ward 8 School Board Representative, Marcus Bachelor was elected AFTER quitting college because why should the School Board Representative have a formal education when presiding over an area ranked not long ago as having a near 50% literacy rate. Also, a whopping 80.3% of DC Public School students were found to be economically disadvantaged. That’s a stat for the Councilmember to address. Instead of being an obstructionist, together, he and the School Board Rep should work on addressing job readiness for their residents instead of trying to force employers to hire locally when it is clear there simply is not a largely qualified workforce in Ward 8. Those are facts speaking, not me.
While we’re speaking about the illiterate, in 2012, former DC ANC Commissioner now serving as a DC Young Democrats board member Darrell Gaston ran a campaign with all of his material written by what appeared to be a 3rd grader. Not only was he elected as an ANC Commissioner, he became the Chair. This is what happens when you have low expectations. During his tenure as the ANC8B Chair, he was found to have made thousands in improper payments using their ANC account to the tune of some $13,000 discovered by the City Auditor. Out of the allegations, by a campaigner of his who went on to become the ANC8B Treasurer, Anthony Lorenzo Green, he said he was purchasing office supplies with the ANC card, returning them and pocketing the cash. Darrell Gaston’s former campaign manager Elizabeth Pecot has stated that Darrell lied about a college education from Coppin State. The fraternity he claimed has written asking him to stop saying he was a part of their organization. His campaign manager for his last run for the Ward 8 Council seat has claimed that he broke out her headlights with a bat.
Also running for Marion Barry’s former Council seat was his son Christopher Barry who ran after his father passed. He had made it to his 30s without ever showing a single amount of interest in politics. Suddenly everyone was putting him up to run. As commendable of a gesture that is, it doesn’t apply for Christopher. He is a known PCP user, is irresponsible and the combination of his drug use and the loss of his father would kill him, as I warned. I was vehemently rebuked for my remarks. I’ve spent time working in mental health and I have seen how these things play out. They never end well. Pimping someone for your political gain, taking advantage of their fragile state is beyond reprehensible but they did it anyway. Christopher Barry passed not long after the election.
As discussed earlier we have the ANC Commissioner Anthony Lorenzo Green. He was chosen to be the Communications Director for Marion Barry’s son, Christopher Barry’s campaign running for his father’s seat. The Washington Post’s Mike Debonis covering the City Council races brought to his attention that the website, which had only one page, the campaign calendar with one event, election day… was wrong. Instead of thanking him and correcting his error, Anthony went into an extended tirade against Mike Debonis like a belligerent child attacking both him and the Washington Post. With behavior like that, I’m surprised he isn’t a Trump supporter.
Now, prior to Anthony’s ANC run we were sent a link to an escort profile of his on Executive Male Escorts which sadly now is a defunct website. We do however have a screenshot of his profile. And to give an idea of what type of character a person has, you look at the people around them. His boyfriend during Mayor Muriel Bowser’s campaign apparently is an escort by the name of SchoolBoyK. This was found by googling his twitter name. He’s apparently changed it since discovering it in 2014. I came across his ex’s profile while following politically active people in ward 8. I saw Anthony interacting with him, chose to follow him and within seconds I was blocked. That’s when I decided to look him up and Lord and behold, he’s an escort. They even took pictures together next to Mayor Bowser. You would think Anthony would try to keep his scandal hidden but, not so.
Then there was his best friend David Gamble, also an escort who from research who both campaigned with him and passed away from crystal meth use. Birds of a feather, flock together. Here’s the link to the adult profile we don’t want displayed on this page.
Though the last person mentioned wasn’t a leader, the information was shared just as an FYI. Still the willingness to accept drug use in ward 8 politics is pretty much a given after Marion Barry’s infamous Vista Hotel takedown. For the record it was the woman he was interested in and not the drugs. But that’s another story. The former Ward 8 Democrats Communications person Christopher Barnhill stepped down and announced going to rehab in 2016 following a whopping 7 years of crystal meth use. Well, his Facebook announcement said 7 years. (His TheGriot.com interview said 10 years.) I pointed this out early 2017 when he called me a hypocrite as a black gay Conservative. On the contrary he is a black gay Muslim. Only one of the two gets thrown off of buildings for their lifestyle and follows a current day violent doctrine. Get better before throwing stones.
Lastly, ward 8 is the last frontier in the Nation’s Capital. Given many of the dire statistics, many parts of the area actually don’t look bad. It also isn’t every day you see $400,000+ homes in an area rife with poverty. That’s because the definition of poverty has changed over the years. While it might be difficult to force employers to hire locally, the fact remains that Washington, DC and its surrounding areas are thriving economically. The opportunity is there and as described above, the poverty pimp/opportunistic ward politics aren’t going away any time soon. People need to hold themselves accountable as much as they do these elected officials. Even if the protesting that Councilmember Trayon White pushes for and the strongarming employers to hire people who aren’t qualified works, he will not always be the Councilmember and at some point, someone WILL come and fast track development.
These inept ward leaders will come and go and likely will make a sizeable profit in the process. Last example: Ron Moten. While he was 1/2 of the leadership of The Peaceoholics, a nonviolence nonprofit, there were questions about their funding and where the money went. This would have been a quiet set of court proceedings if he had not chosen to make a public spectacle calling out everyone else but himself. His Democrat opponent during his 2012 campaign for City Council essentially summed up his campaign in one tweet saying “$15 million and that’s it? lol.” he received an exorbitant amount of money for nonviolence programs and debate after debate was unable to explain either where the money went or what he had accomplished, at least in a coherent manner. Then he had the gall to at random send a fire engine to the Dominican Republic as though that was anywhere in the scope of curbing violence in Washington, DC throwing the city’s fire chief under the bus ultimately leading to the collapse of whatever adjective you can think of to describe his nonsense. And why the Dominican Republic? For someone who complains about being strapped financially since the city took his organization’s funding, he sure seems to be there a lot these days. Let’s see, $14 million of unaccounted for money, no money being made and constant trips to the Dominican Republic… you do the math. Perhaps the rumor of him having a villa there is true.
Don’t allow yourselves to be the pawns of political trickery. Self-sufficiency is the way even if it occurs without the aid of your elected officials.
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