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At a discussion of his new memoir Thursday, former Washington mayor Marion Barry explained why minorities need special attention from policymakers. The controversial former mayor, now a city councilman in the District of Columbia, was talking about the summer jobs program he implemented during his first term, which offered employment to every school age D.C. resident. Barry lauds this and other positive parts of his legacy in his new book — Mayor for Life: The Incredible Story of Marion Barry, Jr. — which he promoted at the National Press Club before a largely black and elderly audience. Barry discussed how — during his four terms between 1979 and 1999– enemies including the FBI tried to bring him down because his policies helped historically downtrodden minorities.

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