DC Council members conflict over renaming a road in honor of Marion Barry

There’s a dispute among members of the D.C. Council over renaming a road in Ward 8 after the “mayor for life.”

Council member Trayon White introduced a bill on Oct. 24 to rename Good Hope Road after Mayor Marion Barry. 

White hoped to vote on the emergency legislation quickly, but D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson blocked the bill from appearing on Tuesday’s council meeting, instead moving it to Dec. 13 for a public hearing.

White posted a video on Instagram voicing his displeasure. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Trayon White (@trayonwhite)

“Thousands of petitions signed by DC residents to ensure they wanted a street name and after this great legend,” said White in his post. 

“On Friday, Chairman Mendelson pulled the bill. This is an assault on our intelligence and our democracy need to decide what we need in our own community,” he said. “We don’t need no one else deciding what we want for our people and our community.”

He also pointed to wide support of the bill from other council members and asked residents to call the chairman’s office to comment. 

Council Chair Phil Mendelson at a press conference said he wanted public comment on the name change. 

“There is this false narrative that I’m opposed to the legislation. I am not. I want to have a hearing and see what the public comment is,” said Mendelson.I don’t believe it’s appropriate for us to change the name of a street and then have a public hearing to ask people what they think that’s rather disrespectful of the public or the democratic process.”

Mendelson wrote in a statement that he received “an appalling threat of violence against my office,” because of the false rhetoric. 

You can sign up to comment on the name change until Dec. 9. 

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up