“Bitch set me up!” Those are the timeless words engraved on the giant Coke dispenser being erected outside City Hall to honor former Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry.
The DC Council Committee of the Whole voted unanimously for the statue after the Coca Cola Company offered a $300,000 corporate sponsorship in return for signage rights. The statue/dispenser will stand on the plaza outside the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said the statue honors a man who was revered nationally as a symbol of African-American political leadership, and recognizes his humanity while also providing a place for local youth to gather and have a cold refreshment.
Barry was elected four times as the city’s chief executive and was a council member in the District of Columbia for 15 years. He was convicted of cocaine possession in 1990 and served six months in prison, but was elected mayor again in 1995. He died in 2014.
The mayor’s son, Christopher Barry, died at the age of 36 in 2016 after smoking a combination of PCP and K2, a form of synthetic cannabis that’s more powerful than regular marijuana.