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Future mayors confer at freeway hearing: 1968 | by Washington Area Spark
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Future mayors confer at freeway hearing: 1968

Marion Barry and Sammie Abbott confer during a D.C. Council hearing on proposed freeways March 13, 1968.


Barry was recruited by Reginald Booker as one of the vice-chairs of the Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis (ECTC) along with Charles Cassell.


The addition of Booker as chair and Barry and Cassell as vice chairs transformed the organization and enabled it to mobilize large numbers of black homeowners and activists behind the anti-freeway cause.


Under the new leadership, the group was able to spearhead the takeover of the private D.C. Transit Company by Metro, lead the fight that halted nearly all freeway construction and start building the Washington Metrorail system.


Abbott, one of the founders of the group, continued to play an important role through his job as publicity director of the organization.


Barry would go on to become mayor of Washington; D.C., Abbott, mayor of Takoma Park, Md.; Cassell, a D.C. school board member while Booker continued as a black liberation leader.


For more information and related images, see


Photo by Walter Oates. The image is courtesy of the District of Columbia Public Library Special Collections, Marion Barry 60s & 70s folder, 1968. It is a Washington Star photograph © Washington Post.


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Taken on March 13, 1968