DC Council member Marion Barry issued the following statement regarding his second meeting with the Asian Community on Thursday:
"Today's meeting is my second meeting with merchants and individuals representing over thirty Asian organizations in Washington. The first meeting was held last week on May 18th at the Wilson Building. Approximately a dozen people were in attendance.
The first order of business was to put my statement and the reaction it caused in the Asian community behind. I reiterated my apology and I made a commitment to be very careful about what I say about groups of people.
I then spent some time reiterating the history of my long standing friendship and support of the Asian Community We then had a dialog about a number.
Moreover, there was a lengthy discussion about the cultural and background of those who sought an opportunity to do business in Ward 8 and seized the opportunity. Many of these small merchants have gone through many hardships to keep their business' going; they are tight knit businesses and emphasize family members supporting them. This discussion gave me more insight as to how difficult it was to start carry-outs, grocery stores, nail shops, and other business in the Ward 8 Community. We also talked about ways in which the Asian business community could give more financial support to community organizations.
Today's meeting with a couple of dozen merchants and community leaders will continue an action plan to greatly improve the working relationship and mutual support between the Asian business community and the Ward 8 community.
We plan to work, together to make this happen for a better tomorrow in Ward 8."