DistrictDig | EverGreen: The Ward 8 Fiefdom of LaRuby May And Friends
With the election less than three weeks away The Advoc8te is curious if this article will have an impact on Ward 8 voters. Are these issues of concern or just the cost of doing business? What do you think?
Chroniclers of local politics may have noted two rival clans competing for the wanting throne that presides over the District of Columbia. One house dwells mostly east of the Anacostia River and marks its descent from the Civil Rights era and its principle dynast, Marion Barry. The other unfurls its standards in Ward 4 and is embodied in Mayor Muriel Bowser, heir to the Green Team, a political and fundraising crusade left to her by her mentor, former Mayor Adrian Fenty.But in the figure of Ward 8 Council Member LaRuby May, the flags of the rival houses have united under a single banner. May recites heroic verses about growth, transparency and accountability, but she and her privy councilor—businessman and longtime ward fixture Phinis Jones—have quietly built an empire on which the sun never sets. It’s also an empire on which the sun has never shined.
Poring over hundreds of pages of public records, District Dig has charted a complex political and business alliance with grand claims to D.C.’s political capital—an alliance that promises its subjects cradle-to-grave service, all the while blurring the lines between public and private money.
May embodies and synthesizes the traditions of both political houses. Raised in Pensacola, Fla., she is the youngest (of seven) of the Right Rev. Theophalis May, a domestic Colossus—a self-made construction mogul who answered his call to public service through economic revitalization and historic preservation, and whose name adorns a public resource center. Yet she has risen to her prominence as a champion of the self-described progressive Green Team by campaigning for Bowser in Ward 8 and desperately trying to lend the Mayor credibility East-of-the-River.