Keith Andrew Perry was born on October 7, 1963 in Washington, D.C. After brief stents in private schools, Perry matriculated in the D.C. Public schools, attending Randle Highland elementary School, Sousa Junior High and H.D. Woodson Senior High Schools from which he graduated in 1981.
A precocious child, Perry was an acclaimed soloist in the famed Sousa Gospel Choir and held numerous leadership roles during his scholastic career; including his concurrent service as H.D. Woodson Chapter President and State Vice-President of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (D.E.C.A.) Heading the call to public service, Perry followed his childhood heroes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Honorable Julian Bond to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he immediately became a fixture in the vibrant campus life of that legendary institution.
A Political Science major, in 1984, Keith became the only Student Government Association President from Washington, D.C. ever elected in the school’s storied history. Considered a visionary by his peers, Perry stressed civic engagement and political activism during his term, which led to a significant spike in voter registration and volunteerism by his fellow students. It was during this period, Perry famously led a principled student protest of campus conditions known to this day as “the Day The House Stood Still.”
Inspired by his professor, the legendary Dr. Robert Brisbane, Perry following his graduation form Morehouse, enrolled in the historic Howard University School of Law in 1985, intent on preparing for a career in public life. Serving as First year class President and taking on roles in Washington, D.C. politics, Perry began to make a name for himself as Treasurer of the D.C. Young Democrats, deputy Campaign Manager for a candidate for City Council At-Large. In 1988 Perry was named an Outstanding Young Man of America and sought a seat on the D.C. Democratic State Committee. Later that year, he was appointed an Ex-Officio Member of the DCDSC becoming the committee’s youngest member and was tapped by then Mayor Marion Barry as a Member of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He was also elected overwhelmingly to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
Deeply interested in civil rights law, Perry served legal clerkships with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, where he did research on war crimes and racial profiling; The D.C. Board of Parole where he acted as the FIOA officer and The Prince Georges County Maryland States Attorney’s Office where his research led to the first asset forfeitures of drug dealers in Prince Georges County history.
In 1989, his fellow Howard Law alum Power Company executive Sharon Pratt Dixon, asked Perry to serve as Treasurer of her campaign for Mayor of the District of Columbia. Following the stunning victory, Mayor Dixon named Perry as Special Assistant to the Director of the D.C. Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development and later as the first Administrator for Community Services of the Department of Recreation and Parks making him, at 26, one of the youngest sub-cabinet appointees in the history of D.C. government.
In 1994, Perry ran for D.C. Board of Education, coming in second to the incumbent in field of six candidates, receiving over 28,000 votes, numerous endorsements and establishing a reputation for his vigorous debating skills, original thinking on public policy questions and as a spirited campaigner.
In addition to serving as staff Director to D.C. Councilmember Terry Hairston, Perry served as primary caregiver for his terminally ill mother until her death in 1998.
In 1998, Perry revived his political activism by his service as chief strategist to Rev. George Stallings campaign for D.C. Council in Ward 6. Professionally he was engaged as Of Counsel to the Boutique Litigation Firm of Kittles Perry and Jarvis.
In 2001 Perry announced for the City Council representing Ward 6 and after a spirited campaign in a gerrymandered district despite his numerous endorsements and broad support among disenfranchised and dispossessed citizens, Perry received 40 percent to the incumbent after being out spent five to one.
His remarkable showing brought Perry to the attention of the Consortium for Youth Services which tapped him as Executive Director
He was named to the CEO Advisory Board of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives.
Perry was elected Ward 6 Committeeman, D.C. Democratic State Committee in 2004 and later that year newly elected Councilmember Kwame Brown tapped Perry as Chief of Staff.
Marion Barry tapped Perry, first as Legislative Counsel but within months named him Chief of Staff.
Perry was selected as a winter 2009 fellow of the Center For Black Literature at Medgar Evers College and is the author of the newly released and critically acclaimed literary political thriller WAR ANTHEM. He has written for the National Minority Business magazine and he is highly sought after for his public speaking and political commentary. Perry is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Prince Hall Lodge #14 Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Jonathan Davis Consistory No. 1. He serves on the Board of Efforts From Ex-Convicts. He lives with his wife on Capitol Hill in Washington and is currently working on the second installment of his "gentrification cycle" of novels, DOUBLE NEGATIVE. For further information go to www.keithandrewperry.com
Ralph Ellison, Chester Himes, Albert Camus
Double Negative, A Novel
Cigars, golf, Martha's Vineyard
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