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Protesters Crash Party for Fenty's Fraternity

About 50 protesters picketed Mayor Adrian M. Fenty Wednesday night outside the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, where Fenty's fraternity is holding an international meeting.

A coalition of labor unions, tenants advocates and community organizers wanted to bring attention to the recent layoffs of government workers, the sale of public property to private developers and other issues, said Ruth Castel-Branco, an organizer for Jobs for Justice.

"We were really showing our displeasure with the lack of transparency,"
Castel-Branco said.

Fenty's critics have noted the sale of public property through emergency legislation, a method of getting a sale approved that leaves little time for public notice.

Castel-Branco said they decided to picket the Kappa Alpha Psi conference because they knew members would be coming from all over the country. "For us, we see this as another opportunity for the mayor to raise his national profile," she said. "We want to make sure they (fraternity members) understand the impact o the policies he's been pushing in the District."

The protest took fraternity members by surprise, another controversy for the group since arriving earlier this week. On Monday, Fenty welcomed members to the District at a posh reception at the Historical Society of Washington, courtesy of a $37,000 grant from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

But the fraternity reimbursed the city Tuesday after Attorney General Peter J. Nickles determined that the expense was not "proper."

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 6, 2009; 8:39 AM ET
Categories:  Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  | Tags: Adrian Fenty, protests  
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Go Fenty!, Go! Keep trimming the fat! Tax paying residents of this city are tired of the lazy, poor attitude, and indifferent city workers who sit on their butts and collect a paycheck and pension. Keep at it!

Posted by: seanmackay | August 6, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Well that's a nice way of showing Fenty that there was hell to pay for using city money to entertain his frat bros. I'm sure they were probably already angry at the unexpected $37,000 they had to dish out and then to have the international meeting picketed? They won't be coming back here too soon and they might even see that their brother isn't quite brotherly at all. TO THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: Good way to make the point of what's really going on in the city!!!!

Posted by: candycane1 | August 6, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Protesters and Community Organizers, huh? Like the Union protesters that one sees outside office buildings around town. The protesters that the Unions picks up from shelters and pays less than a living wage to protest. That sounds about right for the Unions, too lazy to even do their own protesting!

Posted by: seanmackay | August 6, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"Let them eat red velvet cupcakes!"

Posted by: SoCali | August 6, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse


Don't think that a trick that one union does is one used by all. Also, this was not a union picket line - it was a protest involving people from various backgrounds and was organized mainly by Jobs with Justice - not a union. Certainly its not only civil servants and union members hurt by Fenty's policies. Anyone who thinks that stadium helped our city for example, clearly hasn't been down there lately to see the stalled construction projects and abandoned pits in the ground (which people were kicked out of their homes or had their small businesses closed down for, mind you) or heard about the owner of the Nationals doesn't even want to pay the agreed upon rent etc. Fenty's in bed with the rich and the corporations and I'm glad that some actual citizens of DC are trying to have a voice.

Posted by: EAR0614 | August 6, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I am with EAR1604. The recent government staffing reduction was not as a result of Fenty "trimming the fat" as seanmackay suggests, it was an attempt to fill in a budget gap. There is a distinct difference. Those reductions were not performance related reductions. Many highly qualified and productive employees, some engineers, doctors and MBA's, lost jobs during that reduction. I don't know that the city is better off as a result of it.

If the Mayor really wants to cut the bloat out of goverment he should start with his own salary and those of the D.C. Council. Wouldn't you agree:

Fenty’s salary is $200,000 in a city with just under 600,000 people.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg technically earns $225,000, although he doesn’t accept it. New York has more than 19 million residents.

Chicago is just shy of 3 million people. Mayor Richard Daley earns $216,210.

And Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa earns $205,561. The city has nearly 4 million residents.

Anthony Williams, the change agent of the District, only collected $145,000.

Part Time DC Gov't Salaries:

Vincent Gray-$190,000
DC Councilmembers-$125,000

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 6, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse


You must be joking or be Fenty himself if you for a moment can find a way to pat Fenty on the back after he almost blew $37K on a party for his frat out of city money when the city is broke. What the hell is wrong with you?

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | August 6, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Do any of you live in D.C.? I don't disagree that the stadium was a waste of money. But at least I get to enjoy it a couple of times a year. What I am not okay with is the continual rise in my property and income tax and the complete lack, and I repeat lack of city services. D.C. is a 3rd world city and it is a direct result of the "where's my benni" attitude of its civil "servants" Have any of you tried to deal with city employees at the DMV, Tax and Revenue, Parks, and even the Police. Its a joke! I don't think Fenty is a Saint, but at least he has had the pride to go after the scam that was taxi zones, put Rhee in charge of the schools, and start asking for some accountability from city employees. We don't need the assistant to the assistant to the supervisor that are some of the jobs in D.C. government. He's taking on the cronyism and unions that are a legacy of Barry and I support him worts and all!

And all of you whining about Fenty's $37k party, What about Barry and his "contracts." That's okay right? After all Barry is a D.C. institution.

Posted by: seanmackay | August 6, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

The numbers are under estimated in this report, but that is not the important aspect of this story. It was a diverse gathering (White, Black, Latino, young and old) of anti-Fenty protesters assembled. The numbers will obviously continue to grow.

Keep it up concerned residents and activist...

Posted by: winston61 | August 6, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

No Sean,

I did not employ Barry or his shenanigans either...he has his own set of scandals still going on. But Fenty is Mayor of the mess you speak of. He could have cleaned this mess up a long time ago by bringing real change. He HAS NOT PERFORMED. He has been a disappointment and that is why so many people are having a hard time looking below him. If the civil servants suck fire them but replace them with good people and train them to work within policies that make sense that actually benefit the public they are paid to serve. Most of the time they are following the dumb laws put in place by a dumber Mayor and Council now please run your argument by me again...

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | August 6, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse


No problem. Just like your argument above that the d.c. civil servants need better training, I am happy to spell this one out for you. That $31 million that Harriette Walters stole from the D.C. Office of Property and Tax Revune along with at least knowledge of the theft by about 30 other employees was due to a lack of training, right? You act like Fenty has created these problems. These problems were created by the Barry culture of anyone and their family member could be on the D.C payroll. And then you bring in the Unions and their its not the employees fault that they are stealing or not doing his/her job. They need more training!

The employees don't need better training and it is not the following of "dumb mayoral" policies. They need to learn how to return a phone call, not screw up data entry, and perform above the level that they currently perform at which would never be accepted in the private sector.

Fenty has a) gotten rid of the taxi zones, b)was a genius for bringing in Rhee, an Asian Woman, to prevent all the hootin and hollerin and playing of the race card over someone who ACTUALLY WANTS to reform the D.C. schools, and c)Is Asking and Demanding for accountability from city employees.

Again, Fenty is not perfect and has made some boneheaded moves along the way. But its a refreshing start compared to what has been and could have been if Linda Cropp had gotten elected.

Posted by: seanmackay | August 6, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes I live in DC, Born and raised. I'm a Ward 4 Takoma resident that never supported Fenty. God how I hope that there are more concernedaboutdcs more scappyc2001s, more winston61s, more southyrndivas, more boo2s and bullpen2010s, more EAR0614's, more OKNOW1's and more Efavorites.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 6, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I am sorry Sean. Chancellor Rhee was the absolute worse selection of the Fenty Administration.

First she doesn't know a thing about what transformational leadership is or how to utilize it. Immediately, upon being hired, instead of clearly enunciating a vision and getting all of the stakeholders she will depend on to bring that vision into fruition (parents, teachers, principals, the Council) to buy into it, she allienated everyone through very public very divisive rhetoric. That did nothing but stymie progress unecessarily.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 6, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

When another city worker misappropriates money, will he or she be allowed to go to their frat brothers or sorority sisters sources to pay it back? I think not because mayor accountability would bring down his hatchet, hold one of his many press conferences and make his puppets give statements that contradict whatever he doesn't want said. Heaven forbid the person worked at DCPS because the chancellor would strike like the well-trained cobra she is on her boss' behalf.

Why, then, should the mayor be able to hide behind his fraternity brothers and make "restitution" for the money he got through a "grant" for a lavish party from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development? It's not an office for party planning but for planning economic development for the city. SoCali, you are so correct about the red velvet cupcakes for the mayor and all of his "bros" around him in his administration. Too bad his actions have marred the fraternity's celebration and weekly meetings.

The money stolen from the tax office was not due to poor training but to poor accountability by those put in or allowed to remain in their roles of responsibility by the mayor. What is even stranger is the lack of ollow-through and action that could have helped the city recover the funds. And, in truth, it was well over $31 million.

If Fenty is a genius for bringing in an unqualified woman to run the school system by simply firing people and making $275,000 a year with her deputy henchwoman Kaya Henderson making $200,000, then I don't want to ever meet one. The school system is being run like a sweat shop with poor working conditions, a tryant with a six-figure staff of mini-me's running around and the lowest scores yet. There is no other city where people would praise those scores. They are laughable at best and clearly LOWER than they were during the Janey administration as well as those preceeding.

We won't even go there with "screwing up data entry" because no one can seem to release accurate data from the school system. Who's in charge there? Rhee. Who put her there? Fenty. I rest my case.

Candycane, concernedaboutdc, efavorite, winston61,boo2s, bullpen2010, EAR0614 and oknow1's, anything else to add?

Posted by: southyrndiva | August 6, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: southyrndiva | August 6, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

One more:

Posted by: southyrndiva | August 6, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Southryndiva: You have said it all!!!! Quite well at that!

Posted by: candycane1 | August 6, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has been a big disappoint to this Ward 4 D.C. voter. Fenty appeared to be very humble when I met him 10 years ago running against the former Ward 4 Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis, but this guy has become a dictator. I will never cast a vote for you again Mayor Fenty, not even for dog catcher. I am like other D.C. voters, I await for 2010 to arrive to vote you out of office King Fenty.

Posted by: Ward4DC | August 7, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

these protesters are complete IDIOTS!...

leave this Fraternity out of it!...

The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity has nothing to do with Fenty and DC...

DC just happens to be the host city this year for their convention...

why don't these idiots protest Fenty at his home or office if they have a problem with his policies...

these proud college educated, successful Fraternity MEN have come from all over the country to fellowship and to conduct business...

Fenty just happens to be a member, and he night not have even been present at the convention when there were protesting...

this was done for childish, personal reason to try and embarrass Fenty...

well guess what, it is not going to work...

his fraternity members are not going to think any less of him, but i am sure that think that these protesters are real idiots...

these protesting need to go home and get a are embarrassing yourself and DC in the process...

nothing will get accomplished by this you idiots!...

Posted by: docdwb | August 7, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

these protesters are complete IDIOTS!...

leave this Fraternity out of it!...

The Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity has nothing to do with Fenty and DC...

DC just happens to be the host city this year for their convention...

why don't these idiots protest Fenty at his home or office if they have a problem with his policies...

these proud college educated, successful Fraternity MEN have come from all over the country to fellowship and to conduct business...

Fenty just happens to be a member, and he might not have even been present at the convention when there were protesting...

this was done for childish, personal reasons to try and embarrass Fenty...

well guess what, it is not going to work...

his fraternity members are not going to think any less of him, but i am sure that think that these protesters are real idiots...

these protesters need to go home and get a are embarrassing yourself and DC in the process...

nothing will get accomplished by this you idiots!...

there are some people in this country that complain all of the time...

especially when an African-American is running the show...

just look at how they criticize President Obama on his every move...

the man can't even wear a pair of jeans to a basball game without someone objecting to that...

all President Obama has done in his first 2oo days is:

economic recovery package pushed and passed...

prevented the banking system from complete collapse...banks are lending now and showing a profit...

prevented Wall Street from complete collapse..stocks are up and surging everyday...

reduced the Iraq troop force...soldiers coming home soon, and Iraq is functioning on its own...

provide stimulus to the auto industry...he originally wanted 4 billion in the plan and the republicans said "no" as usual..guess what is back up to 3 billion total...

reduced the amount of job losses in the country...

reduced the amount of unemployment in the country...

the recent GDP shows that the recession is shrinking, and we are well on our way out of it...

Obama has infused the educational system, by providing billions in scholarships and funding to 2 and 4 year colleges...

Obama has met with world leaders and improved our status around the world...

he is trying to provide quality health care at affordable prices....but the republicans lie to their constituents and rumors are flying like crazy in order to defeat the bill...

the first bill he signed was equal pay for women in the workplace...

the real estate and housing market is up for the first time in months...

all of this and guess what...people still complain...`

but that's what you get when you have African-Americans in charge...

they are doing the same thing to Fenty...

Posted by: docdwb | August 7, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Doc DWB, the fraternity has nothing to do with dc? Don't get mad at the protesters, its Fenty himself who brought this mess on by giving $37,000 from an already tight budget. Surely a fraternity needs that kind of money to host a party, right......Fenty made them collateral damage, if you want to get mad get mad at the frat brother who is making dumb mistakes.

unfortunately you're way off, it already worked. If the goal was to show the city how irresponsible the mayor is, I sure think they succeeded. It even made the Post! I'm sure he'll love what this ongoing wave of opposition will do to his numbers and support next election cycle. As they say, this one's for the history books (or public record at least)

and you try to lump the President and Mayor Fenty on the same boat, saying that race is a factor in both of them seeing opposition. First of all, I call shenanigans as its an oversimplified and actually bad analogy.

Free people have a fundamental right to show their dissatisfaction with publicly elected officials, period. Now, that doesnt mean that you don't have a point - that there are some that will oppose these officials because of the color of their skin - thats a sad reality and one we can hopefully agree needs to be fought against.
BUT, to imply that any protestor who speaks out is being guided by that feeling is actually wrong. I'd say its wrong that Fenty is passing these policies, supporting these giant corporate interests, and giving away money for frat parties, while poor people (especially of color) in DC are screwed.... what does that say about Fenty. What does that say about race? Do we suddenly only care about the "leaders" and not the people... who cares about those most in needs situation, is that right?

get over it, and get over yourself. Be brave, get mad at the people who are responsible, not those that are forced to act when they're getting trampled on.

Posted by: carlosinhp | August 7, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Carlosinhp you are exactly correct, and the doc is wrong in saying that the fraternity wasn't put off by the negativity that has come with Fenty. I've spoken with several of their members, who are personal friends of mine. Their take is, they'd just assume he not attend their functions or participate if it is going to detract from their other, more important, business affairs.

And you are also correct Fenty is no Barrack Obama, not even close. Barrack hasn't stolen money from an old man's estate he was assigned to and Barrack has never been sanctioned by the bar association.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | August 7, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Please stop insulting Obama. Not in ten lifetimes could there ever be a comparison between the President of the United States and Fenty. As you stated above, Obama is working for the good of the people who elected him and yes there are some who he will never satisfy. But Fenty? Hell to the No! He has outwardly hurt the very people who voted for him. He has embraced mass firings of city employees. City services have hit an all time low. He thinks that he is above the citizens and the law. He has been involved in too many questionable situations/scandals. His takeover has brought the most unqualified persons to key positions with way too high salaries and they have yet to produce. Major failures: School chancellor, fire chief and attorney general. He associates and promotes those with questionable, demonstrated behavior. (Peacaholics and Sinclair Skinner) When he can no longer hide behind a lie, it's mass cover-ups by the attorney general.
It is unfortunate that the Kappa's got caught off guard and had such an incident during the week of the convention. You should have had a great week without this. But blame your infamous, notorious brother for attempting to slither around the law and ethical behavior by using money that was not his to use. A smart resourceful "brother" could have easily found many corporate sponsors to host your event and it would have been all good. Obama: intelligent, demonstrates integrity, has an agenda, reaches out to people, very polished and I still trust him. Fenty: Arrogant, childish, pompous A$$.

Posted by: candycane1 | August 7, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Fenty doesn't need protestors to embarass him. His abyssmal reputation speaks for itself. If anything, a protest adds voice to the myriad of concerns that Fenty's administration has wrought, and keeps these serious matters on the surface as Peter Nickles attempts to sweep things under the rug. All DC citizens are NOT inactive, oblivious, or divested in this city's future, as we are frequently portrayed.

Posted by: logosdesigns | August 7, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Additionally...he was no more impressive to me as Ward4 council representative as he is now...a phony and a gutter snipe. It seems hard for many to wrap their brain around the idea that not all roads to corruption lead to Marion Barry. We have a heap of folk from-- some of the ANCs on up-- just running amok with taxpayer funds, and doing so of their own free will.

Posted by: logosdesigns | August 7, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Logodesigns, they are following Fenty. He is truly leading by example.

Carlosinhp is correct also. Now the mayor is collaterally damaging his fraternity. I wonder how they feel about his actions given that he credited them for teaching him the way. AND they had to fork over money to try to lasso his behind out of trouble.

I know President Obama would never engage in that sort of behavior. He and Fenty aren't in the same league, not one iota. Perhaps someone from his administration could straighten out the mess Fenty has managed to make. Someone needs to along with removing all of his incompetent, ineffective cronies. Start at DCPS and MPD and then look at the plagiarization for the strategic plan.

Posted by: southyrndiva | August 7, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

My brother and several other family members belong to Kappa Alpha Psi. All are upstanding men, as I am sure many others are who are members. Fenty is a tool, but his shenanigans should not be a blanket indictment of this fraternity. As for him being compared to Obama...BAWHAWAHAWAHA!!! I agree with the comments already posted. I don't think my computer screen will tolerate much more of me spitting my soda whenever I see that in writing.

Posted by: logosdesigns | August 7, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

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