Fenty says D.C. helping with Height events
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty tried to quash rumors Wednesday that his administration was not cooperative in assisting with the events honoring civil and women’s rights icon Dorothy I. Height, who died last week.
On Tuesday, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) issued a news release that said she called the D.C. National Guard "upon learning that there was no appropriate honor guard for ceremonies honoring" Height.
Height’s body was taken to the National Council of Negro Women headquarters for a public viewing Tuesday evening.
Fenty (D) told reporters Wednesday that “police are participating” as police would during any major, national and international event. “It’s one of the things that makes Washington great,” said Fenty, who was attending a news event to publicize a new program that will allow District residents to open bank accounts without monthly fees and minimum balances.
The mayor said there may have been a communication gap that led to a misunderstanding.
-- Nikita Stewart
Fenty, who is running for re-election, was criticized last year when he twice declined to meet with Height and poet Maya Angelou about the planned eviction of a nonprofit from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center.
Former D.C. first lady Cora Masters Barry founded and runs the nonprofit that spearheaded the efforts to get private financing to build the center. Height often attended programs at the center, and she accompanied Barry through her successful legal fight against the city and a D.C. Council hearing on the eviction.
Fenty said he attended a viewing for Height Wednesday morning and that two members of Height’s family, as well as others, expressed their gratitude to the city for providing assistance with the memorial and funeral services.
Fenty also confirmed that he visited Height while she was hospitalized at Howard University Hospital. He called her a “tremendous treasure to this city.”
He said he first met Height as a council member, and like other mayors, he continued a tradition of presenting her with a proclamation on her birthday. He said he was unable to give her the proclamation this year because she was sick.
She turned 98 years old 27 days before her death, according to the NCNW website.
Washington Post editors
| April 28, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: DC, Traffic and Transportation | Tags: Adrian Fenty, Dorothy Height, Eleanor Holmes Norton, National Council of Negro Women, Women's rights
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