Adrian Fenty: Wikis


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Adrian M. Fenty

Assumed office 
January 2, 2007
Preceded by Anthony A. Williams

Member of the
Council of the District of Columbia
from the 4th Ward
In office
Preceded by Charlene Drew Jarvis
Succeeded by Muriel Bowser

Born December 6, 1970 (1970-12-06) (age 39)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Cross Fenty
Children Matthew and Andrew Fenty (born 2000)
Aerin Fenty (born 2008)
Alma mater Howard University School of Law (J.D.)
Oberlin College (B.A.)
Profession Attorney
Religion Unspecified Christian
Website Mayor's official website

Adrian Malik Fenty (born December 6, 1970)[1] is the sixth and current mayor of the District of Columbia, having begun his term of office on January 2, 2007.

Fenty is the youngest person ever to hold the office of District of Columbia Mayor,[2] winning election at age 35 and entering office at 36.


Early life and education

Fenty was raised in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Mount Pleasant. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School. As a teenager he worked at Swensen's Ice Cream next to the Uptown Theatre.[3]

Fenty's father, Philip, is of Afro-Panamanian background; his mother, Jan, is Italian–American.[4][5] His older brother, Shawn, is a bicycle expert; Jess is his younger brother. Fenty's parents are runners and own Fleet Feet, an athletic shoe store in the D.C. neighborhood of Adams Morgan.[6]

Fenty earned a B.A. in English and Economics at Oberlin College and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.[7] He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.[8]

Personal life

In 1997 Fenty and lawyer Michelle Cross eloped. Michelle Cross Fenty works for the Inter-American Development Bank. They have twin sons, Matthew and Andrew. The couple's third child, Aerin Alexandra Fenty, was born November 24, 2008.[9][10]

Political career

Fenty was an intern for Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-MA) before becoming involved in local politics. In addition to serving as an aide to Councilmember Kevin P. Chavous, he was elected as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in ANC 4C and was president of the 16th Street Neighborhood Civic Association.

In 2000, Fenty ran against longtime Ward 4 Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis. Jarvis was well-known and a heavy favorite, but Fenty campaigned relentlessly and — in what was to become his trademark — pursued an aggressive door-to-door strategy that put up countless green yard signs. It worked; Fenty was elected by a 57–43 percent margin.[11][12][13] Unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2004, Fenty was reelected for a second term.[14][15]

As a Council member, Fenty was noted for his commitment to constituent services; his vocal opposition to public funding for a new baseball stadium; and his proposal to fund a $1 billion capital improvement program for public schools, which, in different form, the Council subsequently passed.[16] He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[17] an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Adrian Fenty

One of the commonly noted symbols of his attention to constituent concerns is his frequent use of his three BlackBerry devices. One BlackBerry directly connects him to Police Chief Cathy Lanier while the latter two are for business and personal matters.[18] These, along with the black fedora he often wears, are his trademark accoutrements.

2006 mayoral campaign

Adrian Fenty formally announced his campaign for D.C. Mayor on June 1, 2005. In the fall of 2005, then-mayor Anthony A. Williams made the widely anticipated announcement that he would not seek re-election, and then-Council Chair Linda Cropp announced she would be a candidate for Mayor. Other candidates in the field included businesswoman Marie Johns, then-Councilmember Vincent Orange, and lobbyist Michael Brown (who dropped out of the race in September 2006), though most political observers saw the race as a two-person contest between Fenty and Cropp.

Fenty ran on a platform of bringing a more energetic and hands-on approach to city government. Cropp trumpeted her 25 years of experience in city government and her desire to continue the progress made by Anthony Williams, who endorsed her candidacy. The race was widely viewed as neck-and-neck through the spring of 2006. Both candidates raised significant and nearly equal amounts of money – roughly $1.75 million through June 10, 2006[19] – and neither gained any significant advantages from the numerous candidate debates and forums.

By July 2006, however, public and private polling gave Fenty a roughly 10-point advantage.[20] Political observers have debated whether it was Fenty's unprecedented door-to-door campaign (he and his campaign visited virtually every block in the city), Cropp's lack of engagement in the campaign, or the electorate's desire for a new direction after eight years of Anthony Williams. Regardless, Cropp went on the attack during the last month of the campaign. In direct mail and television advertisements, Cropp painted Fenty as unfit for the job and a careless lawyer who had been admonished by the D.C. Bar;[21] in 2005, he received an informal admonition from the Bar for his role in a probate case in 1999. The attacks appear to have backfired. The reaction, coupled with the endorsement of the Washington Post, extended Fenty's lead in the campaign's final weeks.

On September 12, 2006, Fenty won all 142 city precincts in the Democratic Primary—a feat unparalleled in the city's political history[22]—and defeated Linda Cropp by a 57–31 percent margin.[23]

Fenty received 89% of the vote in the general election[24][25] and became the capital's sixth elected mayor since the establishment of home rule.

Mayor (2007–present)

Jack Kemp, Fenty, and Eleanor Holmes Norton at D.C. Vote rally on Capitol Hill

High quality public education, government efficiency and accountability are among the key hallmarks of his first mayoral term. Fenty has been widely known for his commitment to constituent services throughout his political career. As mayor, that commitment to all District of Columbia residents has continued. Fenty has been acknowledged for his achievements in community service by The University Students Business Association. The USBA creates businesses geared towards raising proceeds for non-profit organizations while creating experience for students.[citation needed]

A rising political figure, Mayor Fenty has become known nationally for his leadership in urban education reform. The public school system in the District of Columbia had been troubled for years with student test performance scores and graduation rates among the lowest in the nation. During his first months in office, he shocked the city and the nation by bringing the public school system under his administration’s control.[26] His selection of education reformer Michelle Rhee to manage District schools surprised the education establishment, and underscored his determination to set D.C.'s long-troubled system on a new path.[citation needed]

The bold move and the addition of a school chancellor as a direct report have been credited with putting the school system on the path to long-awaited improvements inside and outside the classroom. Elementary and secondary schools showed significant reading and math gains during 2008. The Fenty administration has also embarked on a five-year, maintenance and construction plan to improve school buildings by 2014.[citation needed]

Making life better for all District of Columbia residents is a priority for Mayor Fenty. He added more police officers to patrol the streets and expanded community policing; added thousands of affordable housing units; created the Housing First program which provides permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families; and improved the delivery of emergency medical services. He has worked even harder to improve the lives of the city’s children. He has reformed Child Protective Services (CPS) by establishing an experienced, quality leadership team and reducing the backlog of investigations through improvements in social worker retention and recruitment.[citation needed]

In March 2007, Fenty suffered a significant defeat by pro-gun groups in the D.C. case for gun control.[27] The case was reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2008, and the D.C. gun ban was struck down as a violation of the Second Amendment.

Fenty publicly endorsed Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. presidential election,[28] and has been friendly with the Obamas since their inauguration in 2009.[29]

In December 2009, Fenty signed the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Act of 2009, to legalize same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia. The United States Congress has 30 days to disapprove the act before it automatically comes into effect.[30]


Mayor Fenty and his administration came under increasing scrutiny in 2009 in local media, including the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, and local news radio station WTOP. Of note are two "secret trips" taken by Fenty in early 2009.[31] According to WTOP, one of those trips was to Philadelphia and another was to an undisclosed location in the Middle East. The same article also cites city officials who say that Fenty did not disclose to anyone where he was going.

Fenty also came under scrutiny in November 2009 when WTOP reported numerous cases of misuse of police motorcades. These events include using them to protect him during bicycle rides on streets in and outside of Washington, some of which were on parkways which ban bicycles.[32]

Fenty came under national criticism during the snow storms of February 2010 for the District of Columbia's inadequate response to the historic snowfall, during which the United States Federal Government was effectively shut down for almost a week.[33]

Fenty has been embroiled in a number of additional controversies reported on by the Washington Post, including withholding skybox tickets to the Washington Nationals, despite not being legally entitled to them. He eventually handed the tickets over to the city council.[34] and allowing personal acquaintances to drive city-owned vehicles.[35]


Fenty and his administration has been criticized for apparent cronyism. A front page story in the Washington Post on March 7, 2010 detailed instances where Fenty's friends and fraternity brothers have been enriched through DC government contracts.[36] The D.C. Council has hired an independent investigator to probe the irregular awarding of over $80 million in parks projects to firms with ties to Fenty.[37]

2010 Re-election campaign

Scandals and arrogance have taken their toll on Fenty's 2010 re-election campaign. Polls show Fenty faces significantly reduced public support. On January 31, 2010, The Washington Post reported the results of a voter survey which showed that Fenty's job approval raing was at an all-time low of 42 percent. His support among African American voter support dropped to 29 percent from 68 percent, while his support among whites dropped to 57 percent from 78 percent.[38] Fenty had only a 42 percent job approval rating, and more than four in 10 voters doubted his honesty, empathy and openness.[38]

Adrian Fenty's 2010 mayoral campaign is on pace to break every fundraising record in D.C. On July 31, 2009 (13 1/2 months before the 2010 primary), the campaign passed the 2006 primary fundraising total of $2.4 million.[39]

Election history

2000 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Primary Election[12]

Adrian Fenty (D) 57%
Charlene Drew Jarvis (D) 43%
Write-in 0%

2000 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, General Election[13]

Adrian Fenty (D) 89%
Renée Bowser (STG) 11%
Write-in 0%

2004 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Primary Election[14]

Adrian Fenty (D) 99%
Write-in 1%

2004 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, General Election[15]

Adrian Fenty (D) 99%
Write-in 1%

2006 Mayor of the District of Columbia, Democratic Primary Election[23]

Adrian Fenty (D) 57%
Linda Cropp (D) 31%
Marie Johns (D) 8%
Vincent Orange (D) 3%
Michael A. Brown (D) 1%
Artee (RT) Milligan (D) 0%
Nestor Djonkam (D) 0%
Write-in 0%

2006 Mayor of the District of Columbia, General Election[25]

Adrian Fenty (D) 89%
David W. Kranich (R) 6%
Chris Otten (STG) 4%
Write-in 1%


  1. ^ "Voters Guide 2006 Supplement" (PDF). The Washington Informer. 2006-09-24. 
  2. ^ Libby, Lewis. "The Nation's Capital Gets a New Mayor". National Public Radio. November 13, 2006. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  3. ^ 2k8 Washingtonian article
  4. ^ Fisher, Marc. "Fenty Emerges as an Action Hero". The Washington Post. August 23, 2006. page B01. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  5. ^ Jaffe, Harry (November 2008). "Adrian Fenty: Born to Run". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  6. ^ "Fleet Feet D.C.". About Us. Staff. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  7. ^ "About Adrian". Fenty 2006 campaign website. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  8. ^ David Nakamura and V. Dion Haynes. "Kwame Jackson Promotes Fenty". The Washington Post. October 19, 2006. page DZ02. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  9. ^ Roberts, Roxanne; Argetsinger, Amy. "Mayor Fenty's Family Welcomes Baby Girl". Washington Post. November 24, 2008.
  10. ^ At 6 feet & 180 pounds, Fenty appears the picture of fit, but he hasn't always been that way. In 2000 -- the year his twin sons were born, he wrapped up a long campaign for a D.C. Council seat..., and he and his wife renovated their kitchen -- Fenty did not run a single day. time. He also reached about 215 pounds, Shawn said.
  11. ^ Chan, Sewell (2000-09-13). "Council Member Jarvis Ousted in D.C. Primary; Fenty Defeats Veteran Lawmaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  12. ^ a b "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2000-09-22. 
  13. ^ a b "Final and Complete Election Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2000-11-17. 
  14. ^ a b "Certified Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2004-09-14. 
  15. ^ a b "Certified Summary Results" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2004-11-18. 
  16. ^ Nakamura, David (2006-08-21). "Cropp and Fenty Have Pursued Their Legislative Agendas By Opposite Means". The Washington Post. pp. page A01. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  17. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". 
  18. ^ Austermuhle, Martine (2007-08-27). "Fenty Ponders Blackberry Spokesman Role". Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  19. ^ Montgomery, Lori; Nikita Stewart (2006-06-13). "Vocal Critic Of Mayor Leads in Fundraising". The Washington Post. pp. page B04. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  20. ^ Barnes, Robert; Lori Montgomery (2006-07-23). "Fenty Emerges From D.C. Pack". The Washington Post. pp. page A01. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  21. ^ Silverman, Elissa; Lori Montgomery (2006-08-22). "New Cropp Fliers Attack Fenty". The Washington Post. pp. page B02. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  22. ^ Montgomery, Lori (2006-09-14). "In Sweep, Fenty Draws On Uniting To Conquer". The Washington Post. pp. page A01. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  23. ^ a b "Certified Election Night Results". District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2006-09-26. 
  24. ^ "Washington, D.C. Full Ballot, Local Elections 2006". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  25. ^ a b "Certified Official Results Report" (PDF). District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics. 2006-11-21. 
  26. ^ Emerling, Gary (2007-06-13). "Fenty takes control of public schools". The Washington Times. 
  27. ^ Hall, Randy (2007-03-12). "Decision to Overturn DC Gun Ban Under Fire". Cybercast News Service. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  28. ^ Nakamura, David (2007-07-18). "D.C. Mayor Endorses Obama's Campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  29. ^ Sommer, Mathis (2009-01-11). "Obama and Fenty Have Lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl". Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  30. ^ Craig, Tim (2009-12-19). "Washington Mayor Fenty signs same-sex marriage bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  31. ^ Segraves, Mark (2009-03-26). "DC mayor takes another secret trip". WTOP Radio. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  32. ^ Segraves, Mark (November 9, 2009). "Fenty uses police escort, clogs traffic on bike rides". Bonneville International. Retrieved January 3, 2010. 
  33. ^ Austermuhle, Martin (February 11, 2010). "Fenty's Snow Woes Go National". DCist. Retrieved February 15, 2010. 
  34. ^ Craig, Tim (2009-04-13). "Fenty-Council Ticket Spat Returns With the Spring". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  35. ^ Stewart, Nikita (2009-05-26). "Fenty Lets Friend Drive City-Owned Car, Despite Law". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  36. ^ Stewart, Nikita; Schwartzman, Paul (March 7, 2010). "Friends share in D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's good fortune". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  37. ^ DeBonis, Mike (March 5, 2010). "D.C. Council Hires Lawyer to Investigate Parks Contracts". Washington City Paper. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  38. ^ a b Stewart, Nikita and Cohen, Jon. "D.C. Mayor Fenty's Approval Ratings Plummet, Poll Finds." Washington Post. January 31, 2010.
  39. ^ Abruzzese, Sarah (August 4, 2009). "Fenty campaign collections beat '06's take". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 

External links

Council of the District of Columbia
Preceded by
Charlene Drew Jarvis
Council of the District of Columbia Representative from Ward 4
2001 – 2007
Succeeded by
Muriel Bowser
Political offices
Preceded by
Anthony A. Williams
Mayor of Washington, D.C.


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