Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty
By Mana Rabiee
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty held his 39th birthday and re-election fund raiser inside a stately Washington home, but outside a coalition of local unions and community groups was protesting his first term as Mayor.
It was organized in part as a "candlelight vigil" against Fenty's re-election bid but at times it was more like an angry picket line. "One term Mayor, one term Mayor," they chanted.
Some 20 members of the Take Back D.C. coalition chanted anti-Fenty slogans as guests strolled past security guards to enter the mansion in the Foxhall neighborhood of Northwest D.C. They were protesting among other things privatization of social services and a loss of union powers under Fenty.
Ruth Castel-Branco is a founding member of the coalition, which includes the American Federation of Government Employees and the city's largest taxi union. "What we've seen over the last two years is the mayor's really concentrated his power," says Castel Branco. "He's undermined boards and commissions and so has really undermined the democratic processes that were laid out in the city."
Most guests declined to comment but Omar Nour of Columbia Heights said the protesters wouldn't dampen the party.
"I just support him in everything that he's been doing politically as well as, you know, other aspects," says Nour.
The Mayor's office would not comment on the protesters.