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Adrian Malik Fenty (born December 6, 1970) is the sixth and current mayor of the District of Columbiamarker, 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, 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 teen he worked at Swensen's Ice Cream next to the Uptown Theatre.

Fenty's father, Philip, is of Afro-Panamanian background; his mother, Jan, is Italian–American. 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 Morganmarker.

Fenty was educated at Oberlin Collegemarker, earning a B.A. in English and Economics, and earned a J.D. from the Howard Universitymarker School of Law. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Personal life

In 1997 Fenty and lawyer Michelle Cross eloped. Cross is a global technology attorney for the Seattle-based law firm, Perkins Coie LLP. They have twin sons, Matthew and Andrew. The couple's third child, Aerin Alexandra Fenty, was born November 24, 2008.

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. Unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2004, Fenty was reelected for a second term.

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. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York Citymarker mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bostonmarker 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. These, along with the black fedora he often wears, are his trademark accoutrements.

2006 mayoral campaign

Adrian Fenty formally announced his campaign for DC 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 – 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. 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; 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—and defeated Linda Cropp by a 57–31 percent margin.

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

Mayor (2007–present)

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

In March 2007, Fenty suffered a significant defeat by pro-gun groups in the D.C. case for gun control. 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.


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. According to WTOP, one of those trips was to Philadelphiamarker 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 has been embroiled in a number of additional controversies reported on by the Washington Post, including withholding skybox tickets to the Washington Nationals and allowing personal acquaintances to drive city-owned vehicles.

2010 Re-election campaign

Adrian Fenty's 2010 mayoral campaign is on pace to break every fund raising record in DC. On July 31, 2009 the campaign already passed the 2006 primary fund raising of 2.4 million, which was 13 1/2 months before the 2010 primary.

Mayor Fenty, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

On July 17, 2007, Fenty publicly endorsed Senator Barack Obama of Illinoismarker for President in the 2008 election.Since then Mayor Fenty and President Obama have been sighted around Washington, D.C., including one famous visit to Ben's Chili Bowl located in the U Street Corridor. Also, Mayor Fenty was present to support First lady Michelle Obama's opening of the new White House farmers market in September, the fifth FRESHFARM-operated market inside the District..

Election history

2000 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Primary Election
Adrian Fenty (D) 57%
Charlene Drew Jarvis (D) 43%
Write-in 0%

2000 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, General Election
Adrian Fenty (D) 89%
Renée Bowser (STG) 11%
Write-in 0%

2004 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, Democratic Primary Election
Adrian Fenty (D) 99%
Write-in 1%

2004 Council of the District of Columbia, Ward 4, General Election
Adrian Fenty (D) 99%
Write-in 1%

2006 Mayor of the District of Columbia, Democratic Primary Election
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
Adrian Fenty (D) 89%
David W. Kranich (R) 6%
Chris Otten (STG) 4%
Write-in 1%


  1. Libby, Lewis. " The Nation's Capital Gets a New Mayor". National Public Radio. November 13, 2006. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  2. 2k8 Washingtonian article
  3. Fisher, Marc. " Fenty Emerges as an Action Hero". The Washington Post. August 23, 2006. page B01. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  4. " Fleet Feet D.C.". About Us. Staff. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  5. " About Adrian". Fenty 2006 campaign website. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  6. David Nakamura and V. Dion Haynes. " Kwame Jackson Promotes Fenty". The Washington Post. October 19, 2006. page DZ02. Retrieved on May 4, 2007.
  7. Roberts, Roxanne; Argetsinger, Amy. "Mayor Fenty's Family Welcomes Baby Girl". Washington Post. November 24, 2008.
  8. 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.

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