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Monday, February 18, 2008

Gentrification, The Black Mayor of DC - Makes No Difference - For Black Single Mothers In DC

AAPP: "Just because your a black Mayor does not mean a whole lot for black mothers in Washington, DC. Now it looks like the black mayor could care less about black mothers of the black family. Local Black Women have there own doubts about First Term Mayor Adrian Fenty. For many Black women, Adrian Fenty is just another black mayor gentrifying a formally black city like the previous black mayor Anthony Williams. It's interesting, Fenty's Cabinet appointments include, a white female police chief, a white male fire chief and a Korean American female schools chancellor -- all, of whom were appointed with limited qualifications, and limited citizen involvement."

Young, Inexperienced and over his head?

A Washington Post poll last month found that, overall, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's first year in office has been marked by a general optimism in the city but that sentiment is not as strong in the city's largest demographic, black women. About four in 10 black women say they believe the District is moving in the right direction, compared with 56 percent of black men, 70 percent of white women and 78 percent of white men.

And although Fenty (D) has an overall approval rating of 72 percent, it slips to 63 percent among black women and to 29 percent among black women in households earning less than $50,000 annually.

And when it comes to the mayor, they have more doubts and frustrations, it seems, than kudos and rosy views. They know the challenges they face go far beyond Fenty, but when he ran in 2006, he took his populist approach to every corner of the city. Black women, it appears from the poll and interviews, have yet to feel the benefits of that approach.

"I don't feel like he's at the heart of people," said Teresa Price, vice president of the southern D.C. chapter of Mocha Moms and an assistant teacher at a private school. Her dissatisfaction with the city started years ago, she said, but Fenty has not met her expectations. Price, 45, whose children are in private school, said parents were disenfranchised by the school closings process and uninformed about Fenty's vision for their children's education. "I don't feel like the parents have a voice," she said. "I just want to make sure he's really doing what's best."

Fenty's Cabinet appointments -- among them, a white female police chief, a white male fire chief and a Korean American female schools chancellor -- have also made them tentative about the mayor.

"He started out with this big outreach campaign, and now it seems that we're being blocked out of everything," said Hodges, who works with developmentally disabled people.

"People wanted a change, but they wanted to be a part of the change, especially when you're talking about our kids and their futures." More HERE

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