About 50 protesters picketed Mayor Adrian M. Fenty Wednesday night outside the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, where Fenty's fraternity is holding an international meeting.
A coalition of labor unions, tenants advocates and community organizers wanted to bring attention to the recent layoffs of government workers, the sale of public property to private developers and other issues, said Ruth Castel-Branco, an organizer for Jobs for Justice.
"We were really showing our displeasure with the lack of transparency,"
Fenty's critics have noted the sale of public property through emergency legislation, a method of getting a sale approved that leaves little time for public notice.
Castel-Branco said they decided to picket the Kappa Alpha Psi conference because they knew members would be coming from all over the country. "For us, we see this as another opportunity for the mayor to raise his national profile," she said. "We want to make sure they (fraternity members) understand the impact o the policies he's been pushing in the District."
The protest took fraternity members by surprise, another controversy for the group since arriving earlier this week. On Monday, Fenty welcomed members to the District at a posh reception at the Historical Society of Washington, courtesy of a $37,000 grant from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
But the fraternity reimbursed the city Tuesday after Attorney General Peter J. Nickles determined that the expense was not "proper."