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The law says the statue must be installed in the Capitol by September 2014, and before that time there are many logistics to consider, including placement and a date for a formal reception. The Joint Committee on the Library oversees those logistics, but it hasn’t yet formally organized for the 113th Congress.
That didn’t put a damper on Monday’s early send-off that local officials and residents gave the statue, completed seven years ago by architect Steven Weitzman on commission from the city. Weitzman, along with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent Gray, city councilmembers and others gathered at One Judiciary Square to celebrate the statute’s impending departure.
Though the event might have seemed preemptive, Norton said it was fitting that a celebration should take place on what was Douglass’ home turf, during Black History Month.
“We wanted a celebration to make sure the Frederick Douglass honored here, representing the District of Columbia, was not just being honored as the great abolitionist,” Norton explained, “but also as a person ... deeply, deeply entwined in this city.”Wells Files Paperwork for Mayoral Run
Councilmember Tommy Wells, the Democrat whose jurisdiction over Ward 6 includes Capitol Hill, formally launched an exploratory committee Monday to consider a mayoral bid next year. Mayor Vincent Gray’s first term in office has been marred by questions about how he and his allies conducted his 2010 campaign, and he is expected to face a possibly crowded Democratic primary.
In an interview with CQ Roll Call last summer, Wells outlined his vision for a city under his leadership that would build on the successes he has had in Ward 6. His goals, he said, would include expediting the installation of streetcars throughout D.C., improving access to Union Station and continuing to develop the Southwest Waterfront.