Helen Mitchell passes at 90, long history serving DC and Ward 4

4D Lieutenant Anthony Washington with his grandmother, Helen Mitchell

Anthony Washington has served as the Lieutenant for MPD's Fourth District Police Service Area 407 for the past several years. He's earned a reputation as being responsive to residents' needs and focused on fostering better community relations.

This week he lost his grandmother, Helen Mitchell, who has a long history of service to DC and Ward 4. Ms. Mitchell passed at the very respectable age of 90 this week.  

Born in North Carolina in 1927, Ms. Mitchell came to DC in 1949 to work as a detective with the National Detective Agency, and later went to work for the Hecht Company on F Street NW as their store detective, the first African American to hold the position.

She worked as a corrections officer until 1965, when she went to the United Planning Organization Neighborhood Youth Corps as a counselor. She also worked in the DC Department of Environmental Services as the deputy director, and served as the director of Operation C.U.R.B. (Citizens Unite to Remove Blight). She retired from  DC government after 29 ½ years of meritorious service.

In 1973, She joined the League of Women Voters (DC) where she served as member, Speakers Bureau, speaking on behalf of home rule. 1974, she became the Chairperson of Speakers Bureau.

Campaign pin from Ms. Mitchell's Ward 4 Council election. (photo: Anthony Washington)

In 1974, Ms. Mitchell ran for Ward 4 Council during the first election of the City Council and was ranked number two out of seventeen candidates, losing to Arrington Dixon by 400 votes. She was also voted one of the most admired women in a poll conducted by the Afro­ American newspaper.

She served as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for 4D13 and also served as the Chair of ANC 4D. In her capacity as ANC 4D Chair, she testified before Senator Thomas Eagleton's Committee on behalf of all ANCs.

In 1998, she was quoted in the Washington Post, in an article titled "A PROMISING MOMENT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE," talking about the efforts of the Washington Interfaith Network to improve the city.

She had a great history in DC and Ward 4 and contributed to the success of our community.

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.

submit to reddit