​Notice of Meeting about Emergency Preparedness

August 7, 2018 -- A briefing with Metropolitan Police Department Chief Newsham on emergency preparedness in advance of this upcoming weekend’s protests has been convened. The briefing will occur on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. in the Chairman’s Conference Room. There will be a motion to close the meeting pursuant to Council Rule 375(8).  Read More »

Council Announces Plan to Exhibit Cool “Disco” Dan Works at the Wilson Building

July 26, 2018 -- One year ago, renowned local icon Cool “Disco” Dan (born Dan Hogg) passed away prematurely at age 46. To honor the anniversary of his passing, the Council today announced plans to exhibit two Cool “Disco” Dan works at the John A. Wilson Building, the District of Columbia’s city hall, county seat, and statehouse. Anyone who lived in the District in the 1980s will recall how omnipresent Dan’s famous tag was DC-wide, but especially in one of his most famous haunts, along Metro’s Red Line. Cool “Disco” Dan and his tag were woven into the District’s visual tapestry in a way that few iconic images have been, before or since. Dan’s legendary status was recognized early on by those in District, but his renown began to expand to federal Washington and beyond when he was featured in both a well-reviewed documentary film and in an exhibit on 1980s DC subcultures at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Read More »

Legislative Flurry Precedes Summer Recess

July 11, 2018 -- University calendars are broken into semesters, and the financial calendar is broken into quarters. Interestingly, it could be said that the Council’s legislative time is informally broken into uneven thirds that extend across not a single year, but a two-year Council Period. For the current Council Period, number 22, we have just concluded the second third, with only the home stretch remaining. Read More »

Legislation Requests for July 10, 2018 Legislative Meeting

July 5, 2018 --  Read More »

The Liberty Bell is Missing: One Year Later

July 3, 2018 -- A year ago this time, we notified the public and the media that the full-size Liberty Bell replica that had graced the property in front of the Wilson Building from roughly 1950 to 1980 had vanished at that time and had not been seen since. (see original coverage here: The short version of the update on our search is that the Bell still has not been found. But the longer version of the story is that thanks to tips from the public, as well as additional research, we have learned a great deal. A final round of public tips may very well put us over the goal lin Read More »

Last Budget Vote Passes Unanimously at Second-to-Last Pre-Recess Meeting

June 27, 2018 -- The FY 2019 budget season began on November 21 of last year, when Chairman Phil Mendelson introduced the resolution that laid out the deadline (March 21) and roadmap for the Mayor to present the Council with her budget proposal. That same process wrapped up, from a Council perspective, at the most recent Legislative Meeting with the second of two required Council votes on the Budget Support Act (BSA), the bill which incorporates the legislative changes necessitated by Council budget votes in May. The changes in the BSA between its first reading on May 15 and its second reading on June 26 are best encapsulated here. At the most recent Legislative Meeting, the few amendments that passed from the dais were primarily of a technical nature. One exception was an amendment that set aside a portion of the funds from a larger arts line item for a one-time $1 million in funds to support humanities groups. Read More »

Legislation Requests for June 26, 2018 Legislative Meeting

June 21, 2018 --  Read More »

With Just One Budget Bill Remaining, The Council Continues Legislating

June 6, 2018 -- While the Council’s other business continues through budget season, and the oversight that’s a core component of budget time is also a year-round responsibility, it must be said that the Council breathes a sigh of relief once the budget is behind us. Having said that, we are not quite there yet. While the other bills comprising the budget have all been passed by the Council the requisite one or two times (based on the specific bill), the final element of the budget still faces one final vote. The Budget Support Act, the bill which incorporates the legislative changes necessitated by the budget, must be passed a second time. This vote will occur at an upcoming Legislative Meeting. With this one remaining budget to-do list item aside, the most recent Legislative Meeting allowed the Council to return fully to legislating. Two pressing items were the primary focus of the Council on this front. Read More »

Legislation Requests for June 5, 2017 Legislative Meeting

May 31, 2018 --  Read More »

Second Budget Vote is Unanimous; Anti-Violence Pilot Approved and Funded

May 30, 2018 -- While “the District’s budget” sounds like a single, solitary item—it is not. In fact, with the implementation of DC Budget Autonomy (our right to approve the portion of our own budget that we fund locally), it has grown even more complicated. What is most commonly referred to as “the budget” is known at the Council as the Local Budget Act. It sets spending for the operating and capital budgets—appropriating local revenues as well as federal Medicaid and grants. Within 70 days of the Mayor introducing her budget, the Council must pass the Local Budget Act must be passed twice, two weeks apart. This year, the Mayor’s budget was introduced on March 21, the 70-day window will close on May 30, hence the required May 15 and May 29 votes. The counterpart legislation to the Local Budget Act is the Budget Support Act, which encapsulates all the legislative changes required to implement the mechanics of the Local Budget Act. The Budget Support Act had the first of two required votes on May 15, with the second vote to follow in June. Read More »

Legislation Requests for May 29, 2018 Legislative Meeting

May 23, 2018 --  Read More »

Council’s Proposed FY 2019 Budget is Released

May 14, 2018 -- The proposed Fiscal Year 2019 Budget and Financial Plan makes significant investments in the areas of small business tax relief, housing, human support services, education, and the arts and humanities. You will find a comprehensive summary of all the Council’s modifications to the budget in the Local Budget Act (LBA) report; I recommend that you begin your review with that document. Read More »

Council To Receive Artwork Deaccessioned from the Corcoran Art Gallery

May 14, 2018 -- Today, it was announced that the Council of the District of Columbia would be one of just twenty-two institutions to receive artwork being deaccessioned by the Corcoran Art Gallery. The Council joins institutions such as the Phillips Collection, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Howard University, the Supreme Court, and others in being chosen by the Corcoran Board of Trustees as an art recipient. The Corcoran’s Board had committed itself to keeping the Gallery’s former art in the District, and in fact, 99.4 percent of the Corcoran’s former collection will remain here in DC.  Read More »

Legislation Requests for May 15, 2018 Legislative Meeting

May 11, 2018 --  Read More »

Council Again Addresses Recent Hate Speech, Then Reforms Out-of-School Suspension Policies

May 1, 2018 -- After a vigorous discussion of how best to respond to recent incidents of hate speech and antisemitism, the Council took to the steps of the Wilson Building, the scene of the earlier negative comments, to condemn hate speech and defend our diversity. Chairman Phil Mendelson delivered comments on behalf of the Council that can be viewed here. At the Legislative Meeting that followed, a measure was passed by unanimous vote to limit out-of-school suspensions so that children who struggle with discipline can, whenever possible, confront their struggles within the comparatively safe confines of the school itself.  Read More »

Legislation Requests for May 1, 2018 Legislative Meeting

April 26, 2018 --  Read More »

Council Radio Show Now Also Available as a Podcast

April 19, 2018 -- Just weeks after the Council’s “Hearing the Council” radio show debuted on DC Radio, past shows are now being made available as a podcast. Each show consists of a half-hour interview with an individual councilmember. New councilmember interviews are added to the mix on DC Radio as interviews are conducted and produced for airing, with past interviews running in between debut shows.  Read More »

Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act Reform Clears Final Step; Other Key Bills Progress

April 11, 2018 -- Legislation has a life cycle just like all of us do. At the 22nd Legislative Meeting of the current Council Period, that full spectrum was on display. Some bills draw great attention from the moment they are born. Such was the case with a measure introduced from the dais which would allow those sixteen years of age or older to vote. Other bills have to grow up quickly. This was true of an emergency bill enacting the District’s dedicated payment to Metro. While questions of specifically how the bill will be funded remain, the reality was that with the Maryland and Virginia legislatures having recently passed their dedicated funding bills, DC needed to follow suit in the short term. DC led the fight to get dedicated funding for Metro in all three jurisdictions, but the passage of the funding bill, though a formality, was still a necessity. Read More »

Legislation Request for April 10, 2018 Legislative Meeting

April 5, 2018 --  Read More »

Council to Mark the 50th Anniversary of 1968 and the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

March 29, 2018 -- On Tuesday, April 3, the Council of the District of Columbia will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, in the context of the historic year 1968 in the District in general. The Council, along with Georgetown University, will be hosting a panel discussion entitled “Whose Promised Land? Reflections on 1968 in Washington, DC and the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Read More »

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