Council Unveils Latest Phase of Expansive Participatory Government Efforts

 

When the Council returned from recess, it inaugurated a new phase in its multiyear effort to broaden citizen understanding of, and interaction with, the Council.

A number of improvements involve our Legislative Information Management System, or LIMS. This is our online legislative database and search engine. It includes legislation from as early as 1989 (Council Period 8), through to the present day.

Starting now, the listing for every single piece of legislation that appears in LIMS includes social sharing links. If you are in LIMS and find out about a bill you were unaware of, or see that the status of pending legislation has changed, you can easily share that information via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, or LinkedIn buttons located at the bottom of the page.

Similarly, if you would like to be informed about any changes in the status of any pending legislation, you can click on a “subscribe” button at the bottom of the screen, and you will be updated at every step of the way.

Finally, we have added a “comment” section for each bill with a scheduled hearing. This section will remain open during the same comment period that a committee establishes for each bill. Comments will be moderated to ensure they are on-topic, non-commercial, non-vulgar, and non-campaign oriented, but otherwise will be left alone. And just as we have added social media links to LIMS’ informational pages, these same links are available if you want to share the comments on a given bill.

A further effort to encourage interaction with the Council will be a change coming soon to online and television broadcasts of Council meetings. Whenever an on-screen graphic appears to identify which Councilmember is speaking, that graphic will also include the preferred social media handle for that Councilmember.

This most recent set of improvements builds upon our past successes in making the Council easier to understand and interact with. These include:

  • Expanding the amount of past legislation found on LIMS (now goes back to 1989 and includes 30,000+ measures)
  • Allowing Councilmember vote searching
  • Providing easier and improved online access to the DC Code
  • Making our legislative data available via API
  • Providing access to pre-Home Rule Council regulations and resolutions