Tips and Resources for Being Informed about the Council

Today, more than ever, there are a broad array of resources on how to stay fully informed about the work the Council is doing. Please be sure to engage in all these ways so that you can stay educated about all the work we are doing. This is a rich and deep toolkit. Please take the time to investigate all the tools in detail.

 

Legislative Information Management System (LIMS): www.lims.dccouncil.us

Database of all Council legislation, going back to 1991 (work is underway to add 1975-1990 as well). Search by councilmember, committee, keyword, date, vote, or any combination of these. Legislative timelines, links to documents and video (where available), plus the ability to subscribe and follow bills.

 

Calendar of Council Events

A listing of all Council events, including how/where to watch, the topic, and links to relevant legislation.

 

Council Rules (here, then scroll to “Council Structure” at middle of page)

The Rules the Council runs by, including our internal rules of conduct, and which agencies are overseen by which committees.

 

Council Office of the Budget Director website: www.dccouncilbudget.com

Every possible document and resource related to the Council’s past and present budget deliberations can be found here. Be sure to check out the informative and addictive Budget Lookup Tool—drill down graphically, layer after layer, to the most granular level.

 

Council Office of Racial Equity website: www.dcracialequity.org

Learn how the Council is now investigating potential racial equity impacts of legislation through new Racial Equity Impact Assessments (REIAs), and check out the REIAs that have been drafted thus far.

 

Social Media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook): @councilofdc

The lifeblood of Council communications, mixing the essential with the offbeat. All Council events are referenced three times on social media—the day before, a “watch live” announcement, and once the video is available for on-demand review.

 

Hearing the Council” Radio Show/Podcast: 3PM weekdays on 96.3FM HD4, subscribe here, or search “Council of the District of Columbia” where you get your podcasts

If you think you already know all about our councilmembers, or the topics they tackle, then you clearly haven’t listened to our “Hearing the Council” radio show and podcast. Even Wilson Building staffers and journalists get whole new insight into councilmembers from our “getting to know you” episodes, and our deep dives on policy topics give members 30+ minutes to discuss and face questions on a single topic of interest to them. A must-listen for reporters, advocates, and political junkies.

 

Newsletter (subscribe here)

After each Legislative Meeting, we send out a newsletter featuring an article summarizing what happened at the meeting. Not what’s newsy, not what any one councilmember accomplished…an as-plain-language-as-possible explanation of what the Council as a whole did at the meeting–what happened and why.

 

Archived Video of Council Events

Here (some with searchable unofficial transcripts) and here

 

DC Code

https://code.dccouncil.us/

 

Pre-Home Rule Regulations and Resolutions (1967-1974)

All regulations and resolutions passed by the pre-Home Rule, Presidentially-appointed DC Council, some still in effect today

 

Council Handbook (here, then scroll to “Council Structure” at middle of page)

An illustrated guidebook with key information on DC’s history, demographics, and form of government. It includes details on the Council’s role, structure, membership, and organization, as well as laying out the Council’s legislative and budget processes.

 

Council 101

Three plan-language documents on how the Council runs—one on the Council “by the numbers,” one on the legislative process, and one on the budget process.

 

RSS Feeds (subscribe here)

Be notified immediately any time the Council adds a calendar event, an event video, or a news article to our website.

 

eCirculation

Day-by-day hyperlinked list of every document filed with the Office of the Secretary, from newly-introduced legislation to contracts to Auditor’s reports

 

Emergency Act (EA) Report (here, then scroll to the middle of the page)

List of all active Emergency Bills (in effect for 90 days) and their related Temporary Bills (in effect for 225 days)

 

Subject to Funding Legislation (here, then scroll to bottom of the page)

List of all bills passed subject to appropriations, along with their subsequent appropriation status, if any. Reminder: Per Council Rules, any such law (or provision of a law) that remains unfunded for two fiscal years is subject to repeal in the Budget Support Act in the third fiscal year following its enactment

 

Statutorily Required Reports to the Mayor and the Council (here, then scroll to bottom of the page)

DC law requires that many reports be compiled by specific agencies and submitted to our elected officials. This is the list of such reports that must be provided to both the Mayor and the Council. (pending update)

 

Statutorily Required Reports to (just) the Council (here, then scroll to bottom of the page)

DC law requires that many reports be compiled by specific agencies and submitted to our elected officials. This is the list of such reports that must be provided solely to the Council.(pending update)

 

Application Programming Interface (API)

Directly access the complete data set underlying our Legislative Information Management System (LIMS) legislative database, for your own creative legislative analysis uses