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DC Council – Legislative Branch of the District of Columbia


The DC Council is the legislative branch of the local government for the District of Columbia. Its primary responsibility is to make and amend laws, but it also oversees agencies, commissions, boards and other government related organizations. The Council works with the Mayor and plays a critical role in maintaining a balanced budget and the fiscal health of the DC government. It is comprised of 13 members, each elected by DC residents to a four-year term, including one representative of each of the eight wards, four at-large positions and the Council Chairman.

Since the District of Columbia is not part of any state, it is overseen directly by the federal government. Congress reviews all legislation passed by the Council before it can become law and retains authority over the city's local budget. To learn more about how laws are passed, read DC Government 101.

DC Council Committees

The Council considers legislation related to specific policy matters that fall under the following committees.
  • Committee on Aging and Community Affairs - concerns of the aging, the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, statehood and voting rights for DC, issues relating human rights, minority groups and veterans affairs.

  • Committee on Environment, Public Works and Transportation – issues relating to environmental protection regulation and policies, transportation, the maintenance of public spaces, recycling, water supply and waste management.

  • Committee on Finance and Revenue - taxation and revenue for the operation of the government of the District of Columbia

  • Committee on Government Operations – elections, campaign finance, general services, personnel, grants management, government procurement, matters relating to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

  • Committee on Health - health, mental health and environmental health, including the regulation of health occupations and professions, and health care inspectors.

  • Committee on Economic Development and Housing - economic, industrial, and commercial development, the regulation of the housing stock, including rental housing; and neighborhood development and urban affairs.

  • Committee on Human Services - welfare, social services, youth affairs, disability services and alcohol regulation.

  • Committee on the Judiciary - criminal, civil, and administrative law in the District of Columbia. It also oversees all of the District’s public safety agencies

  • Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning - libraries, public parks and recreation and public land use

  • Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs - consumer and regulatory affairs, public utilities, the regulation of banks and banking activities, and securities and insurance

  • Committee on Small and Local Business Development - small and local business development policy, tourism, cultural affairs, and the conduct of Emancipation Day celebration

  • Committee of the Whole - Each bill and resolution is referred to the Committee of the Whole to make sure that it is legally sufficient and complies with Council rules.
Most council meetings are held at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington DC. Council staff members are assigned to find solutions for problems and address complaints by DC residents. To contact your Councilmember, call (202) 724-8000 or send an email to dccouncil@dccouncil.us.

For more information, visit www.dccouncil.washington.dc.us/council

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