The D.C. Council is back in session and ready to get to work. Council Period 22 officially began Jan. 2, after I and five of my colleagues were sworn in for a new four-year term.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, the Council held its organizational meeting to establish the committees and rules for the new session. I’m honored to have again been selected to chair the Finance and Revenue Committee and to serve as the Council’s representative on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board of directors.
The Council established eleven committees for this session: Committee of the Whole (chaired by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson), Education (David Grosso), Government Operations (Brandon Todd), Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization (Anita Bonds), Labor and Workforce Development (Elissa Silverman), Transportation and the Environment (Mary Cheh), Business and Economic Development (Kenyan McDuffie), Finance and Revenue (myself), Health (Vincent Gray), Human Services (Brianne Nadeau) and Judiciary and Public Safety (Charles Allen).
In addition to chairing Finance and Revenue, I will serve on the Committee of the Whole and on the Transportation and the Environment, Business and Economic Development and Government Operations committees.
The beginning of a Council period is a little slow, as members reintroduce bills that failed to receive a vote in the last session. Likewise, committees are establishing their rules and waiting for new legislation on which to hold hearings. The Council will undertake its annual performance oversight process in February and March, when all committees will review and question the actions of the agencies under their purview.
If you’ve had a positive or negative experience with a D.C. government agency over the past year, I encourage you to sign up to testify at a performance oversight hearing or submit written testimony.
After the performance oversight hearings, Mayor Bowser will submit her budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The Council will use this, along with the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report produced by the CFO, to inform our public budget oversight process in March, April and May.
I look forward to working with the mayor and my Council colleagues to craft a budget that funds our priorities, expands programs that are working well and continues to lower taxes for residents.
The Council session may have just kicked off, but we’ve got a busy spring on the horizon. I encourage everyone to continue to let me know about issues you encounter with the D.C. government, whether temporary problems or more structural matters that may require legislation. The city continues to get stronger every year — our CFO called the past several quarters the strongest in the District’s history — but we have more work to do. I’m excited to serve as your Council member again and get back to the city’s business.
*Jack Evans is the District Council member for Ward 2, representing Georgetown and other neighborhoods since 1991.*