Latest News

Check out the latest news and updates from Councilmember Silverman.

DC Paid Leave Benefits Expand Substantially

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

D.C. private sector workers are now eligible for a lot more paid family and medical leave — up to 12 weeks as of Oct. 1 — to welcome a new child into their family or take care of themselves or a family member with a serious health condition.
 
The expansion is a result of action taken last year by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), chair of the Council’s Labor Committee and the author of the Universal Paid Leave law, requiring D.C.’s Chief Financial Officer to reevaluate the paid leave program’s finances. As a result, the payroll tax for businesses was cut by more than half and workers can now receive 12 weeks of leave. 


New Fiscal Year: Added Support For “Excluded Workers”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

An estimated 15,000 undocumented residents, returning citizens, and workers in the informal economy who were not eligible for federal jobless benefits or stimulus checks during the pandemic will now receive relief payments of about $1,000 each later this fall.

The payments are a result of a provision added to the city budget in May by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), chair of the Council’s Labor Committee. The budget amendment provided for $20 million for the payments – if the District’s Chief Financial Officer confirms on Sept. 30 that there is enough tax money available. That confirmation came Friday. The Council unanimously supported Silverman’s measure.


News Release: Silverman Introduces Two Bills to Make D.C. Streets Safer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large)  introduced a package of road safety bills Wednesday that would reduce dangerous, high-speed driving in the District by taking routinely reckless drivers off the road and requiring speed limiters on District government non-emergency vehicles.

The first bill, the Reckless Driver Accountability Act of 2022, authorizes the District to boot or impound any car that has five moving violation tickets, or three tickets for speeding by more than 25 miles per hour over the speeding limit or running a red light, even if the tickets are paid. Owners can avoid the impoundment or retrieve their car from the impound lot by taking a restorative-justice-based driver education class. The bill is based on an initiative in New York City that, according to early research, has reduced dangerous driving incidents among participants by up to 40 percent.


Back in action!

The D.C. Council is back in action, and we had our first legislative meeting of the fall on Tuesday. As we approach the end of the two-year Council session, we are racing to finish a few major pieces of legislation before the end of December.


Transitioning to fall

Councilmember Silverman speaks with teachers and administrators in front of MLK Elementary SchoolThis week begins the transition from summer to fall routines, as well as the return of our newsletter!

First: Back to School! Along with many DCPS students and parents, I headed back to school last week by visiting Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in Congress Heights. In-person learning in the age of COVID makes the first day of school more complex, but I was impressed with how smoothly students were welcomed and those who still needed COVID testing were handled. Many thanks to Principal Angel Hunter and her teachers and staff for being a reassuring presence to all of us that morning.

 


Councilmembers Request Broader Public Communication re: Monkeypox

At-Large DC Councilmember Elissa Silverman and seven other council members are asking for broader communications with the public about the monkeypox virus, saying that even those who are not at high risk are worried.

“Many residents who are not considered at high risk for monkeypox are scared for themselves and for their children who will return to school later this month,” the letter reads. The council members urge DC Health to communicate with people outside the highest-risk groups and to work with schools to share information.

In the letter to Interim Director Dr. Sharon Lewis, they also requested information about the distribution of vaccines by ward and other relevant demographics to better assess how equitably vaccinations are being distributed.

 


Letter to the Mayor Regarding Migrant Arrivals

Ten members of the Council, including Councilmember Elissa Silverman, asked Mayor Bowser to take action regarding the influx of busses with migrants arriving from Texas and Arizona. Those actions include: asking for federal funds, assigning district staff to support the effort, finding respite space for new arrivals, and opening our checkbook to financially support the work of the groups that are helping.

Read the Councilmembers' letter.


Labor Committee Meets to Vote on Paid Leave Law

On Wednesday, July 13, at 1pm, the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee will meet to vote on B24-615, “District Government Paid Leave Enhancement Amendment Act of 2022.”  The bill expands paid family leave available to District government workers to up to 12 weeks per year for family or parental leave, increased from 8 weeks per year, and establish paid personal medical leave and pre-natal leave for the first time. The bill would also adjust the current program’s rules such that employees may take leave one year following the start of their previous paid leave, rather than one year following the end of their last leave, which unfairly delays a second leave for employees initially taking leave on an intermittent basis.  


Labor Committee Votes on Non-Compete Legislation

On Thursday, June 16, at 10:30am, the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee will meet to consider and vote on B24-456, the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022.  The legislation amends the previous non-compete legislation to create a narrow allowance for non-compete agreements with only those employees who have annual total compensation of at least $250,000, provided that the agreements last no more than one year and adhere to certain drafting requirements including clear disclosure to employees. 


News Release: DC Set to Dramatically Expand Paid Leave Benefits for Workers and Slash Tax Rate for Employers

CFO Certifies Significant Tax Rate Cut to .26% from .62%, a $200 million savings;

Also certifies program increase in parental leave from 8 to 12 weeks, medical and family leave from 6 to 12 weeks for eligible workers beginning July 1, 2022