D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) today introduced a bill that would establish an independent agency to assist District taxpayers with navigating and resolving complex tax problems.
“Taxes can be notoriously complicated to navigate, and problems with taxes even more so,” said Silverman. “This bill helps District taxpayers decipher confusing tax issues and ensures they are resolved quickly and efficiently.”
Today, D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) re-introduced a bill that would strengthen protections and recourse options for homeowners whose property is damaged by negligent construction at a neighboring site. The bill was co-introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) and eleven councilmembers.
“I've heard horror stories from District homeowners about cracked foundations, flooded basements, and years of battling contractors who refuse to take responsibility for careless work,” said Silverman. “Homeowners must have reliable protections against property damage.”
We’re in the final days of 2018! Thank you for your continued support and engagement throughout this year. Every call, email, and visit to the Wilson Building has helped me better understand what is important to District residents, and I’m honored to continue working on your behalf to achieve a more equitable, accessible, and affordable city.
On to 2019!
Start off the new year by joining me at two events on January 2:
Swearing-In: You are welcome to come to the swearing-in of the newly re-elected leadership of the city. The ceremony takes place Wednesday, Jan. 2, at the Convention Center beginning at 9:30 a.m. No tickets are needed.
- Inauguration Open House: Following the swearing-in, join me from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. for an open house in my D.C. Council office (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 408) and help kick off my second term! We’ll have some delicious nibbles from Each Peach in Mount Pleasant!
Keep reading for a few updates from our final legislative meeting of 2018.
Christmas trees, menorah lightings, Kwanzaa celebrations, chestnuts roasting on an
open fire (ok, who actually does this?), and a slew of bills on the legislative agenda...sure signs that we’ve reached December and are nearing the end of the year!
Over the next week, the Council will take up a very full legislative agenda as we prepare to end Council Period 22. If you’re wondering what this means, the Council operates on a two-year cycle that coincides with election years. Council Period 22 will end at the close of 2018, and any legislation currently under consideration will either need to be finalized by the end of the year or re-introduced when Council Period 23 begins next year.
Keep reading for big legislative news!
A bill initially introduced in July by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) that enables D.C. government to clearly identify and hold responsible all partners in real estate limited liability companies (LLCs) passed unanimously today on the first of two final votes. It is part of a package of legislation reforming the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) put forth by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D-At Large).
“It shouldn’t be a battle to find out who is responsible when a home is damaged by a developer or neglected by a bad landlord hiding behind an LLC,” Silverman said. “By lifting the corporate veil, this bill will enhance consumer protections and allow the city to go after bad contractors and slumlords more strategically.”
A bill introduced by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) to protect D.C.’s lowest wage workers by putting equitable safeguards on debt collectors seeking wage garnishment passed unanimously today on the first of two D.C. Council votes. The legislation is one of several bills Councilmember Silverman has prioritized this year to provide additional tools to help District residents and working families break the cycle of poverty.
“Wage garnishment should not send workers and their families into an economic death spiral or come at the expense of income necessary for adequate housing, food, healthcare, or transportation,” said Silverman. “In a city with extremely high costs of living, we need to address how destabilizing wage garnishment is for working families, and its disproportionate impact on our residents of color.”
How is it almost Halloween?
I love how many of our neighborhoods use the holiday as a community block party, with trunk-or-treats and street-wide celebrations, and I look forward to seeing neighbors and fun costumes this Friday at Hilloween in Eastern Market. I’ll be making balloon animals and handing out candy (the good stuff), so make sure to find me if you stop by! My cat, Ousman, has been diligently guarding my candy stock (as you can see in the picture from last Halloween).
There's still good news for those that weren’t planning on grabbing treats at Hilloween: The Department of Parks and Recreation has spooky events planned all across the city starting this Friday and running over the weekend through next Wednesday. Take a look at the full list of Halloween events in every ward and keep reading for less spooky legislative news and community updates!
It has been said that politics is the art of the possible, of the attainable. In the debate over Initiative 77, which a majority of District residents approved in June to phase out D.C.’s subminimum tipped wage, I thought it was possible and attainable to strike a compromise in which we listen to voters, listen to tipped workers both for and against the measure, and listen to restaurant operators. That’s why I, along with a coalition of D.C. Council colleagues, proposed a package of amendments to address the key issues in Initiative 77. My belief is that D.C. residents want workers in hospitality, one of our most important industries, to be paid fairly and without fear of harassment, and for our restaurants, hotels, and other businesses that rely on tipped workers to continue to grow and thrive.
As many of you know, a majority of the Council rejected our compromise proposal and voted to repeal Initiative 77 on Tuesday. I disagreed with this approach, and I voted against repeal.
Silverman Legislation Building Pathways to District Government Careers Passes First Vote Unanimously
A bill introduced in April by D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) to establish clear pathways into District government careers for residents and native Washingtonians passed unanimously at the Council’s first legislative vote on the measure this week.
“Apprenticeships are one of our best tools to provide residents with opportunities to gain work experience and earn a paycheck at the same time,” Silverman said. “There are thousands of jobs in District government that we can leverage for residents looking for mentorship, careers, and meaningful, living wage work—especially for Wards 5, 7 and 8 where unemployment is the highest.”
The Pathways to District Government Careers Amendment Act of 2018 will do three primary things to provide District residents and graduates of the District’s high schools and other secondary schools with inroads into government jobs: (1) establish a public-sector apprenticeship initiative in District government, open to all District residents; (2) create partnerships between the Department of Human Resources and District secondary schools; and (3) require District agencies that are hiring for entry-level jobs to first consider applications from District residents who completed a District high school diploma or equivalent, before considering other applicants.
An Initiative 77 Compromise that Listens to Voters, Tipped Workers, and Restaurant Owners
In response to a legislative effort to repeal voter-passed Initiative 77, a coalition of Council members, including At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, worked together to develop a compromise that respects the voice of D.C. voters, responds to the concerns of restaurant operators and tipped employees, and protects the District's most vulnerable workers.
Councilmember Silverman will introduce an amendment proposing the compromise at the Council's Legislative Meeting on Tuesday, October 2.
Final language for the amendment, a comparative print of the legislation, and a summary of the compromise’s key components can be found below: