Latest News

Check out the latest news and updates from Councilmember Silverman.

Three Big Topics


Topic No. 1: Reforming Our Housing Authority

Urgent reform of the D.C. Housing Authority started last week, with the passage of emergency legislation I introduced in collaboration with Attorney General Karl Racine. The bill directs some immediate actions in response to the scathing federal report on the condition of D.C.’s public housing and general dysfunction at the city’s biggest affordable housing provider. 

Among other things, the legislation requires board members and the executive director to get trained up fast in the basics of public housing so they can do their jobs.

Silverman Introduces Bill to Reform D.C. Sports Betting

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) introduced legislation that would reboot the District’s troubled online sports wagering program by allowing mobile apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel to compete for business alongside D.C. Lottery’s poor performing GambetDC app. The bill would also prohibit the renewal of the city’s lottery contract with Intralot, which received a $215 million sole-source deal to run both the lottery and sports betting that was highly controversial.

The District’s sports betting program was supposed to be a bonanza, contributing approximately $25 million per year for the District’s budget. Instead, it has been dud—actually losing $4 million in its first full year of operations.

“We need to turn the page on this embarrassing episode,” Silverman said. “Residents deserve an online app that works, taxpayers deserve a program that brings in money for the District, and we all deserve a system where we don’t hand huge contracts to a preferred company and its subcontractors without even looking at the competition.”

Council Committees Set to Advance Domestic Worker Protections


Two D.C. Council committees are expected to vote today on legislation that would secure workplace rights for domestic workers, such as housekeepers, nannies, and home health aides, that D.C. employees who work outside of a home already have.

The Domestic Worker Employment Rights Amendment Act of 2022, would require anyone hiring a domestic worker in D.C. to provide the worker with a written contract that establishes their hours, pay, duties, and other specifics about the work being performed. The bill also ends the carve out of domestic workers from the D.C. Human Rights Act, which protects against workplace discrimination, and requires D.C. government agencies to provide template contracts and other resources to employers and workers on how to ensure safety in their workplace.

Council Unanimously Passes “First Step” Housing Accountability Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The DC Council unanimously passed legislation by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) on Tuesday to jumpstart needed improvements at the D.C. Housing Authority, including a requirement that board members and the executive director receive extensive training in 30 to 60 days. 

“The housing authority’s job is to provide safe, healthy, and dignified housing for low-income residents,” said Silverman, who drafted and introduced the legislation, which was co-introduced by 11 other councilmembers. “We need to start at the top and make sure that the people who manage and make decisions know what they're doing.”

Silverman Remarks on Presenting DCHA Emergency Legislation

Councilmember Elissa Silverman's remarks on presenting the Housing Authority Accountability Emergency Amendment Act of 2022, October 18, 2022


Mr. Chairman, I think what is happening at the D.C. Housing Authority is the very definition of an emergency.

The Authority’s job is to provide safe, sanitary, and dignified housing for our low-income families. And it is to make decisions about housing authority properties that will provide deeply affordable housing to those at very low income.

For years, residents have been testifying before the authority and at times before this Council saying that the authority isn’t doing its job. Increasingly, it seems the authority is more focused on market-rate economic development opportunities than deeply affordable housing.

Silverman, Racine Introduce Emergency Bill to Begin Needed Housing Authority Reform

Office of Councilmember Elissa Silverman
Office of the Attorney General


WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) collaborated with D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine to introduce emergency legislation Thursday to increase oversight and accountability of the D.C. Housing Authority and its board. The emergency bill increases training requirements for its board of commissioners, requires more frequent reporting on housing conditions to the D.C. Council, and clarifies that DCHA has long been required to follow DC’s consumer protection laws. This is an immediate first step and will be followed by a comprehensive reform bill as soon as the end of this month.

Draft Proposed DC Housing Authority Reform Legislation

Even before Councilmember Silverman submitted emergency DC Housing Authority legislation, which was passed by the Council Oct. 18, she had already been working on comprehensive DCHA reform legislation since before the HUD report broke on October 7. She intends to introduce the legislation as early as the end of October. While details are still being finalized and additional measures could be added, the legislation is expected to include the following:

Silverman to Introduce Major Housing Authority Reform in Response to Scathing Fed Audit


D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman, I-At-Large, a member of the council’s Committee on Housing and a vocal critic of the D.C. Housing Authority, will introduce major reform legislation as soon as this month to address deficiencies at the authority and the make-up and operation of its board.

The legislation comes on the heels of a scathing federal audit of the city’s public housing agency, though the legislation was in the works before news of the report broke on Friday.

“I and others have been saying this for a long time,” Silverman said. “The DC Housing Authority is completely dysfunctional; it is failing its residents, and it is failing this city. It needs a complete leadership overhaul.”

Council Expands Paid Leave for DC Government Employees

District government employees will get more paid family and medical leave thanks to a bill passed today in the DC Council. The legislation puts benefits in line with the District’s highly successful and expanding private sector program and with new federal government paid family leave benefits. Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I), chair of the Council’s Labor and Workforce Development Committee, and Councilmember Christina Henderson (I) introduced the bill, which was co-introduced by the entire Council.
“Expanding paid family leave benefits makes the DC government more competitive as an employer and better able to attract qualified candidates to work hard for our residents and businesses,” Silverman said. “We have 37,000 city employees. If we’re going to compete for talent with the federal government and the private sector, we have to offer competitive benefits to our workers.”

DC Paid Leave Benefits Expand Substantially


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.