Latest News

Silverman Introduces Emergency Legislation to Increase Transparency and Collaboration on DCPS Safe Reopening

WASHINGTON, D.C., NOVEMBER 12, 2020 – Today, Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) introduced emergency legislation to increase transparency and collaboration in the development of Term 2 plans for the resumption of in-person learning at District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). The COVID-19 DCPS Reopening Emergency Act of 2020 (“DCPS Reopening Act”) delineates guidelines for the expansion of in-person learning and teacher instruction during a public health emergency. Specifically, the bill outlines data and timelines that must be shared in advance, requires the Mayor to send any reopening plan to the Council for approval, and specifies that any plan must include the support of the workers in DCPS schools.


Councilmember Silverman and Colleagues Recommend Active Community Engagement as DCPS Develops Reopening Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2020 – Today, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, joined by Councilmembers Robert C. White, Jr., Brianne K. Nadeau, Charles Allen, and Trayon White, Sr., sent a letter to DC Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Lewis Ferebee expressing support for the decision to delay in-person reopening of our public schools and outlining recommendations for moving forward. 


Newsletter: Tough And Responsible Decisions

Dear resident,

Today is the first day of in-person, early voting in DC! I was at Sherwood Rec near my home in Ward 6 when polls opened at 8:30 a.m., and though there was a line, it moved quite efficiently! Two reminders: You can vote at any early voting center across the city; the list of sites is here. And for our seniors and residents with a disability, curbside voting (which allows you to vote outside on a hand-held computer) is available!

We face many challenging decisions in the upcoming days and months, both as individuals and as a city. First, I know many of you, like me, are wrestling with how to celebrate upcoming holidays safely and responsibly. I want you to be aware of guidance DC Health has issued both for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Here’s what we are seeing through contact tracing interviews: COVID+ residents report with some frequency attending small group gatherings with family and friends prior to testing positive. I usually host Thanksgiving and love that my Maryland and Virginia family have a tradition of gathering at my home, but it’s not happening this year. DC Health considers that high-risk, and I am heeding that warning.


Press Release: DC Council Unanimously Passes Emergency Legislation to Extend Unemployment Compensation for DC Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20, 2020 – Today, the D.C. Council unanimously passed emergency legislation introduced by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) to extend unemployment compensation by seven additional weeks for all eligible claimants.


Newsletter: Let's Vote!

Dear resident,

Election Month is here, and we are 20 days from Election Day! Let’s vote!

If you are registered to vote in DC, you should have received your ballot at the address listed with the Board of Elections. If you have not received your ballot, first check here to make sure you are properly registered and the Board has the correct address for you. If you have not gotten a ballot by the end of the week, you should call the Board at (202) 727-2525 to request another one. If you are not yet registered in DC, it is too late now to vote by mail. You can still vote in person with same-day registration. Early Vote Centers open on October 27 and 95 vote centers will be open on Election Day, November 3. More details on voting are below.


DC Council Labor Committee Asks for Automatic Extension of Unemployment Insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2020 – Today, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, chaired by Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), released a letter following up on the top concerns raised by claimants and Councilmembers at the Committee’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) oversight hearings.


Silverman Moves Eviction Notice Moratorium Emergency and Temporary Acts

On Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large) moved The Eviction Notice Moratorium Emergency Act and the Eviction Notice Moratorium Temporary Act to keep more residents housed safely during the pandemic by eliminating unnecessary moves of fear or moves of misunderstanding caused by receiving a Notice to Vacate.


Press Release: Government Testimony on D.C.’s Unemployment Insurance System Rescheduled

Government Testimony on DC’s Unemployment Insurance System Rescheduled for September 30, 2020

D.C. Council’s Labor Committee announces monthly roundtables on unemployment through end of year

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2020 At the request of the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES), the D.C. Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has agreed to reschedule the government’s appearance to deliver testimony and answer questions on the District’s unemployment insurance programs to Wednesday, September 30 at 3 p.m. Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes, Director of the Department of Employment Services, had been scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s (Wednesday, September 16) oversight hearing.


Newsletter: Life-Changing Moments

Dear Resident,

Today is 9/11, a solemn remembrance of the terrifying day 19 years ago in which nearly 3,000 lives were lost due to terrorism. Some of you might have family or friends who either died on the planes that were targeted or were a first responder in New York, Pennsylvania, or right across the Potomac at the Pentagon. Even if we were not impacted directly, 9/11 changed our lives. My condolences to all who are honoring lost loved ones and thank you to our fire and emergency medical services personnel, police and others who are the front lines of emergency response.

We are in the midst of another life-changing moment right now: COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our health and on our economy. Some of you have had the virus; some may have lost a friend or family member due to COVID. I know some of you reading this have lost income and jobs. How we respond as a community will determine how long-lasting the impacts will be of COVID-19. Every decision needs to be informed by our public health experts and science. And we also need to be creative and innovative problem solvers to get our kids safely back to in-school learning, our businesses, particularly those hardest hit in hospitality and entertainment, back to work, and all of our residents securely and safely housed.

The DC Council has returned from our summer legislative recess, and as we close out Council Period 23 in these last four months of the year, COVID response will dominate the agenda. Next week, my Committee on Labor and Economic Development will conduct an oversight hearing of one of the key pieces of our economic safety net: unemployment assistance. I will also be participating in hearings on rent control and evictions, as well as other important housing policies. You can find a calendar of all Council hearings here.

A request:  If you are currently unemployed or have recently experienced unemployment, please take 5 minutes to complete this survey from the Workforce Investment Council (WIC), of which I am a member. Your input will help the WIC better understand the barriers unemployed residents face and how to address them.  

Take care everyone. If you have innovative policy ideas, send them my way. If you are still struggling to access public benefits to help you cope with COVID, please let me know. With our collective efforts to help each other, we will overcome this virus.

Thanks again for reading.


Councilmember Silverman Questions Dismissal of DCHA Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Franselene St. Jean-Clarke

On Friday, September 11, 2020, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I) sent a letter to Steve Walker, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Appointments concerning the recent dismissal of DC Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Franselene St. Jean-Clarke. Councilmember Silverman has requested a response by September 25, 2020. 

Click here to read the full text of the letter or see below.