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Government and People in the District of Columbia
Last updated December 02, 2013




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
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Sandra Seegars


DCWatch Archives
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Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Campaign Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
City Council
Control Board
Corporation Counsel
DC Agenda
Elections and Ethics
Fire Department
FOI Officers
Inspector General
Housing and Community Dev.
Human Services
Mayor's Office
Mental Health
Motor Vehicles
Neighborhood Action
National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Police Department
Property Management
Public Advocate
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
Taxi Commission
Telephone Directory
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Zoning Commission

Issues in DC Politics

Budget issues
DC Flag
DC General, PBC
Gun issues
Health issues
Housing initiatives
Mayor’s mansion
Public Benefit Corporation
Regional Mobility
Reservation 13
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals


Appleseed Center
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
Parents United
Shaw Coalition



What Is DCWatch?

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This is an incomplete list of people and faces to watch in politics and policy in the District of Columbia. It's an unofficial directory, address book, and telephone listing of who's who in District government and in the organizations that influence and run DC government behind the scenes.

The Advisory Commission on Sentencing was established by the Council of the District of Columbia in 1998 to review and analyze sentencing data, and to make recommendations regarding criminal sentencing reforms.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are the lowest, most local level of elected government officials. Each Commissioner represents about two thousand residents, and is elected to a two-year term in non-partisan contests at the general election in November. Commissioners are unpaid, and have no real authority or power -- but their advice is supposed to be given "great weight" by District government officials, departments, and agencies. Commissioners are grouped into Commissions. Each of the eight wards of the city has between three and six Commissions.

The Office of the Attorney General, formerly the Office of the Corporation Counsel, is the legal office that represents the Corporation (the government) of the District of Columbia.

The Auditor does investigative audits of District government departments, agencies, and programs for the DC City Council. Some of its audits are available on-line here.

The Board of Elections and Ethics is an independent Board whose members are nominated by the Mayor and approved by the City Council; it registers voters and conducts elections, and it oversees adherence to the election laws and campaign ethics regulations of the District. 

The Business Regulatory Reform Commission has issued a report recommending changes to business regulations, zoning regulations, the structure of boards and commissions, and other areas.

The Office of Campaign Finance enforces District laws regarding both financing of campaigns and ethical standards for government personnel. 

The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for all fiscal dealings of the District of Columbia, including overseeing preparation of the City’s budget, performing the annual audit, and interfacing with Wall Street and the bond market.

The Chief Management Officer works on behalf of the Control Board to bring about management reform to several areas of the district government.

The Office of the Chief Technology Officer “develops and enforces policies and standards for information technology in the District government. OCTO identifies where and how technology can systematically support the business processes of the District's 68 agencies. Agencies can draw on OCTO's expertise to get the most out of their technological investments. OCTO also assesses new and emerging technologies to determine their potential application to District programs and services. Finally, OCTO promotes the compatibility of computer and communications systems throughout the District government.”

Child and Family Services

The City Council is the legislative arm of the District government. It makes the laws and is responsible for oversight of the Departments and Agencies of the executive branch. The city council has thirteen members. Look here for pending legislation.

The Congress has Constitutional authority to govern the District of Columbia. Some testimony before Congressional committees; the District of Columbia Congressional delegation; and the membership, addresses, telephone numbers and primary staffers of the Congressional committees that provide oversight over Washington, DC, are provided here.

The Office of Contracting and Procurement handles purchasing and procurement for government offices. 

DC2000 is a "coalition of business and community leaders that works toward bipartisan economic solutions for the District of Columbia." Its member organizations are listed on this page.

The DC Agenda Project is an influential behind-the-scenes group that was created by the Federal City Council. It lobbies for the interests of large businesses and large non-profit contractors with both the District and federal governments.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs

The Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, and Families oversees those parts of the government, especially human services, that deal with these constituencies.

The Department of Employment Services

The Fire and Emergency Services Department handles fire, medical, and other non-criminal emergency services.

Freedom of Information Officers process freedom of information requests at various agencies and departments. See also a sample FOI form.

The Department of Health

The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, formerly the Emergency Management Agency

The Department of Housing and Community Development

The Department of Human Services

The Inspector General is the executive branch's equivalent of the City Council's DC Auditor, but the office was made independent of the Mayor by the same federal legislation that created the Control Board.

The Labor/Management Partnership Council, composed of labor unions and government managers, will be one vehicle for Mayor William’s privitization initiatives.

The Department of Mental Health

The Department of Motor Vehicles licenses drivers and automobiles, among other duties.

The National Capital Revitalization Corporation is an appointed board that makes vitally important decisions about economic development.

The Office of Neighborhood Services

The Department of Parks and Recreation

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development oversees planning and economic development issues.

The Office of Planning

The Office of Procurement

The Office of Property Management manages the real estate owned and leased by the District of Columbia government.

The Office of the Public Advocate

The Public Library system operates the public libraries.

Public Information Officers for Departments and Agencies.

The Public Schools are run both by an appointed "Emergency Transitional Board of Trustees" and by the elected Board of Education.

The Public Service Commission is an independent agency established by Congress to regulate the electric, gas, and telephone companies in the District by functioning as a quasi-judicial agency.

The Department of Public Works

The Regional Mobility Panel, appointed by the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, has issued a controversial report on the future of regional bus service.

The Office of the Special Assistant to the Mayor for Boards and Commissions handles Mayoral appointments to city government boards and commissions. This page lists the current vacancies on these boards.The Sports and Entertainment Commission manages RFK Stadium and the DC Armory and promotes sports events. 

The Tax Revision Commission examined the DC tax code and recommended changes.

The Office of Tax and Revenue, part of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, deals with personal, business, and property taxes

The Taxicab Commission regulates the taxicab industry.

Telephone numbers for emergencies and more many departments and agencies in city government.

The University of the District of Columbia is the state university. 

Youth Rehabilitation Services (formerly Youth Services Agency)

The Zoning Commission issues zoning regulations.

Please E-mail the webmaster if you find an error or omission in any of the lists.

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