Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two old, but still useful, reports recommending changes at the DC Council

Way back when, reform of the Council of the District of Columbia was all the rage.   DC Appleseed did an analysis with recommendations: Operational Reform of the District of Columbia Council: A Fix-It-Yourself Manual (PDF) (text version via DC Watch).   Then the council engaged the National Council of State Legislatures to perform the same task and their report is entitled Report to the Council of the District of Columbia: Building a Stronger, More Effective Institution.   The scanned copy of the NCSL report is below and the text version is on DC Watch.

The DC Council has accomplished a significant number of the recommendations.   Outstanding from the NCSL report, for example, are:

  • Presentation of a plain language analysis of all legislation prior to and with the introduction
  • Adherence to roundtable and hearing scheduling
  • Routinely update staff directory of CM and committee staff and office staff
  • Publication of user-friendly documents explaining the legislative process and the institution generally
  • Appropriately use emergency legislation

Since there's plenty left to do in these reports, I suggest the next council chair take another look at both reports and make changes.   In addition, it's probably time for another assessment.   DC Appleseed, are you interested?

NCSL DC Council Recs 1999

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