Erin Palmer Launches First-Ever DC Council Accountability Plan

Building an Effective and Trustworthy Council Starts with a New Council Chair

January 21, 2022 – Erin Palmer today published the first-ever DC Council Accountability Plan – a comprehensive, evidence-based plan to build a more effective, modern, and ethical Council of the District of Columbia.

“My plan to improve the Council is both ambitious and fair,” said Erin, Democrat for DC Council Chairwoman. “These are clear, simple, and evidence-based changes that will result in a more effective District legislature that residents can trust.”

In 1999, two expert organizations issued reports providing the DC Council with recommendations to adjust key processes to ensure ethical behavior and an effective government. But the Council has not implemented many of these recommendations and is falling further behind the times. The public continues to witness indiscretion and ineffectiveness, most recently in the scandals surrounding ex-Councilmember Jack Evans and the current Chair’s inability to expeditiously address clear and present corruption.

“We need improved DC Council accountability now more than ever,” said Erin. “In the face of significant disruption, trauma, and hardship, we shouldn’t have to worry about corrupt politicians. We shouldn’t have to worry about the Council’s inability to perform effective oversight or be accessible, available, and accountable to all DC residents. I will work every day to build trust in our legislature.”

Erin’s DC Council Accountability Plan focuses on four key areas: 

  1. Empower the DC Council’s Legislative and Oversight Function through strengthening the Council as a whole, reducing over-concentration of power in the Chair position, revitalizing committees, and adding legislative research capacity;
  2. Strengthen an Ethical and Accountable DC Council by holding the Council to the highest ethical standards and implementing practiced and effective safeguards to prevent and deter ethical misconduct; 
  3. Ensure an Inclusive and Accessible DC Council by using modern technology and best practices to ensure all residents can easily and consistently participate in government; and
  4. Support DC Council Workers and Workplace Accountability through ensuring a workplace in which all employees are treated as professionals and one that reflects the diverse communities we serve.

Read the whole plan online here or download the PDF.