About the Council

As the central and chief policy-making body for the District of Columbia, the Council’s mission is to provide strong, innovative and effective leadership for the benefit of residents across the city. The Council’s central role as a legislative body is to make laws. However, its responsibilities also include oversight of multiple agencies, commissions, boards and other instruments of District government. Led by the Council Chairman, the 13 members of the Council are working to improve the quality of life in District neighborhoods by ensuring safer streets, furthering education reform, developing a vibrant economy, and implementing groundbreaking programs. Working with the Mayor and the executive branch, the Council also plays a critical role in maintaining a balanced budget and the fiscal health of the District of Columbia government.

Government Oversight
The Council has instituted several measures to ensure that the city government works. Council committees review the performance of government programs and agencies to ensure they are serving their established purposes and operating under pertinent regulations and budget targets. The Council also holds annual budget oversight hearings in preparation for approving a city budget recommended by the Mayor. The law requires that the District operate with a balanced budget so expenditures do not exceed income.

Constituent Services
Responding to constituents’ concerns is a major responsibility for the Council. Staff members are assigned to find solutions for problems and address complaints. You can contact your Councilmember’s office directly, call the Council’s general line at  (202) 724-8000.

A Visit Through History:  Historical DC Council Photos