District of Columbia
- 1 Updates
- 2 Elected Officials
- 3 Key Upcoming Elections
- 4 Obamacare / ACA
- 5 Policing
- 6 Immigration
- 7 Voting Rights
- 8 Mass Incarceration
- 9 Benefits / Tax Cuts
- 10 Housing / Infrastructure
- 11 Women's Rights / Reproductive Justice
- 12 LGBTQ+ Issues
- 13 Educational Justice
- 14 Consumer Protections / Worker's Rights
- 15 Climate / Environment
- 16 Disability Rights
- 17 Organizations
- 18 Local News Sources
- 19 Relevant City and County Information
- 2/13/2017: The “second chance” juvenile justice law in Washington, DC is at a crossroads. Some want to improve it; some want to scrap it.
See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.
- Mayor, Muriel Bowser 
Key Upcoming Elections
Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.
- If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 19,000 people in the District of Columbia (or 2.8% of the population) are estimated to lose coverage, whereas 32,000 people (or 4.8% of the population) will lose coverage with a partial repeal. (Retrieved 1/26/2017 from ACA Repeal Impact, state-by-state.) This is because with a full repeal, premiums will not increase the way they would under a partial repeal, since insurance companies would be able to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions and wouldn't be required to provide essential health benefits. Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
- The number of uninsured people in the District of Columbia is predicted to be 32,000 by 2021 under the ACA. Without the ACA, that number is expected to rise to 49,000, a 53.1% increase.
- The District of Columbia is among the areas that lost the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, because that practice is banned by the ACA; those limits are likely to be reinstated under a full repeal.
- Prior to the ACA's ban on gender-rating, women in the District of Columbia could pay up to 32% more for the same coverage, compared to men; an ACA repeal could bring back that coverage gap.
- Given that a repeal of the ACA would also change payment structures and subsidies, 8,000 jobs could be lost in District of Columbia. When federal funding is cut, it creates a ripple effect that affects local and state revenue, thus creating losses in economic activity and employment.
- Repeal could cost DC billions: more than half a billion dollars in 2018, and more than $1 billion per year after 2028. 
- 21 people have been killed by police in the District of Columbia from 2013 through 2016.
- 95% of the people killed by police were black.
- In 2015, 100% of people killed by the Washington, DC police department were black.
- Black people are 1.9 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.
- The DC Metropolitan Police Department is responsible for the highest rate of police killings per capita.
- As of 2013, 14.4% of the population of Washington, DC was foreign-born, and 41% of those were naturalized citizens.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 3.1% of the District's population in 2012, numbering about 20,000 people.
- 1 in 7 Washingtonians are Latino or Asian.
- From 2006 to 2010, there were 4,003 new immigrant business owners in Washington, DC, and new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $242 million—10.8% of all net business income in the state.
- Immigrants comprised 16.9% of the District's workforce in 2013.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Washington, DC paid $28.9 million in state and local taxes in 2012.
- Washington, DC's 9,980 foreign students contributed $377.6 million to the District's economy in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the 2013–2014 academic year.
- If all unauthorized immigrants in Washington, DC were removed, the District would lose $1.1 billion in economic activity, $480.5 billion in gross product, and approximately 5,400 jobs.
Washington, DC does not require officers to comply with an ICE "detainer" unless the individual in question has been convicted of a dangerous crime, homicide, or violent crime, or has been released for such crimes in the last five years.
According to State Department data, Washington, DC resettled two migrant refugees from Somalia in 2016.
The District of Columbia considered legislation in 2016 that would automatically register citizens who interact with government agencies and ensure that voter information is electronically and securely sent to election officials. This legislation is pending.
- In 2014 the District of Columbia incarcerated 2,448 people, all in prison.
- 7,042 individuals were serving probation in 2014, and 5,601 were on probation.
- There are no individuals serving life sentences in the District of Columbia.
- There were 228 juveniles in custody in the District of Columbia in 2014—671 per 100,000 for black individuals, 144 per 100,000 for white individuals, and 498 per 100,000 for Latino individuals.
Benefits / Tax Cuts
Housing / Infrastructure
- 39,100 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.
- In the District of Columbia, there were 8,350 homeless people in 2016.
- Of the homeless population, there were 1,491 families, 350 veterans, 201 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 1,597 people experiencing chronic homelessness.
- The District of Columbia received $417 million in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.
- In the District of Columbia, more than 32,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.
- Nearly all households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.
- The District of Columbia infrastructure received a score of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2016.
- This study gave the state “good” scores for bridges and rail, and identified levees, roads and transit as being in “poor” condition.
Women's Rights / Reproductive Justice
- DC has one Planned Parenthood center.
- In 2015, one center was in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
- On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 181,000 women of reproductive age.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- There were nine abortion providers in D.C. in 2015.
- In 2014, 16.7 out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in Delaware had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.
Policy Solutions / Issues
- State Medicaid does not fund most abortions.
Women and Wages
- In D.C. 16.3% of women live in poverty. Single mothers make up 40% of women living in poverty, while women aged 65 and older make up 15% of those living in poverty.
- For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.86, which is six cents above the national average of $0.80.
- African American women are paid $0.56 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.50 for every dollar made by white men. Both figures are below the national averages, which are $0.63 and $0.54, respectively.
Domestic Violence in District of Columbia
- In 2013, there were 32,794 domestic violence-related calls made to the Metropolitan PD, which averages out to about 1 call every 16 minutes. This figure represents an increase of 1000 total calls or two additional domestic violence-related calls per day, as compared to 2012.
- In 2013, there were 5005 petitions for Civil Protection Orders filed, which is a 7% increase in filings from 2012
- In 2013, D.C's two Domestic Violence Intake Center locations served 5873 people, an increase of 7% overall since 2012. The DC Superior Court location served 3,451 persons, and the DVIC satellite office in Southeast Washington (DVIC-SE) served 2,422. While the number served at the Courthouse remained relatively flat, the DVIC-SE located at United Medical Center located in Ward 8 served over 400 more persons in 2013 than 2012, an increase of 20%.
Religious Freedom Law
The District of Columbia does not have State religious freedom laws. Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.
DC has nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit and state employment, but not jury selection.
DC has nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in second-parent adoption and foster care, as well as laws granting parental presumption and de facto parent recognition for same-sex couples. The District has laws on consent to inseminate (meaning that in case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is automatically recognized as a parent) but prohibits surrogacy.
Hate Crime Laws
DC does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group and does have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.
DC has anti-bullying laws covering cyberbullying that directly mention LGBTQ+ youth and enumerate model policies as well as alternative discipline. It also has laws requiring school suicide prevention policies and transgender inclusion in sports, as well as laws protecting LGBTQ+ youth from conversion therapy. It does have laws addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and inclusive sex education and juvenile justice policies.
Health and Safety
DC does include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges and bans insurance exclusion for trans health care. It does include transgender healthcare in state Medicaid and provides inclusive health benefits for trans state employees. The District allows gender marker changes on drivers’ licenses and on birth certificates, and does collect information on LGBTQ+ health.
- D.C. is ranked second in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $10,771 per student.
- As of 2013, D.C. ranked third in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $70,906 per year.
- 79% of students in DC attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 271% higher income.
- As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 42.4% of total public school enrollment.
- D.C.'s overall graduation rate is 61%, which is well below the national average. By subgroups, four-year graduation rates are as follows:
- White: 85%
- Latino: 65%
- Black: 60%
- Asian/Pacific Islander: N/A%
- American Indian: N/A%
- Economically Disadvantaged: 60%
- Limited English Proficient: 64%
- Students with Disabilities: 41%
Consumer Protections / Worker's Rights
- DC’s minimum wage is $11.50, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25  but lower than DC’s living wage of $14.95.. However, the DC Council unanimously passed a bill in 2016 to raise DC's minimum wage for non-tipped workers to $15 an hour by 2020.
- DC has enacted paid sick leave laws.
- DC passed a the Universal Paid Leave-Amendment Act in December 2016.
Climate / Environment
- DC has one site on the National Priorities List.
- As of 2004, almost 25% of DC's land was federally owned.
- In 2014 the overall air pollution exposure index is 94, with almost all ethnic groups having the same exposure. Asian/Pacific Islander is slightly higher, at 96, while Black is the lowest, at 93.
- The "mixed/other" ethnicity category had the highest percentage of asthma in 2012, at 20.5%. The total percent was 10.1%, while the percentage for the white population was 7.5%.
- The Department of Energy and Environment for DC.
- DC adopted its Sustainable DC Plan in 2013.  It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2006 levels by 2032, and 80% by 2050.
- DC has adopted a renewable portfolio standard of 50% by 2032, with 5% solar.
- 11.5% of the District of Columbia's residents are disabled, compared with the national average of 12.6%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1810]
- DC adults with disabilities have an employment rate of 31.4%, compared to the national average of 34.9%. People without disabilities in the District of Columbia have a 77.5% employment rate.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table R1811]
- Approximately 13.3% of eligible voters in DC have one or more disabilities, compared to a national average of 15.71%.
- Of adults with disabilities in the District of Columbia, 40.0% live in poverty, as opposed to 10.5% of non-disabled adults.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B23024] The poverty rate for disabled children under 5 is 67.0%, as opposed to 20.0% for non-disabled children.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B18130)
- In DC, 5.8% of adults between 18 and 64 receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income), compared to the national average of 5.4%.[2015 US Census American Community Survey, Table B19056]
Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.