Commission on Poverty

Washington, DC
Mid Level

Total public members:                 19           

Method of Appointment:            Appointed by the Mayor 

Length of Appointment:              3 years

Residency:                                    Community members must be DC Residents


The Commission shall:

  • Serve as District leaders in advancing policies and initiatives aimed at elevating the needs of persons in poverty;
  • Review and make comments and recommendations on existing and proposed programs, policies, administrative rules, and statutes that have an impact on poverty in the District and, in particular, on District residents living in poverty;
  • Represent the Commission and the interests of persons in poverty before District public bodies and agencies.
  • Develop a comprehensive, strategic poverty-reduction plan for the reduction of poverty in the District;
  • Following the adoption of the poverty-reduction plan, meet and issue annual reports on the poverty-reduction plan, which shall include updates on the implementation of the poverty-reduction plan and updates on District legislative and agency initiatives that address or intersect with poverty, which reports the Commission shall submit to the Mayor and the Council;
  • On an ongoing basis and in preparation for issuance of its annual report, conduct studies and review the progress of programs and District agencies engaged in addressing poverty;
  • Periodically conduct forums of experts on matters affecting the health, safety, and welfare of persons in poverty;
  • Review and comment on proposed District legislation, including the Mayor's annual budget submission to the Council, and regulations, policies, and programs that address or may have an effect on poverty;
  • Identify and track the adoption and progress of the Commission's recommendations in the poverty-reduction plan; and
  • Request and receive information and data from various governmental and non-governmental sources necessary to aid the Commission in the discharge of its responsibilities.


8 ward representatives, one from each ward, and 11 at-large representatives.

  • To qualify as a member appointed from a ward, a person shall:
    •  Be in poverty at the time of the appointment, or have been in poverty at sometime within the previous 3 years;

    •  Have been a resident of the ward the member represents for at least one year before the date of appointment; and

    • Remain a resident of the ward the member is appointed to represent throughout the member's term.

  • To qualify as a member appointed at-large, a person shall have experience in areas of public policy or programs related to the particular interests, needs, and concerns of persons in poverty, including experience working in the following areas or with the following populations:
    • (i) Providing direct social services, whether through a government program, faith-based organization, community-based organization, or other organization;

      (ii) Healthcare access and affordability;

      (iii) People with mental illness;

      (iv) Children and youth;

      (v) Quality and equality in education;

      (vi) Low wage workers' rights;

      (vii) Adults 60 years of age or older;

      (viii) The elimination of hunger;

      (ix) People who are homeless;

      (x) People with disabilities; or

      (xi) Immigrants.


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