Standing up for You

Meet Elissa

Elissa Silverman is running for re-election as  an At-Large member of the D.C. Council, where she currently serves as chair of the Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development.

Elissa has focused her career on making District government accountable, responsive, and accessible to residents through her work as a reporter, budget analyst, and progressive reformer. Since Elissa first ran for office in 2013, she has NEVER accepted contributions from corporations or PACs, raising money only from individual residents.

Elissa’s Work on the Council

Since joining the Council, Elissa has prioritized making D.C. a place of opportunity for all. She listens to D.C. residents and holds District agencies accountable to their needs. As Chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Elissa passed innovative legislation to create universal paid family leave and invest in job training for D.C. residents. During the pandemic, Elissa’s office has helped thousands of residents access unemployment benefits. Here’s what Elissa has prioritized on the Council:

Supporting Working Families. Elissa co-authored the District’s Paid Family Leave law, which provides working people in D.C. up to 12 weeks of paid leave to welcome a new child, care for a loved one, or recover from illness. The program launched successfully in 2020, and due to Elissa’s persistent oversight, recently increased benefits and cut the tax rate for employers. That is a win-win for D.C.

Making Neighborhoods Safe. Elissa championed innovative jobs programs for adults and youth. She has also worked with the Attorney General to fund D.C.’s Cure the Streets violence interruption program.

Keeping Housing Affordable. Elissa stands up for families in public housing and supports programs that keep seniors in their homes. She works to create housing that benefits working families, NOT developers. 

Training and Protecting D.C. Workers. Elissa worked to create and fund the D.C. Healthcare Sector Partnership to get D.C.’s hospitals and healthcare providers to train D.C. residents in sought-after careers like nursing. She also introduced legislation to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program as well as legislation to grant domestic workers protection against workplace exploitation and discrimination. 

Spending Your Tax Dollars Well. Elissa speaks out against wasteful spending, and always seeks to require that economic deals help D.C. residents with jobs and community benefits.

Elissa’s Career

Elissa first came to D.C. to work as a reporter in 1995, when Marion Barry was Mayor. She was a staff writer for Washington City Paper and later worked for The Washington Post and covered the 2006 mayoral race.

From 2009 to 2014, Elissa worked for the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), analyzing the D.C. budget, leading budget advocacy campaigns, and heading a coalition of groups that successfully opened D.C. Council budget negotiations to the public. Before leaving DCFPI, she helped coordinate the campaigns that led to an increase in D.C. ‘s minimum wage and an expansion of paid sick days to restaurant workers.

Elissa’s Roots

Elissa grew up in Baltimore where she attended public high school and secondary schools. She graduated from Brown University with concentrations in economics and history. Her studies at Brown sparked a lifelong interest in urban policy and shaped her thinking on key issues such as equity, race, poverty, and economic development.

Elissa is a Ward 6 resident and owns a home on Capitol Hill near H Street N.E. She sometimes bicycles to work, plays tennis at various recreation centers throughout the District, and enjoys yoga.