NOTE: Any testimony, whether oral or written, that you submit to the Council will go in a public record that can be searched by people who want to read/see it.

Template for Written Testimony

[Your First & Last Name]
Regarding [Name of the Committee and/or Agency You are testifying about]
[Date]

[Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself and the issue you want to testify about]

•    Give your first and last name and identify yourself. Ex. “My name is Robert Jackson and I am a concerned D.C. resident/a DCPS teacher/a father of three.”

•    Tell them what you’re testifying about. Ex. “I am testifying on how the lack of funding for reentry programs and services has made it difficult for me to find housing” or “I am testifying about how police presence in my neighborhood has made me and my neighbors feel less safe.”

[Paragraph 2: Tell your story]

•    Pick an event or issue that you have worked directly on or been affected directly by that you are comfortable sharing with the public.
•    Tell what services caused this event or issue and how it impacted you.

[Paragraph 3: Explain why you felt the need to testify]

•    Tell why you wanted to share your story and what you want Council to take from your story.

•    What would have helped prevent negative experiences or increase positive experiences.

[Paragraph 4:  Give suggestions for solving the issue or problem you have raised.]

•    What do you think the Council should do to make sure others do not have the negative experiences you did or that they have the positive experiences you did?  

•    What do you think will be helpful in dealing with the issue or problem you talked about?

[Paragraph 5: Thank the Councilmembers]

•    Thank the chair of the committee if you know their name for reading/hearing your testimony.
•    Tell them you hope they consider your testimony and the solutions you have suggested. Ex. “Your consideration of these matters and solutions is very much appreciated.”


Tips for Oral/Recorded Testimony

•    Keep your recorded testimony to 2-3 minutes.
•    You should follow the same format as you do for written testimony above.
•    Try to be brief and clear in the message you want to get across.
•    Remember to highlight the most important issues to you. When identifying a problem, try to have a solution to share with the Council.