Testifying at a Hearing

Why testify

By testifying GFCC and individual congregations can educate the Council by providing data, personal stories (good and bad) and/or successes and can bring to their attention program and implementation problems and challenges. Most importantly, however, testifying makes clear the community’s concerns about homelessness and its desire for the Mayor and Council to make affordable housing a priority and also to make a substantial investment in the continuum of housing in the budget.

Who should testify

Good Faith Communities Coalition partners should be represented if at all possible at Council hearings that relate to GFCC priorities. GFCC will organize testimony on behalf of the partnership and will notify partners through email alerts when hearings will take place. Individual congregations may also testify on the same issue if they desire. If at all possible, partners should bring along people working on the issues, and particularly those affected by the issues. Even if they do not testify, their presence can be acknowledged in testimony.

Guidelines for Testifying at a Council Hearing

  • You are encouraged, but not required, to sign up to testify.
  • You can register by email. You will need to know the committee holding the hearing to register.
  • If you don’t register, you can still testify. You’ll be added to the list that day. You will testify when everyone registered on the list is finished. The wait can be long for non-registered speakers.
  • You are encouraged, but not required, to submit written testimony and provide 20 copies to the Council.
  • You have up to three minutes for your testimony, so prepare a one-to-three minute version of your statement — be brief, clear and highlight the most important issues and what action you want the Council to take.
  • If you are identifying a problem, try to point to a solution or at least willingness to work on the problem to find a solution.
  • Be rigorous about the three minutes! Generally the time limit is strictly enforced.
  • Stay on message!

The Council meetings are aired on DC cable channel 13, and are webcast.

Hearings for the Mayor’s Budget

Hearings on the mayor’s proposed budget take place in April before council committees.