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About Jim

 

 
Biography

For more than three decades Jim GrahaCouncilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward One) (Kells Hetherington photo)m has worked hard for the public interest as a legislator, community activist, professor and health care provider. In 2010, he was elected to his fourth term on the DC Council representing Ward One.  Councilmember Graham won re-election with 81.34 percent of the vote in the general election.

Councilmember Graham has made constituent services a top priority.  He personally responds to emails and telephone calls from those he represents.  He is motivated by a desire to support those who face the greatest challenges within the ward while working hard for new prosperity.

Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward One) (Kells Hetherington photo)Born to parents who lacked a high school diploma and immigrating to the United States and the DC area at age 8, Councilmember Graham can relate to the challenges of working people.  And he brings this important perspective to bear as chairperson of the Committee on Human Services.  The committee has oversight of welfare, social services, juvenile justice programs, and disability services, as well as alcohol regulation in the District of Columbia.  Chairman Graham successfully fought to avoid massive cuts to homelessness services and other key programs during his first several months as committee chair.

In his 13 years on the Council, Councilmember Graham has advocated for a balanced strategy to end gang violence -- combining law enforcement, targeted intervention and prevention, as well as substance abuse treatment.  He is the author of employment programs for ex-offenders and other chronically unemployed District residents.  He initiated the MuralsDC Program, a graffiti prevention program that pairs local artists with at-risk youth.

Councilmember Graham served as chairman of the DC Council’s Committee on Public Works from 2007 to 2011, launching innovative programs to protect residential parking, improve trash collection, and enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety.  He worked to establish the first link of the DC light rail on H Street, NE, and led the effort to expand the DC Circulator to Adams Morgan and elsewhere.

From 1999 to 2010 he served as a voting member oCouncilmember Jim Graham with DC Mayor Vincent Gray at Adams Morgan Streetscape ribbon cutting (Lateef Mangum / photo)f the Metro/WMATA Board of Directors.  A role in which he fought to hold down bus fares, expand DC public transit funding and led a successful effort to secure $300 million more per year for Metro/WMATA.  He served as chairman of the Metro/WMATA board in 2003 and 2009.

Councilmember Graham’s other legislative achievements include a massive overhaul of rent control laws and the creation of the Office of the Chief Tenant Advocate.  The office advocates on behalf of tenants.  He is also the author of the Language Access Act.  A law that ensures DC government services are available to immigrants in a range of languages. Additionally, Councilmember Graham authored the Green Buildings Act, which requires new DC owned buildings and private construction projects to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.  He created the first Green Team in 2006, complimenting the Department of Public Work’s street and alley cleaning and tree box maintenance in corridors in ward one and beyond.

 

Before his election to the DC government, Mr. Graham led Whitman-Walker Clinic for more than 15 years.  The organization provides important health and AIDS-related services to the community.  Councilmember Graham’s resume also includes a clerkship with Chief Justice Earl Warren (Rtd), a staff attorney position with the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and experience in private, agency and public interest law.

Councilmember Graham was an adjunct profess

 

or at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University, and a supervising instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.  Mr. Graham is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia andCouncilmember Jim Graham with DC Mayor Vincent Gray at Adams Morgan Streetscape ribbon cutting (Lateef Mangum / photo) before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Councilmember Graham earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.  He has been a member of the DC bar in good standing since 1973.

 

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