How to change the law

You can take action and change how DC approaches policing, prosecution, and punishment. In these next few sections, DCJL lays out how you can navigate the lawmaking process and lawmakers, find key tools and resources, and campaigns you can join to make DC safer, freer and more equal.

In this section you will learn

How does the lawmaking process work?
Who are the lawmakers?
How can you impact the process?
What tools and resources can you use?

Key Terms

Structure of the system

Local Control

Where the DC Council has control over a process, policy or government entity. 

Federal Control

Where Congress has control over a process, policy or government entity, including justice agencies that work in DC

Legislation and budgets


A large bill that has many different parts and covers different areas for change within it. 


A bill that provides for the funding of the DC government. The budget is developed by the Mayor, and the Council may move money within it.


Learn more about online tools

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