Class Report

How to Complain Effectively to the Government

Teachers: Patrick Lucey of the Open Technology Institute (right) and Kevin O’Connor, Commissioner, Dupont Circle ANC 2B (left)
Facilitator: Holly J. Morris

What was the strangest thing you learned?
Holly: That no one pays for the power in the old trolley tunnels under Dupont Circle. The power’s just on and that’s that.

What did you learn that you can put into practice immediately?
Holly: So much! I can call my Congressperson if Veterans Affairs is sucking or the bathrooms on the Mall are gross, and someone can help me! That it’s OK to call 911 for issues other than life-threatening emergencies! Like if someone is valet-parking on the sidewalk. That the cable industry is not an evil monopoly, but an evil oligopoly!

What can you do to complain more effectively in D.C.?
Tons of things! If you’re a D.C. resident, download the 311 app to register and track your complaints. You can do that here, too. Find your ANC (and other info) at the DC Citizens Atlas. Learn about councilmembers and note their committees. Voting means you can choose who you’d most like to complain to: Read up on Council candidates at Let’s Choose DC and find your polling place.