This is first in a series of posts by Councilmember David Grosso on “Good Government.”

Today was the most frustrating day at the D.C. Council since I was sworn in as an At-Large Councilmember last January.  From the vote to postpone the elected Attorney General to the continuous meaningless votes on government contracts.  I asked myself, over and over again, how is what we are doing here making our city a better place?  What are we doing to improve the lives of D.C. residents or even to make the government operate more smoothly?  These thoughts caused me to reflect on what it means to create a “good government.” In fact, what is a “good government?” What does it mean as the legislative branch to work towards good government?   

Any discussion of this issue must include transparency, openness, thorough work product, and ultimately accountability. Certainly accountability to the people of the District is our primary duty that should guide us to govern the city in a way that makes our city a better city.  A “good government” includes: ethical leadership; effective and efficient agencies; engaged and active residents; thoughtful benchmarking of ideas; smart lively debates; compromises; principled stances; a constant quest to do what is right to gain credibility; and smart voters.

I don’t know all the aspects of what it takes to create a “good government” but I do know that today at the D.C. Council I felt that we were not heading down the right path.  Members were caught up in vote trading of the worst kind and self-serving votes that leave the city worse off than it was prior to the votes.  It is time for a “new day” on the D.C. Council.  It is time for a positive turn toward a “good government.” 

Share your thoughts with me in the comment section or over email ( on what it means to create a “good government.”  I too will be researching this issue and thinking about how my actions and votes can be used to move our city in the right direction.