D.C. Law 23-197. Commemoration Task Force Act of 2020.


To establish a commemoration task force to review commemorative works and public space names and provide recommendations the Council, and to establish qualifications for appointments to the task force.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Commemoration Task Force Act of 2020".

Sec. 2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this act, the terms "commemorative work" and "public space" shall have the same meanings as provided for in section 411 of the Street and Alley Closing and Acquisition Procedures Act of 1982, effective March 10, 1983 (D.C. Law 4-201; D.C. Official Code § 9-204.11).

Sec. 3. Commemoration Task Force Establishment.

(a) There is established a Commemoration Task Force ("Task Force") with the purpose of reviewing existing commemorative works and public space names, including public buildings and official street names, to evaluate whether a commemorative work or public space name is racist, oppressive, hateful, or offensive to the public or to the District's public policy under the Human Rights Act of 1977, effective December 13, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-38; D.C. Official Code § 2-1401.01 et seq.). The evaluation shall:

(1) Consider the artistic, social, historic, and political context or intent of the commemorative work or public space name; and

(2) Consider the apparent primary rationale for establishing the commemorative work or public space name.

(b) The Task Force shall develop a process to solicit public input and comments.

(c) By December 31, 2021, the Task Force shall submit to the Council a report detailing:

(1) Any commemorative works or public space names it deems to be inappropriate or offensive and the reason for such determination;

(2) Recommendations on what action should be taken with respect to the commemorative work or public space name including removal, relocation, renaming, alteration, or installation of additional interpretive elements.

(d)(1) The Office of Planning shall provide to the Task Force the following draft or final documents from the District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) Working Group:

(A) The final report and recommendations of the working group;

(B) The Engagement Committee report and summary;

(C) The Policy Committee report and summary;

(D) The Research Committee Report;

(E) Persons of Interest summary document; and

(F) An inventory of commemorative works and public space names.

(2) Any documents, including drafts, provided pursuant to this subsection shall not be subject to a request under the Freedom of Information Act of 1976, effective March 29, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-96; D.C. Official Code § 2-531 et seq.) through the Council or the Task Force.

(e) The Council shall provide administrative and technical support to the Task Force.

(f) The Task Force shall be composed of 5 members appointed by the Council Chairman to include:

(1) At least 2 members who are academics in the field of history;

(2) At least one member chosen by the Chairman from a list of 3 recommendations by the Historical Society of Washington D.C.; and

(3) At least one member from an organization advancing racial equity in the District.

Sec. 4. Sunset.

This act shall expire upon the submission of the report required by section 2(c) by the Task Force to the Council.

Sec. 5. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 6. Effective date.

This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December

24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Law Information


  • D.C. Law 23-197 (PDF)
  • D.C. Act 23-558 (PDF)
  • 68 DCR 000757


Mar. 16, 2021

Legislative History (LIMS)

Law 23-197, the “Commemoration Task Force Act of 2020,” was introduced in the Council and assigned Bill No. 23-234 which was referred to the Committee of the Whole. The bill was adopted on first and second readings on Nov. 17, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2020, respectively. After mayoral review, it was assigned Act No. 23-558 on Jan. 11, 2021, and transmitted to Congress for its review. D.C. Law 23-197 became effective Mar. 16, 2021.