+ − Contact Information
Phone: (202) 724-8181
Fax: (202) 724-8109
+ − Biography
For more than three decades, Jim Graham has been diligent and focused in his various roles as legislator, activist, and health care provider. In 2010, he was elected to his fourth term as Councilmember for Ward 1 with 81.34% of the vote in the general election.
In his service as Councilmember, Mr. Graham makes constituent services a priority, personally responding to emails and telephone calls he receives 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 development. Housing and retail have significantly grown in Ward One during his tenure – indeed many parts of Ward One have been transformed – though the Ward remains the most ethnically and economically diverse area in the city.
Born to parents who lacked a high school diploma and immigrating to the DC area when he was 8, Mr. Graham can relate to the challenges facing those who must rely on government support. He brings this important perspective to bear as Chairperson of the Committee on Human Services, which is responsible for matters concerning welfare, social services, certain youth affairs, and disability services, as well as alcohol regulation. In his first months as Chairperson, Mr. Graham successfully fought to avoid massive cuts to homeless services and other key programs that service DC’s most vulnerable residents.
In his 13 years on the Council, Mr. Graham has advocated for a balanced strategy to end gang violence – combining law enforcement, targeted intervention and prevention, as well as substance abuse treatment and intervention. He designed employment programs for ex-offenders and other chronically unemployed District residents and initiated the MuralsDC Program, a graffiti prevention program that pairs local artists with at-risk youth.
Mr. Graham served as Chairperson 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 efforts to expand the DC Circulator to Adams Morgan and elsewhere. From 1999-2010 he served as a voting member of the Metro/WMATA Board of Directors. In that role, he fought to hold down bus fares, to increase DC public transit funding and led a successful effort to get $300 million per year in additional Federal/Local contributions to Metro/WMATA.
Before his election the DC council Mr. Graham for more than 15 years led the Whitman-Walker Clinic, which provides important health and AIDS-related services to the community. Prior to his work at Whitman-Walker, his professional endeavors included 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.
Mr. Graham was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University, and supervising instructor at the University of Wisconsin Law School. He has been a member of the District of Columbia Bar in good standing since 1973. Mr. Graham is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court. A graduate of Michigan State University, Mr.Graham received a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School and an L.L.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Graham has chaired the following committees:
2011-2012 Committee on Human Services Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Board of Social Work Child and Family Services Agency Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation Department on Disability Services Department of Human Services Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services2007-2010 Committee on Public Works and Transportation Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Department of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Works Department of the Environment ** District Department of Transportation District of Columbia Bicycle Advisory Council District of Columbia Taxicab Commission* Soil and Water Conservation District Washington Aqueduct Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Water and Sewer Authority * moved to the Committee of the Whole, October 2009 ** moved to another Committee, January 20092005-2006 Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration Board of Consumer Claims Arbitration for the District of Columbia District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission D.C. Housing Authority Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking Rental Housing Commission1999-2004 Subcommittee on Human Rights, Latino Affairs and Property Management Commission on Human Rights Office of Human Rights Office of Latino Affairs Commission on Latino Community Development Office of Property Management Office of Asian and Pacific Islanders Affairs1999-2010 Voting member of the Metro/WMATA Board of Directors, Chairman of the Board 2003 and 2009