Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Smokefree DC letter to Kwame Brown

On Thursday, Smokefree DC sent the following letter to D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown. We ccd the entire Council.

Aug. 25, 2011

The Hon. Kwame Brown
Chairman, Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 504
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Chairman Brown,

We’re writing to tell you that the information you relied upon to support your vote for an exemption to the smokefree workplaces law last month was incorrect.

In the July 12 meeting, in which the Council attempted to correct its June error and narrow the exemption, you stated that the amendment being considered would permit just two cigar-smoking events a year.

That is wrong.

The language exempted hotels that can hold events for 500 people or more. Below is a list of 25 hotels that meet that criteria, along with links to the hotel sites where the room capacities are described. The list also is available at Under the July 12 language, 25 hotels can hold a cigar-smoking event annually.

Since the mayor vetoed the measure passed in July, we are now back to the underlying, overly broad language that permits 79 hotels to hold one cigar-smoking event each annually.

Chairman Brown, you were such a strong supporter of smokefree workplaces when the debate over the measure was raging, and we greatly appreciated it. We also appreciate that you voiced your support of smokefree workplaces during the July 12 meeting. We urge you to continue to stand up for the right of all workers to breathe clean air. You need not worry about Fight Night going to Maryland; that state has a strong smokefree workplaces law as well.

We hope the Council will revisit the matter in September. We urge you at that time to repeal the smokefree exemption altogether.

However, if you and other Councilmembers truly believe an exemption to the very popular smokefree workplaces bill is warranted, surely you would agree that such an exemption should go through the committee process – not be tacked onto an unrelated measure and voted on with no public hearing.

Thank you. We look forward to your response. Below is the list of 25 hotels that can handle events for 500 or more people.


Angela Bradbery
Co-founder, Smokefree DC

1. Capital Hilton
1001 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Presidential Ballroom  7,776 sq ft  108.00′ x 72.50′ Banquet Seating for 650;jsessionid=Y2H1DSI2DNIKYCSGBIV222Q?ctyhocn=DCASHHH

2. The Fairmont, Washington, DC
2401 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
Grand Ballroom Banquet Seating for 540

3. Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington DC 20057
Grand Ballroom 109×97 10,573 sq. ft. Banquet Seating for 870

4. Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Independence Ballroom 110′x159′ 17,490 sq. ft. Banquet Seating for 1,648

5. Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
REGENCY BALLROOM 115’ x 98’ 11,388 Banquet Seating for 1,030

6. JW Marriott
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
Grand Ballroom 180×76 13,680 sq. ft. Banquet seating for 1,100

7. L’Enfant Plaza Hotel
480 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Washington, D.C. 20024
Grand Ballroom 5355 105′ X 51′ Reception space for 800

8. The Madison
1177 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20005
Dolley Madison Ballroom 3,296 sq. ft. 68′ x 49′ Reception space for 500, DC 20005

9. Mandarin Oriental
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024
Grand Ballroom 8,298 sq. ft. Banquet seating for 550

10. Washington Marriott at Metro Center
775 12th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
Grand Ballroom 6,421 sq ft  127’x51’ Banquet seating for 500

11. Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Regency Ballroom – 17,130 sq. ft. Banquet Seating for 1,500

12. The Mayflower Renaissance
1127 Connecticut Avenue NW · Washington, DC 20036
Grand Ballroom 7,656 sq ft 132’x58’ Banquet Seating for 700

13. Renaissance Washington DC
999 Ninth Street NW · Washington, DC 20001
Grand Ballroom 19,032 sq ft, 122×156 Banquet seating for 1,300

14. The Ritz-Carlton Washington DC
1150 22nd Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom 10586 sq ft.  86’ x 123’  Banquet seating for 840

15. W Washington DC
515 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
Great Room  -  99.0′ x 65.0′  6,205sq. ft.  Banquet Seating for 500

16. Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, District of Columbia, United States 20009
International Ballroom  35,525 sq. ft. 145′ x 245′ Banquet Seating for 2,670

17. Washington Marriott Wardman Park
2660 Woodley Road NW · Washington, District Of Columbia 20008 USA
Marriott Ballroom Salons 234’x89’ Banquet Seating for 2,800

Here are hotels that can handle 500 reception style:

18. Embassy Suites Washington DC Convention Center
900 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Capital Ballroom 5,568  sq. ft. 32′ x 174′ Reception space for 700;jsessionid=LTNWFWG4NHECGCSGBJC222Q?ctyhocn=WASCCES

19. Four Seasons
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007
Corcoran Ballroom 59′ x 79′ 4,602 sq. ft. Reception space for 500

20. The Liaison Capitol Hill
415 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
The Metropolitan 80′ x 55′ 4,400 sq. ft. Reception space for 550

21. Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC 20001
Grand Ballroom 87’ x 44’ 3850 sq. ft. Reception space for 700

22. Washington Marriott
1221 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
West End Ballroom 110×44 4,840 sq. ft. Reception space for 600

23. Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle, Washington, DC 20005
Federal Hall  70’ x 58’  4060 sq. ft. Reception space for 500

24. The Westin Washington DC City Center
1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
National Ballroom 53’ x 130’ 6272 sq. ft. Reception space for 600

25. Willard Intercontinental
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004
74 X 64  4,736 sq. Ft. Reception space for 600

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