Override of mayor’s Community Safety Act veto expected tomorrow

brad lander jumaane williams community safety act inspector general bill
Councilmembers Jumaane WIlliams and Brad Lander before both the profiling bill and the inspector general bill passed with veto-proof majorities. Credit: William Alatriste

The City Council’s controversial Community Safety Act will come for another vote of sorts tomorrow, as the Council will vote to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vetoes of the inspector general bill and the anti-profiling bill the Council passed in late June.

Both bills passed with a veto-proof majority, but the mayor vetoed them anyway, and he and other opponents spent the last several weeks trying to negotiate changes of heart among the councilmembers.

But the bill’s proponents are not worried.

“I’m optimistic,” Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, one of the primary architects of the bills with Councilman Jumaane Williams, said. “I’m excited about this.”

Lander said that if the veto overrides go through, the Inspector General bill would take effect January 1, 2014, and the anti-profiling bill would take effect 90 days after enactment, around late November.

The mayor could still sue to try to block implementation of the bills, which Lander noted he has often done with legislation he disagrees with.

“I hope he won’t that here,” Lander said. “I think that hid actions are serving to further polarize on this issue. New Yorkers really want to come together.”

As the bills would not take effect until the next mayor’s tenure, it will really be the next mayor who has to deal with their ramifications. Lander noted that all of the Democratic mayoral candidates have said they would drop the mayor’s appeal of the federal ruling of Floyd v. City of New York, the case that declared the NYPD’s practice of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional in the way it is carried out.

He said he is optimistic that if the mayor were to sue based on the Council bills, the next mayor would drop that suit as well.

“[They have all said] either they support the bills or if the bills are law, they’ll respect the law,” he said.

Lander said he doesn’t think the bills have lost any supporters in the Council, and he is not anticipating any surprises in tomorrow’s veto override vote.

“I think it’s going to look very similar to how people voted before,” Lander said.

He spoke admiringly of how his colleagues have handled the issues, even those who voted in opposition to him.

“There was a lot of conversation, a lot of debate,” he said. “People really gave it a lot of thought, did a lot of research, and I believe came to their votes on the 26th [of June] thoughtfully and honestly.”

One of the most vocal opponents of the bills is Councilman Peter Vallone, who had initially refused to call the two to a vote in his public safety committee. Quinn, as the Council Speaker, bypassed his committee and pushed the bill to the floor for a vote by the full Council.

Asked if there is a chance the veto override will not happen tomorrow, Vallone replied evenly, “Anything’s possible.”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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