New York City Council overrides Mayor Adams’ law enforcement-related vetoes


The New York City Council voted to override Mayor Adams’ vetoes on two bills on Jan. 30 with a vote of 42-9. The first, the “How Many Stops Act,” seeks to increase police transparency while the second seeks to ban solitary confinement in city jails.

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues to finally make the How Many Stops Act a reality New Yorkers, with Black and Brown communities in particular bearing the brunt of police investigative encounters, have spoken loudly about their need for more data and insight,” said public safety committee chair Yusef Salaam in a press release.

The act will make it so that the New York Police Department provides quarterly reports on level 1, 2 and 3 investigative encounters between police and civilians. Police will have to include the apparent age, gender, race, reason and outcome for a stop.

“These votes are a victory for public safety in our city, no matter what the mayor would like New Yorkers to believe,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who sponsored both bills. “...By banning the lasting vestiges of solitary confinement — and the use of isolation in an attempt to change behavior — we will prevent the harm of isolation and help to make both our jails and our city safer.”

Under the bill banning solitary confinement, all people in city custody would have at least 14 hours of out-of-cell time in shared spaces. For a person who engages in a violent incident in custody, they would still be separated from the general public but not be put into isolation that is shown to cause physical and psychological harm and increase violence, the press release read.

It would also set limits on how the Department of Corrections can use emergency lock-ins and requires regular reporting on the department’s use of de-escalation confinement, restrictive housing and emergency lock-ins.
“These bills will make New Yorkers less safe on the streets, while police officers are forced to fill out additional paperwork rather than focus on helping New Yorkers and strengthening community bonds,” Adams said. 

— Eric Harvey

Councilman Dinowitz heads taskforce

Councilman Eric Dinowitz was reappointed as chair of the Higher Education Committee and co-chair for the newly formed taskforce to combat hate.

“Serving as chair of the Higher Education Committee has been a platform to not only identify issues at CUNY, but to implement transformative solutions,” said Councilman Eric Dinowitz in a press release on Jan 18. “Whether that is passing a first of its kind bill to support students with disabilities, or ensuring CUNY continues to serve as our city’s engine of upward mobility, I am immensely proud of our committee’s accomplishments and have big plans for the future.”

Some of those accomplishments highlighted were the passage of legislation allowing for the electronic transfer of high school graduates Individualized Education Programs to their chosen college or universities and hearings on issues such as the New York state Seal of Biliteracy. One of Dinowitz’s hearings on antisemtisim on college campuses was followed by a million-dollar investment.

“As a former NYC public school teacher and graduate of CUNY, Council Member Dinowitz understands the transformative power of public education,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez. “He’s been an outspoken champion of educational equity and a valuable partner in keeping CUNY an engine of social mobility.”

The press release also highlighted Dinowitz’s recent co-prime sponsorship of the Hate Crimes Modernization Act, which according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency would increase the list of hate crimes from 66 to 97 to include crimes like graffiti, gang assault and sexual abuse.

— Eric Harvey

Espaillat highlights child tax credit

While on the House floor, U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat spoke in support of expansion of the child tax credit, as well as highlighted impacts in New York’s 13th congressional district, which includes parts of the West Bronx.

“Mr Speaker, when the Child Tax Credit was originally expanded by the American Rescue Plan in 2021, it provided a lifeline to families during a very serious economic hardship,” Espaillat said Jan. 18. “The benefit allowed families to receive an extra $3,600 annually for kids under 6 years old and $3,000 annually for children over 6 years of age.”

In my district, the child tax credit provided $185 million to 123,000 children.

— Eric Harvey

Eric Dinowitz, Adriano Espaillat, Eric Adams, New York City Council, NYPD, New York Police Department, Jumaane Williams, public advocate, higher education, Yusef Salaam