Council Member Williams has gained national attention for his commitment to bringing better policing and safer streets to every resident of New York City, especially his constituents in the 45th District.
Concerned about the bloodshed in communities of more color, he worked to found the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence in September 2011. As co-chair, he consulted with a citywide team of experts to produce a comprehensive report of local, state and federal recommendations to address the supply and demand of gun violence, including the establishment of Youth SHIELD (Safe Havens, Improved Environments, Local Development) in February 2012 to improve crime-affected areas. Through these efforts, Jumaane also helped create the Anti-Gun Violence Initiative in June 2012, which to date has funded almost $10 million in pilot programs across the five boroughs to employ the holistic Cure Violence approach in reducing violence. Locally, he joined with East Flatbush Village, Inc. both in May 2010 to start the “Not in My Hood” anti-violence march and in July 2012 to begin his “Occupy Our Corners” campaign, all with the goal of having volunteers and violence interrupters positively engage young people.
Jumaane has led the fight to end the disparate policing of historically disenfranchised communities, be it the misuse and abuse of stop, question and frisk or the surveillance of Muslim-Americans. In June 2012, he organized a delegation of city and state elected officials to travel to our nation’s capital to meet with the Department of Justice and Congress over profiling concerns. In conjunction with a citywide advocacy campaign, Jumaane introduced the Community Safety Act in February 2012, a landmark legislative package aimed at advancing NYPD accountability and oversight while significantly improving relationships between police and the communities they serve. Following over a year of negotiations, the City Council passed Intro 1079, which will establish a NYPD inspector general within the Department of Investigation, and Intro 1080, which will create the first enforceable ban on bias-based profiling in New York City, by veto-proof majorities in June 2012.
Following the blizzard of December 2010, Jumaane used his role as chair of the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations to hold citywide hearings on the City’s storm response. As a result of his findings, he introduced and passed Local Law 29 in May 2011, which has improved 311 service during emergencies. Jumaane has been vigilant in calling for addressing the problems with the 911 call system and increasing diversity within the ranks of the FDNY; he also has fought against the closure of firehouses during yearly budget negotiations.
Jumaane values the close relationship he has developed with local law enforcement, working with them on a daily basis to make the 45th District a safer place. He has funded local gun buyback and Safe Surrender programs, in conjunction with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, to get dangerous weapons off our streets and assist individuals with re-entering society. Working with Community Board 17, he helped start a local Community Observation Patrol; in the future, he hopes to collaborate with them to establish a Community Emergency Response Team that can assist in crisis situations. Jumaane believes our city should hire more police officers and civilianize the NYPD’s clerical and administrative positions, in an effort to reduce overtime costs, increase the number of men and women patrolling our neighborhoods and bring a return to community policing in New York City.