WASHINGTON – In a vote of 11 to 2, the D.C. Council today voted to override Mayor Muriel Bowser’s veto of Bill 22-408, the Fare Evasion Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2018.

The bill changes the penalty for fare evasion from a criminal to civil offense, punishable by a $50 fine. The bill passed the Council by a 10-2 vote on December 4, 2018, but Mayor Muriel Bowser vetoed the bill on January 16, 2019. Today’s vote overrode that veto.

The following can be attributed to Nassim Moshiree, Policy Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia:

“We are thrilled that once again a significant majority of the D.C. Council has voted to support this bill by overriding the mayor’s veto of this important legislation. With this vote, the Council has signaled that it will no longer tolerate the fundamental injustice of the current law, which punishes fare evasion with risk of arrest and jail for as little as a $2 fare. We are especially grateful the Council has seen through the inflammatory rhetoric and fear-mongering by Mayor Bowser and WMATA, and has chosen fairness and equity for all D.C. residents.

“With today's vote, the Council sent a clear message that it is committed to progressive criminal justice reform that dismantles the systemic racial and economic injustice that has only harmed our communities.

“We once again extend our deepest gratitude to Councilmember Charles Allen for shepherding this bill in the council, to Councilmember Trayon White for introducing it, and to all of the Councilmembers who stood firm in their vote. We and our more than 50 partners District-wide look forward to working with the Council to make D.C. a more just and equitable place for all District residents.