comscore Council votes to override veto of sit-lie ban Chinatown expansion
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Council votes to override veto of sit-lie ban Chinatown expansion

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  • Krystle Marcellus /
    A person lay on the sidewalk along Pau­ahi Street near River Street in Chinatown on Monday.

The Honolulu City Council voted 7-2 Wednesday to override Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s veto of a bill that expands Oahu’s sit-lie ban to two additional Chinatown pedestrian malls. 

The bill, introduced by Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, extends the sit-lie prohibition to College Walk Mall and Kila Kalikimaka Mall, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The bill also extends the hours the sit-lie ban would apply at two additional malls — Fort Street Mall, to 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and Union Mall 24 hours a day seven days a week. 

Council members said the additional ban is necessary to protect businesses in the area. 

Judy Lind, executive director of the Kukui Children’s Foundation on Kukui and Aala streets, testified it’s clear that their facility is an office building, and that it is being hindered by people who sit and lie in the two malls. 

Caldwell cited constitutional concerns when he vetoed Bill 44 last month. City attorneys have said repeatedly that sit-lie bill are best able to fend off constitutional challenges when access to businesses is being hindered by people sitting or lying on sidewalks. 

The veto and override were replays of the actions taken by Caldwell and the Council, respectively, on Bill 6 earlier this year. That bill also expanded the sit-lie ban to new areas, particularly areas across the street from the borders of existing zones, as well as several new neighborhoods including Kapalama Canal, Aala and McCully. 

Council members Brandon Elefante and Kymberly Pine voted against the override. The two have consistently opposed sit-lie legislation, arguing that they only serve to criminalize homelessness and push the homeless into other neighborhoods. 

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