Council overrides mayor on Arroyo’s ‘Invest in Boston’

The City Council voted on Oct. 23 to override Mayor Thomas Menino’s veto of “Invest in Boston,” a bank-monitoring ordinance written by At-Large City Councilor and Jamaica Plain resident Felix Arroyo.

The “Invest in Boston” ordinance calls for the City to deposit funds only in banks that demonstrate they are directly helping Bostonians through lending practices, hiring or other activities.

The vote was 10-3, with City Councilors Rob Consalvo, Sal LaMattina and Mike Ross voting in opposition. City Councilor Matt O’Malley, who represents and lives in JP, voted for the override.

The Council had unanimously passed the measure on Sept. 18, but Menino vetoed it. The Mayor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

“I’m very proud to work with my colleagues to override the veto,” said Arroyo in a phone interview with the Gazette.

Asked about Menino’s veto, Arroyo replied, “I’ve learned not to be surprised by anything.” But, he added, the administration’s finance team had expressed it was “not supportive” during a hearing he held on the ordinance. Arroyo remarked that overrides don’t often happen, saying the last time he found the Council had passed one was in 1994.

The “Invest in Boston” ordinance has been a long time in the making, as Arroyo said he began the effort about four years ago. He said part of that was by design, as he worked with groups and residents, especially from JP, to help craft the measure. But, Arroyo said, the lengthy time it took could also be attributed to how the normal legislative process plays out.

Arroyo ran unsuccessfully for mayor this year and gave up the chance for re-election to his council seat to do so. He will leave office in January.

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