A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Flood fallout: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is purging several top-ranking city officials after interrogations revealed the city’s faulty drainage system compounded crippling floods this weekend, despite officials’ earlier assurances to the contrary. The New Orleans Advocate reports:
It was an unusually assertive display of anger from council members, and an embarrassing episode for Landrieu, who has sought during more than seven years in office to project an image of competence and sure-footedness in a crisis.
“The obfuscation we saw today, it's insulting to the public,” Landrieu said. “Being open, honest and truthful is critically important.”
War on Drugs, v. 2.0: To tackle the nation’s opioid epidemic, President Trump announced a strategy that emphasized beefed-up law enforcement and border security rather than following recommendations to declare a national emergency—a designation that would allow states to identify disaster zones and receive relief funds and healthcare waivers. (Politico, Route Fifty)
Wage defiance: The conflict between city and state deepens in Missouri: Despite a new state law that bars cities from setting their own minimum wages, Kansas City voters yesterday approved a (likely symbolic) hike to $10, while a “Save the Raise” campaign in St. Louis has over 100 businesses pledging to preserve $10 rates instead of the state’s $7.70 standard. (AP, Next City)
Lure of the Great White North: In the age of Trump, Canada’s major cities see an opportunity to lure U.S. talent—including Canadian expatriates—with a maturing tech scene and more urban-friendly policy agenda under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Curbed)
A Florida city on life support: Abandoned by Kmart, J.C. Penney—and, some feel, the Trump administration—Palatka, Florida is fighting its official designation as a “dying city” with homegrown efforts to build the economy, like boosting its riverfront as a hub for tourism and retirees. (Washington Post)
Suburban pull: Urban Edge talks with “strong suburbs” advocate Pete Saunders about the rise of white populations and decline of black populations in urban areas, highlighting a “neglected narrative” on the appeal of the suburbs for black communities.
The urban lens: