A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Threat index: Politico Magazine asked mayors and urbanists about the biggest problems facing American cities today. Answers ranged from the standards (inequality, the federal government, pension funds) to challenges with broadband, self-driving cars, and treating the word “public” as a synonym for “poor.” One that especially caught our eye is about the shrinking talent pool for local government:
During the 1940s, Hubert Humphrey was mayor of Minneapolis and Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor of New York. Seventy years later, fewer and fewer people of similar dedication are willing to enter government, as elected public officials, appointed public servants or career government employees. If this pattern continues, local government will deteriorate even further.
- Also from Politico: A profile of the “dirty, rattled, crime-ridden” New York City of the ‘70s and ‘80s that helped spawn Donald Trump, giving him a view of urban areas that’s since “remained as hardened as Mafia concrete.”
Canada’s big day: An estimated 500,000 people will gather in Ottawa Saturday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of their nation—one that now stands out among the Western world for staying strong with its multicultural, globalist values. But it’s not all fun and games, The Economist notes:
Yet for the 1.4m First Nation, Inuit and Métis, the land’s original inhabitants, there is nothing to celebrate. “Canada 150 is so insulting,” says Pam Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer and university professor. “We’ve been here for tens of thousands of years.” Their grievances go well beyond a dispute over dates. After the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867 the new government continued colonial policies that seized their land and put them on reserves. Worse, the government tried to eradicate their culture and language by taking indigenous children from their homes and putting them in “residential schools”.
Tough on immigrants: As Trump tweeted “MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!” the House yesterday approved two hard-line immigration bills, one cutting off some federal grants from sanctuary cities and the other imposing tougher sentences on criminals who have re-entered the U.S. illegally. (The Washington Post)
Public housing in private hands: Returning to his once-home city of Baltimore on Thursday, HUD boss Ben Carson expressed his intent to expand a program that allows cities to sell public housing to private developers in order to raise money for repairs. (Baltimore Sun)
Sending in the feds: After a reported 1,737 shootings this year in Chicago, agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined local police on a strike force using ballistics technology to combat gun violence. (Chicago Sun-Times)
The urban lens:
"Barry Farm is adventurous. When we were little we made bow and arrows and went to St. Elizabeth's to hunt rabbits. We built wagons like the Little Rascals. We did things - adventurous things- and had fun. I'm one of the fortunate ones that haven't been in jail even though my buddies have." Frank DC, 2017. #film #35mm #barryfarmproject
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