Also: Is it time to reconsider traffic stops? And the hidden forces that shape cities.

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What We’re Following

Who’s on first? San Francisco’s mayoral race was sure to deliver a “first” to City Hall, but the election might be historic for much wonkier reasons thanks to the city’s unusual ranked-choice voting system. London Breed, president of the city’s board of supervisors and the frontrunner leading up to the special election, outperformed her competitors by nearly 10 percentage points on first-choice votes, winning a 35 percent plurality.

But as the city tallies up second-choice votes, former state senator Mark Leno now narrowly leads Breed, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports. An alliance between the two runners-up payed off for Leno—he received the majority of second-choice votes from supporters of supervisor Jane Kim. The winner might not be announced for days, but if Leno wins, will San Francisco voters be upset that the candidate with a clear lead in first choice votes did not become mayor?

Other primary-night updates:

  • Democrats turned out in New Jersey’s suburban primaries (NPR)
  • A Native American candidate in New Mexico gets closer to making history (ThinkProgress)
  • Thousands of voters were left off primary day rolls in Los Angeles (New York Times)
  • Voters recalled the judge who sentenced Brock Turner to six months in jail for sexual assault, but the vote has raised questions about the wisdom of politicizing the decision (Vox)

Benjamin Schneider and Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Is It Time to Reconsider Traffic Stops?

What researchers found after analyzing data gathered from 20 million stops in North Carolina.

Tanvi Misra

The Paradox of Prosperity at America’s Universities

As they churn out the talent and technology that drive economic growth, universities also shape deepening urban inequality.

Richard Florida

The Hidden Forces That Shape Cities

It’s not always big leaders with big plans.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Barcelona Finds a Way to Control Its Airbnb Market

The city’s latest move to limit vacation rentals could come in handy for other cities trying out their own regulations.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Rest In Peace, Ikea Bike

The Sladda bicycle was an attempt to help city-dwellers ease into life without cars. Now a sweeping recall is bringing the product to its demise.

Andrew Small


The Great Wave of Mascots

Mascots from Japanese municipalities are pictured.
(Chris Carlier)

In Japan, cities have their own mascots. Thousands of gotōchi-chara, or “regional characters,” enliven posters and street signs, promote tourism, and are a source of regional pride. Like local sports teams or favorite regional dishes, these weird, lovable characters are now an indelible part of the identities of a generation that can’t imagine their hometowns without them. On CityLab: The Strange, Enduring Charm of Japan’s Civic Mascots.

Correction: In yesterday’s item about the benefits of spending time alone outdoors, we misidentified the researchers’ affiliations. They work at Montreat College and West Carolina University, not at Outward Bound.


What We’re Reading

U.S. house prices are increasing at twice the speed of pay and inflation (CNBC)

Where homicides go unsolved in cities, mapped (Washington Post)

The hidden women of architecture and design (New Yorker)

As California’s largest lake dries up, it threatens nearby communities with clouds of toxic dust (The Verge)


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