Also: How to bring back struggling cities, and where Americans feel best about local news.

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What We’re Following

Ben Carson mentioned you: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is charging Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act. According to the charges, Facebook’s ad delivery system discriminated against users by screening who can see ads for housing on its marketplace listings. The site gives advertisers—including lenders, real-estate agents, and landlords—the tools to target potential buyers or renters and block others based on specific characteristics.

The charges from HUD describe how that can translate into housing discrimination. One example in the complaint says users can block people from seeing housing listings if they’re categorized as “moms of grade school kids” or “foreigners,” or if their interests include “hijab fashion” or “service animals.” “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement. CityLab’s Kriston Capps has the story: Why HUD Charged Facebook with Discrimination

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How to Bring Back Struggling Cities

A Manhattan Institute report offers strategies to revitalize such struggling cities as Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and Youngstown, Ohio.

Aaron Renn

Where Do Americans Feel Best About Local News?

People expect local journalists to be deeply engaged with their communities. A new report suggests San Antonio and the Twin Cities are on to something.

Sarah Holder

You Can't Have an Equitable Economy While Ignoring Police Violence

Cities like Pittsburgh can’t herald inclusive innovation without stepping up to protect black lives like Antwon Rose’s from police.

Andre Perry

$23 Billion Education Funding Report Reveals Less Money for City Kids

City public school kids receive less money than rural or suburban ones. The situation is worse in districts that serve mostly children of color according to a report from EdBuild.

Rebecca Bellan

Why More City High Schoolers Are Taking Ag Classes

Complete with crops and farm animals, agriculture programs are exposing city students to careers they might not have otherwise considered.

Leslie Nemo


Tick Tock

Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

It turns out the people who make the trains run on time are also the ones who decide what time it is. After years of discussion, the European Parliament voted to abolish daylight saving time in the European Union starting in 2021, but European nations’ transportation ministers are the ones who get the final say in the matter. Why them? Disagreements in time-keeping systems could cause headaches for train timetables, for instance, as well as planes that could pass through many countries even on a short flight. And in a largely borderless union where train stations, airports, and even transit networks serve more than one country, the potential for chaos from mismatched clocks is substantial. CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan has the story: Why Transport Ministers Get to Decide the Fate of Europe’s Clocks


What We’re Reading

What did California buy with its $1.4 billion in cap-and-trade money? (Grist)

New York chased the Olympics. It got the Shed instead. (New York Times)

Florida mayor Wayne Messam announces 2020 bid (Politico)

How Lyft survived a cutthroat money-raising battle with Uber (Wall Street Journal)


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