Also: Interrupting the jogging mayor, and why Vermonters fear a Mormon utopia.
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What We’re Following
Queens landing: Last fall, a CityLab collaboration with WNYC featured four women running for office in Queens, asking if local candidates can ever defeat the political machine. Apparently the answer is yes: Last night, one candidate in that story, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pulled off a massive upset against 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district, whose influence in the House is paired with significant sway in local New York City politics.
Sheriffs races: In 2018, sheriff elections are turning out to be referenda on local policies on immigration enforcement and criminal justice. Just ask Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where activists recently managed to oust a Democrat who refused to end its collaboration with immigration authorities.
On Tuesday, a more muted version of this happened in the Republican El Paso County, Colorado, where incumbent sheriff Bill Elder seemed to have sailed to victory in last night's Republican primary—beating out the challenger Mike Angley, and essentially securing his seat for the next four years. Elder has campaigned on his war against marijuana, and recently, re-signed a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold immigrant detainees. But compared to Angley, he was still moderate—declining to restart the 287(g) program that was criticized as a tool for racial profiling of immigrants.
Facing Janus: The Supreme Court just ruled 5-4 against requiring public-sector workers to pay union fees. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the update to her story on who is likely to be most affected by the ruling.
More on CityLab
Hello Yellow Brick Road
It’s no secret that Seattle has undergone a decade of rapid economic growth. But it’s particularly jarring when you compare the Emerald City to the rest of the country. Seattle’s NPR station KUOW took a look at how many people in the 1 percent live in Seattle now—and how much wealthier they’ve become. Seattle has three times as many households in the top 1 percent of earners compared to the national average, with 9,245 households earning more than $470,000 a year.
The chart above shows the percentage growth in household income from 2006 to 2016 for the 25th percentile and 99th percentile of earners in Seattle (green) compared to the country as a whole (red). While it might look like Seattle’s boom is making everyone wealthier, there’s a key caveat: rising housing prices have pushed some people out, potentially making lower-income brackets appear to be doing better than they actually are. CityLab context: The precipitous fall of Seattle’s “Amazon tax”
What We’re Reading
East Pittsburgh police officer charged in Antwon Rose’s killing (New York Times)
The cities trying out universal basic income (The Guardian)
Distracted driving is out of control, and there’s no single cure (Wired)
The remaking of class in America (The New Republic)
An ode to the unsung ritual of giving and getting directions (Places Journal)