Also: Paving over the Everglades, and why cities want their own cryptocurrency.

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What We’re Following

“I do not want to be an enabler in this process. I do not want the city to participate in this process.” That’s how Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is responding to news that a new migrant detention center is slated to open in his city amid outcry over the federal government’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

Now, declaring moral opposition to the policy, he’s hinting at what power the city has to get in the way: The fire department hasn’t inspected the site yet, for example, and it doesn’t have the city’s food and shelter permit. He’s one of many mayors assessing what steps they can take to protest the government’s child separation policy. We expect to hear more tomorrow, when mayors from around the United States head to Tornillo, Texas, to survey the situation. CityLab’s Tanvi Misra has the story: Can Houston Stall the Opening of a Migrant Child Detention Center?

More on this story

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Pave Over the Everglades With a Highway? Sounds 'Sexy'!

Days before a key vote, Miami-Dade transit advocates are rallying against a proposed interstate expansion.

Laura Bliss

Why Do Cities Want Their Own Cryptocurrencies?

The allure of digital currencies has hit Dubai, Seoul, Berkeley, and more. What looks like another offshoot of the Bitcoin craze could be an evolution of the municipal bond.

Sarah Holder and Linda Poon

I Survived D.C.’s First ‘Sweat Crawl’

“Forget what you’re going to be someday—you’re strong … today!”

Tanvi Misra

Criminalizing Homelessness Doesn’t Work

“Anti-vagrancy” laws are cruel, costly, and counterproductive. They make it even harder to escape homelessness.

Joseph W. Mead and Sara Rankin

Should Opting Out of Union Fees Be a Right?

This Supreme Court is due to rule on a case that would no longer allow non-union members to be charged “fair-share” fees by the unions that bargain for their rights.

Sarah Holder


Tip-Off

Map of DC Initiative 77 support
(David Montgomery/CityLab)

D.C. voters settled a dispute between two national restaurant associations on Tuesday, approving a ballot measure to raise the base wage for tipped workers, who receive less than minimum wage under federal law. The measure was the most contentious issue to face D.C. voters in years. While the final vote tally was hardly a representative measure for the city—a local primary in a midterm national election year never crushes the polls—the decision on Initiative 77 fell along stark racial and class lines. Across all majority-white precincts, nearly 50 percent of voters favored Initiative 77. Support was nine percentage points higher in majority non-white precincts. In the above screenshot of an interactive precinct map, CityLab data reporter David Montgomery shows how a vote on wages for some of the city’s poorest workers revealed a classic segregation pattern in the District.

Kriston Capps


What We’re Reading

How tech companies conquered cities (New York Times)

Uber’s plan to get more electric cars on the road (Curbed)

Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify (Vox)

New York, once a great city, now “unremarkable” and “boring” (Harper’s)

As rural towns lose population, they can “shrink smart” (NPR)


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