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Sanctuary City Starts GoFundMe After Gov Cuts Grants – The Daily Beast

Veterans courts and drug-addiction services in Austin, Texas, are being squeezed by the state because the sanctuary city’s sheriff won’t comply with ICE.

In Austin, some courts might have to be crowdfunded.

That’s because the city is what President Donald Trump calls a “sanctuary city”—and it’s facing extraordinary pressure, both political and financial, to join the Trump administration’s mass deportation efforts.

Austin is in Travis County, where its so-called sanctuary policy has already cost it $1.5 million in state funding that would have paid for drug courts, veterans’ courts, and aid to domestic violence victims.

Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and other advocates of tougher immigration enforcement urge local police and sheriffs to help ICE in its deportation efforts. But many local law enforcement officials—including including Travis County’s new sheriff, Sally Hernandez—are hesitant, fearing that undocumented immigrants will be less likely to help police track down dangerous criminals if those police are in cahoots with ICE.

When Hernandez announced the county wouldn’t always cooperate with Trump, Texas Governor Greg Abbott cut state funding to the county.

So the sheriff’s supporters are now crowdfunding to make up for the lost cash—cash that pays for special courts designed to help War on Terror veterans with PTSD and parents with drug addictions. And it’s unlikely to be an anomaly, as Austin has become a national focal point in Trump’s efforts to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

Claw Back | Civic Hall

The Attorney General Jeff Sessions is following through on a threat to withhold federal funds from state and local jurisdictions for not complying with federal immigration laws, Jessica Taylor reports for NPR. Sessions also said that the Justice Department would “claw back” grants already disbursed to so-called sanctuary cities as well.

Article: Claw Back by

“It’s hard not to get behind any plan that makes government more effective and tries to use data instead of, say, raw ideology to help craft better policy decisions. So let’s wish the White House success,” Timothy O’Brien, author of the Trump biography “TrumpNation,” opines for the Chicago Tribune. “In fact, let’s toast Trump and Kushner as fast as we can because they’re going to need all of the help they can get if this nod toward innovation is going to amount to anything more than a head fake.” O’Brien proceeds to skewer Trump and Kushner’s understanding of innovation, and of “ahead-of-schedule” and “under-budget.”

Over at Quartz, Heather Timmons has the full list of the issues in the hands of 36-year-old Jared Kushner.

Related: After the healthcare debacle last week, a sobering take by The Washington Post’s James Hohmann on how Trump is actually winning more than you think.

Democrats want to know who is coming and going from the “southern White House”—but they can’t, because nobody is keeping track. Darren Samuelsohn reports for Politico that “Mar-a-Lago…doesn’t keep tabs on the identity of guests who come and go on a routine basis, even while the president is in residence.”

A representative from the heart of Silicon Valley visited coal country, Nancy Scola reports for Politico. California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna told Scola, “There’s got to be greater empathy among those in Silicon Valley for some of the pain that has been caused.” But he also wanted to spread entrepreneurial spirit. “It’s just getting people to dream that they can go try to be like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs.” But the people he met with—some of them formerly unemployed workers who have gone through a training program to learn how to develop mobile apps—just want to be taken seriously as applicants for tech jobs.

Whoopsie: Election officials in Hong Kong have reported losing two laptop computers holding the personal information for all 3.7 million registered voters in the city, Ellie Ng reports for the Hong Kong Free Press.

The Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, ProPublica, the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and New York University have received grants totaling $12 million from Democracy Fund and First Look Media to help continue their work supporting an independent, robust, and free press.

What Works Cities announced today the addition of 10 new cities to its roster, bringing the total to 77, and they launched a What Works Cities certification program.

Enter the Zebra: Entrepreneurs Jennifer Brandel, Mara Zepeda, and Astrid Scholz write in a Medium post that developing alternative business models is a central moral challenge of our time. They propose calling these restorative companies “Zebras” as a counterpoint to the destructive, “disrupting” nature of the “unicorn.” “These alternative models will balance profit and purpose, champion democracy, and put a premium on sharing power and resources,” they write. “Companies that create a more just and responsible society will hear, help, and heal the customers and communities they serve.”

The Fempowerment Fad: Earlier this month a trifecta of stories about the newly-minted-feminist SHE-E-O Miki Agrawal—of the period-embracing panty company Thinx—revealed that company practices and Agrawal’s behavior were destructive—at least one employee has said Agrawal sexually harassed her—and decidedly un-feminist. A hypocritical unicorn? Not so fast. Buzzfeed’s Doree Shafrir connects this particular feminist hypocrisy to a “new trend” in startup culture, pointing also to Thrive Global founder and staunch Uber-apologist Arianna Huffington, Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, and even the Other First Lady herself, Ivanka Trump.

Kerry Flynn writes on Mashable that Facebook’s new Town Hall feature, which allows you to contact your local representatives in a few clicks, is the best thing the platform has ever done.

Remember, as we previously shared in First Post, The Verge’s Natt Garun is skeptical because the feature relies on the information that officials have provided themselves.

Flynn also reports that Facebook announced that it will start putting out local election reminders to help get out the vote.

Day of Zen

The post Claw Back appeared first on Civic Hall.

Immigrants Are Driving Urban Growth, Says Census – CityLab

The big headline that came out of Thursday’s Census release: Chicago is shedding population. In 2016, an estimated 22,000 souls left the blustery shores of Lake Michigan* (and its surrounding 14 counties). They seemed to be bound for warmer climes. In continuing with a dominant post-recession migration trend, the Sunbelt picked up new residents at breakneck speed, with Phoenix and Orlando making some of the biggest gains.

Article: Immigrants Are Driving Urban Growth, Says Census – CityLab by LAURA BLISS @mslaurabliss

But as sharp eyes in the Twitter-sphere noticed, the numbers also reveal another trend: Growth in America’s megaregions slowed significantly. Nine out of ten of the country’s largest combined statistical areas—the largest unit by which you might judge an anchor city’s orb—came in well short of the population gains they’ve averaged since 2010. Most dramatically, the New York City-Newark CSA gained roughly one third of the number of new residents that it averaged, annually, between 2010 and 2016. The chart below reveals that stumble. Washington, D.C.’s CSA also registered a serious slowdown, as did the San Jose/San Francisco area. Only the Dallas-Fort Worth region outpaced its average gains, netting close to 150,000 people in 2016.

What explains the slowdown? Denizens are leaving in higher numbers than in the past. New York-Newark lost 223,000 people in 2016, compared to an average of 158,000 between 2010 and 2015. Los Angeles-Long Beach lost 76,000, compared to an average of 50,000 in past years. Only a handful of CSAs have averaged gains in domestic migration (that is, folks coming in from other parts of the U.S.) over the past several years: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Woodlands, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, and San Jose-San Francisco. Of those, only Dallas-Fort Worth outpaced its average. The Miami and SJ/SF regions registered net migration losses in 2016—seriously behind, in the Bay Area’s case.

These dips in urban migration could be a blip. But in some of these cities, these numbers are consistent with smaller-level trends we’ve heard about already. We know, for example, that even as Silicon Valley continues to add jobs, it is losing people due to the incredible shortage of affordable housing. Workers are living further and further from their offices, putting a stranglehold on traffic and straining transit systems. It is astonishing to imagine that, at at the much-larger CSA level—which, in this case, includes San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland—the same pattern may hold. Folks are not simply moving out to the suburbs. Some may be moving way, way out out of even the widest bounds you’d normally ascribe to the area.

Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning, the director of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation, and expert on all things New York, believes that this dynamic is playing across the New York City CSA, based on his research about super-commuting. Largely because of New York City’s housing crunch, “our population is not growing at the level that our jobs are,” he says. “So you see a growth of people traveling into work at much longer distances, from eastern Pennsylvania, and further out in Connecticut.” The rise of telecommuting also probably contributes, he says.

It’s hard to tease out the influence of local housing markets from these numbers, since they reflect such a wide swath of urban space. New York’s CSA, for example, includes Newark, New Jersey, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, two distressed cities that have been hemorrhaging residents for decades—and not for lack of affordable housing. The new Census estimates don’t include city-level numbers.

But MSA counts (the slightly smaller unit to gauge city populations) show very similar trends. Moreover, looking more closely at the five counties that make up housing-crunched New York City, every borough registers a serious slowdown in growth, thanks to major increases in out-migration. For example, Kings County, New York—also known as Brooklyn—netted just over 4,000 new residents last year, compared to 12,000 in 2015. That was largely because more than 43,000 people migrated out of the borough in 2016, compared to an annual out-migration of 25,000 in previous years. Manhattan lost more than 21,000 last year, compared to a recent average of 16,000.

Yet with the exception of Chicago, all of the major CSAs are still growing. The flight of residents to the exurbs and to warmer states has not thrown these metros into Rust Belt mode yet. What keeps them afloat? A steady influx of immigrants from other countries. Indeed, New York City continues to be the magnet for international job-seekers, as the chart above shows. The new president’s efforts to ban immigration from certain countries suggests that it, and other major CSAs, could lose a critical source of demographic energy in the future. If the Statue of Liberty is forced out of a job, those cities could shift into a state of a Chicago-like decline.

*A previous version of this article misnamed this lake.

Source: Immigrants Are Driving Urban Growth, Says Census – CityLab

Brown: Neighbors joining together to block Trump deportations | Chicago Sun-Times

In the 35th Ward on the city’s Northwest Side, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has started what he calls the Community Defense Committee.

In Rogers Park, home to an extremely diverse immigrant population, volunteer organizers have chosen to dub their effort Protect RP.

In Little Village, the Mexican capital of the Midwest, they have picked the name La Villita Se Defiende, which translates to Little Village Defends Itself.

As with the different names, each group seems to be charting its own tactical approach, but the overarching goal is the same: to protect undocumented immigrants by resisting efforts to deport them.

Resistance eventually could take the form of actually interfering with federal agents in the performance of their duties, something not to be taken lightly but a measure of what’s at stake.

I was among more than 400 people who attended a Protect RP organizational meeting Monday night, an extraordinary display of how hungry people are to Do Something.

The meeting was held at Living Water Community Church, where pastor Kristin Jackson said two-thirds of the congregants are immigrants, some of them undocumented.

But my impression is most participants that night were American citizens acting in support of their neighbors, not out of self-preservation. And they weren’t just the liberal fringe.

Trump won the election with his promise of mass deportations, but many still believe the better answer is to change the immigration laws to protect most of those who are living here and to map out a more coherent system going forward.

Call that a path to citizenship or call it amnesty, but that’s still the goal to me, even if we’re now playing defense instead of offense.

“People are very receptive and very eager to support this effort,” said Rosa, who is using techniques learned by immigrant groups in Arizona and Georgia in response to deportation raids conducted by the Obama administration.

Read more at the source: Brown: Neighbors joining together to block Trump deportations | Chicago Sun-Times


Is California Really Going to Secede?

The state conservatives love to hate is beginning to reciprocate the feeling. Photo: YesCalifornia

Like the talk of secession in conservative southern states after Barack Obama became president, the idea of a separate California Republic builds on long-standing separatist feelings amplified by a momentous national election. Since Donald Trump became president while securing less than a third of the vote in California, the Yes California campaign — a.k.a. Calexit — has gotten a lot of attention and perhaps even some momentum in getting an initial measure placed on the 2018 general election ballot. An estimated 7,000 volunteers have begun amassing the 585,407 signatures necessary to place a constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot deleting the state’s adherence to the United States and authorizing a 2019 referendum on independence.

More at the

Source: Is California Really Going to Secede?

How cities can respond as national governments turn rightward | Citiscope

Across the planet, 2016 witnessed a dramatic rise of new, rightward-leaning political movements, challenging existing orders — and raising potentially serious challenges for cities. Now the electoral changes have begun to pose stark dilemmas for urbanists in many world cities.

Perplexed about the shift and its implications, I turned to Bruce Katz, the inaugural Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and the founder of Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. Katz also authored a book on urban regions and their potentials, a topic I’d long focused on myself — The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy (Brookings Institution Press, 2013).

The background for my interview with Katz was a clear political fact: In two major elections — Britain’s “Brexit” vote, as well as Donald Trump’s victory in the U. S. presidential election — the voters in the major cities found themselves on the losing side, often by overwhelming margins. In fact, Katz is now working on a new publication, with long-time urban expert Jeremy Nowak, on what cities can and should do to protect their interests in the age of Trump.

Source: How cities can respond as national governments turn rightward | Citiscope

The trend may just be warming up. In lands across the globe, there appears to be a tide of rising right-wing parties ready to take on political establishments. Though they differ widely in their ideological hues, most exhibit a distinctly anti-urban tenor. They include the Alternative for Germany, the National Front in France, the Five Star Movement in Italy and Britain’s UK Independence Party.

Voter discontent isn’t limited to Europe. A May 2016 presidential election in the Philippines was won by Rodrigo Duterte, an authoritarian populist who promised the execution of thousands of drug dealers — a murderous pledge that is not only being fulfilled but also catching many innocents in its crossfire.

In Brazil, historically a Latin American leader in taking steps to bring millions out of poverty, there’s now an ultra-conservative, all-male national cabinet that’s moved to freeze public expenditures for 20 years. Leadership in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both veered rightward in 2016 municipal elections. In Rio, retiring Mayor Eduardo Paes, a centrist who served as president of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, was replaced by Marcelo Crivella, a conservative senator who is affiliated with an influential megachurch. Overall, the Worker’s Party of the impeached former president Dilma Rousseff lost 60 percent of the contests for control of Brazil’s municipalities.

[Read: Citiscope’s exit interview with São Paulo’s Fernando Haddad]

While national situations differ, two themes seem to underlie many of the new political movements. One is resentment on the part of working-class and rural voters who believe their interests have been neglected, even as urban elites have prospered over recent decades. A second is hostility toward immigrants, especially Muslims — an issue centrist parties have addressed only reluctantly, yet clearly an echo of fierce enmity toward Jews in the Europe of the 1930s.

Reflective of the radical shift, there’s now a distinct possibility that the European Union itself could be in peril if its defenders are defeated in major French and German elections this year.

These trends emerge, ironically, at the very moment that voices such as that of American scholar Benjamin Barber are rising in favor of a world “Parliament of Mayors” that could elevate local powers and in many respects bypass nation-state governments entirely.

The resentments of voters vary by world region. In the United States, for example, the severest economic loss and voter revolt has come in rural areas and small towns and cities with stagnant or very slowly growing economies, including many reliant on a single industry. Meanwhile, large U. S. cities and metropolitan regions have tended to fare much better. In Europe, by contrast, the resentment appears rooted more in emerging fears from a surge in terrorism.

Responses will vary

Katz sees cities as powerful antidotes to the winds of globalization — although the responses from them will differ. In Great Britain, a nation with very few elected mayors, most authority is centralized. That will make it harder for local governments to respond quickly to their own challenges, as opposed to the United States, where local rule — and citizen power — is far greater.

For example, local voters in the U. S. approved $200 billion for local transportation projects on the same day Trump’s Republican Party swept to victory on the national and state levels. And if federal taxes are cut under Republican rule, local taxes will almost surely be proposed — to pay for schools, transit, construction and other pressing needs.

Another major U. S. asset, Katz insists, is on the immigration front — the country’s history “as a more integrated nation” puts it in a stronger position than Europe, where “assimilation is an almost existential challenge.” Plus, he adds, the United States “is used to minorities becoming majorities.” For example, Irish Catholics, once scorned by entrenched Protestant majorities in New England, eventually saw one of their own elected president in John F. Kennedy.

Katz suggests the time is ripe across the world “to invent the 21st-century city.” City agencies are often organized in Balkanized silos, at a time when problem-solving requires multidisciplinary solutions to tackle problems such as housing, transport and land use together.  “Economies are so advanced — but governments are still narrowly drawn,” he notes. “The compelling need is for cities to reinvent their governance.”

It’s particularly important, Katz suggests, that the political and economic institutions within metropolitan areas coordinate their efforts to develop advanced economies that can thrive in a competitive global environment.

Katz cites models such as Copenhagen, which pledges to be the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. Copenhagen is innovating in clean, renewable energy at the metropolitan and neighborhood scale, and building a pattern of mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods where biking and transit are the easiest ways to get around. Meanwhile, the city is building an educated workforce with deep technical knowledge. The Copenhagen City and Port Corporation — publicly owned but privately managed — is using the value of publicly owned land to spur the regeneration of large districts, like one known as North Harbour, while providing revenues to finance new transit infrastructure for the entire city.

[Read: Three lessons for cities in Denmark’s clean-energy revolution]

As a U. S. model, Katz notes the Denver region, where cooperation between the city and its suburbs has raised capital for infrastructure, arts and culture, and downtown revitalization. In 2004, the region voted for an innovative regional transportation plan, FasTracks, financed in large part by a multijurisdictional ballot referendum approving one of the biggest sales-tax increases the region had ever seen. Katz says healthy regions like Denver develop deep partnerships — among government, business, philanthropy, media and higher education — that will help them to form strong strategies to remain nationally and globally competitive.

Room for action

Major urban regions worldwide need to keep learning from each others’ successes, Katz suggests. In the United States, mayors can act creatively, reaching out for alliances with business, labor and nonprofit organizations. But their authority is often limited, with power over essential services like water, housing, seaports and airports controlled by separate public authorities. The pattern poses obstacles in bringing together the varied resources — capital, land, infrastructure and human resource development — to develop coordinated strategies that will lead to more efficient and responsive services and effective growth.

In many countries outside the United States, city governments may be strong but operate more “solo” — exercising their official powers but without a history or culture of engaging the broad range of non-governmental players that could enrich their alliances and outreach.

In Europe, the refugee crisis is prompting the growth of new civic institutions and corporate strategies that innovate on integration strategies. In Hamburg, for example, a new nonprofit called Hanseatic Help set up the largest clothing storage and redistribution system in the city, and developed an app that brings together volunteers and refugees. In Stockholm, LinkedIn has created a platform called Welcome Talent to give every refugee a profile that identifies his or her workplace qualifications and accelerates attachment to the labor market.

Katz’s bottom line: In an increasingly contentious political world, cities should seek ways to expand their scope and effectiveness on every front, from business development to clean streets, and climate protection to advanced educational opportunities. And to look globally, past the ideologically preoccupied national governments, for new models and approaches.

Katz sees the rise of a “New Localism” where “cities become the vanguard of problem solving and social progress in the world, fueled by new norms of growth, governance and finance, and powerful public, private and civic networks.”

Source: How cities can respond as national governments turn rightward | Citiscope


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