Cozen Cities – July 12, 2023

July 12, 2023

Gig Economy & Technology

CHICAGO — TechChicago Week Looks to Bring Entirety of City’s Tech Ecosystem Together

An event highlighting Chicago’s tech scene will bring thousands together in the city next week. TechChicago Week is billed as a “celebration of Chicagoland’s diverse tech ecosystem.”

DETROIT — Regenerating Detroit: MSU Apple Developer Academy Joins the Tech Revolution

The tech revolution sweeping through Detroit just got a significant boost as the prestigious Michigan State University (MSU) announced the establishment of an Apple Developer Academy within the city.

DETROIT — Detroit Tech Leader Wants to Boost Diversity of West Michigan’s I.T. Workforce

A new collaborative between employers, workforce agencies and nonprofits aims to ensure West Michigan is equipped for tech-sector job growth and prepare African American workers for tech careers.

Labor & Employment

DETROIT — Metro Detroit’s Joe Vicari Restaurant Group Pays $88,000 for Wage, Child Labor Violations

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the restaurant group denied workers at 13 locations their full wages. It also violated child labor laws by allowing a 15-year-old to work more than eight hours a day and past 9 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Hotel Employees Return to Work but Warn of Additional Strikes

Thousands of housekeepers, front desk clerks, cooks and other hospitality staff returned to work on Wednesday at hotels in the Los Angeles area after three days of picketing, but union leaders said that more walkouts are likely in the coming days.

LOS ANGELES — From the Docks to Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Workers Feeling Emboldened

California union members are pressuring employers over wages in one of the nation’s most labor-friendly states.

Policy & Politics

BOSTON — Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty Says He Will Not Run for Re-Election

Michael Flaherty, Boston City Councilor, has recently announced his withdrawal from the At- Large City Council race, declaring he has no plans on running for another public office.

BOSTON — City Councilor Kenzie Bok Tapped to Run Boston Housing Authority 

Kenzie Bok, a progressive Boston city councilor and housing policy expert, is becoming the next administrator of the Boston Housing Authority, with a vision of how public housing should anchor Boston’s neighborhoods and city.

CHICAGO — Mayor Johnson Unveils “Blueprint To Transform” Chicago, Revealing “How We Will Govern”

Mayor Brandon Johnson on Thursday, July 6th released a 223-page transition report that will serve as his road map over the next four years and a measuring stick for his critics if he gets lost along the way.

CHICAGO — State’s Top Banking Regulator Joins Johnson Administration

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of another member of his finance team on June 29, poaching a top official from the state of Illinois. Johnson named Chasse Rehwinkel to serve as the city’s comptroller, charged with overseeing the collection and disbursement of the city’s revenues.

PHILADELPHIA — Meet the Candidates Running for Philadelphia City Council President

Four members of Philadelphia City Council are reportedly planning to run to succeed current Council President Darrell Clarke, who will be retiring at the end of his term in December. Frontrunners include Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr. and District 2 Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson.

SAN DIEGO — City Council Formally Passes Homeless Encampment Ban

The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday, June 27th for a second time to affirm the adoption of a controversial policy banning homeless encampments on public property when a shelter bed is available, with some exceptions.

SEATTLE — Seattle Cuts Red Tape for Affordable Housing Construction 

The Seattle Council has officially approved two bills that will permit affordable housing developers to skip the design review process, directed to speed up new housing construction.

Public Health & Safety

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Police Plan to Use Drones for Swat Situations, Crime Surveillance

The Baltimore Police Department has proposed using new drone technology for a more efficient, cost-effective, and safer way to document crime scenes.

BOSTON — Boston MedFlight Adds Jet to Transport Patients From Longer Distances

Boston MedFlight has recently expanded its fleet, by adding a twin engine jet, allowing it to transport critically ill and injured patients over longer distances and when weather conditions are bad.

CHICAGO — CPD Oversight Agency Investigates Alleged “Sexual Misconduct” Involving Officers, Migrant at Station

The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the oversight committee of Chicago’s police department (CPD), confirmed Friday, July 7 it had opened a formal investigation into an allegation that 10th District police officers engaged in sexual relations with at least one migrant housed at the police station.

NEW YORK — Mayor Adams Inks Bill Aiming to Let More New Yorkers Shop Around for Healthcare

Mayor Eric Adams signed a City Council bill generating a new Office Of Healthcare Accountability that lets New Yorkers compare prices among public and private hospitals on its website.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Sues Ghost Gun Distributors After More Than 500 Recovered by Police

The City of Philadelphia has filed lawsuits against ghost gun distributors Polymer80 and JSD Supply in order to prevent gun violence and provide payment to those affected by gun violence caused by ghost guns. The lawsuit follows one of the deadliest mass shootings in the city’s history, during which the shooter used ghost guns according to police.

Real Estate Development

CHICAGO — Logan Square, Avondale Losing the Most Affordable Housing in Chicago, Study Shows

It’s getting more difficult to rent in Logan Square and Avondale, as low-cost apartments disappear faster than anyplace else in the city, according to a new study.

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Bass Supports City Council’s Action to Accelerate Affordable Housing

Mayor Bass lauded the City Council’s vote to exempt affordable housing projects from Site Plan Review, which is expected to save zoning-compliant affordable housing projects an average of six months processing time.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Planning Czar Anne Fadullon Stepping Down

Philadelphia planning and development chief Anne Fadullon is stepping down after eight years.

PHILADELPHIA — Industrial Lot Targeted for New Affordable Housing Complex in North Philadelphia

A new proposal to replace a vacant industrial lot includes a four-story apartment complex and  24,700 square feet of commercial space that may include a new grocery store.

RICHMOND — Sauer Properties Planning to Add Apartments to Midlothian Shopping Center

Sauer properties is seeking approval to replace a rundown shopping center with 350 apartments, a new greenspace, and improvements to the retail storefronts to inject new life into the property.

SEATTLE — Poll Shows Seattle Residents Support $970 Million Housing Levy

A majority of Seattle residents support a $970 million property tax for affordable housing, which shows the critical need for more affordable homes in this city.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chevy Chase Residents Balk at Affordable Housing Plans

Plans to construct affordable housing units in D.C.’s affluent Chevy Chase neighborhood are drawing ire from residents, who have expressed concerns about maintaining the “character” of the area. Less than 1% of the city’s dedicated affordable housing units are currently located in the neighborhood.

Taxes & Spending

BOSTON — Boston City Council Approves $4.3 Million Budget Without Cuts to Police Department 

Following objections from Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston City Council has approved a $4.3 billion operating budget, with a $9 million increase from last year’s budget.

LOS ANGELES — How Wealthy L.A. Residents Are Dodging the City’s New “Mansion Tax”

Los Angeles has a notorious crisis with homelessness and the city has tried several desperate measures in order to address the problem.

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Bass’ Inside Safe Program Reaches Nearly $40 Million in Spending

Spending related to Mayor Karen Bass’ Inside Safe program to dismantle homeless encampments and bring unhoused people indoors has reached nearly $40 million, according to a report presented Wednesday, July 5th.

NEW YORK — City Council Passes $107 Billion NYC Budget

Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council settled on the city budget for fiscal year 2024, which includes $107 billion in operating expenses, cuts to some city agencies, restored funding for some programs, and $4 billion for capital housing.

NEW YORK — Federal Funding for E-Bike Charging Stations Outside NYCHA Buildings 

Following recent e-bike incidents, NYC’s public housing buildings will receive e-bike charging and storage stations through a $25 million federal grant to help ensure the safety for NYCHA residents.

Transportation & Mobility

CHICAGO — Governor Pritzker Announces Partnership With Metra to Restore Chicago-Rockford Passenger Rail Service

Governor JB Pritzker was joined by state and local officials to announce a partnership between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Metra to once again provide safe and reliable passenger rail between Chicago and Rockford, restoring service that was discontinued in 1981. The first trains are anticipated to start running by late 2027, offering efficient, economical travel with stops in between the two cities.

CHICAGO — Chicago’s Slow Drivers Make Streets Safer Than Other Big Cities

Chicago drivers tend to drive slower than the national average on major pedestrian roadways (meaning streets people often cross), making them safer for people on foot.

LOS ANGELES — Port of Los Angeles Receives $223 Million in State Infrastructure Grants

The grants were among $1.5 billion announced by California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin at a ceremony attended by officials from ports across Southern California.

NEW YORK — Congestion Pricing Plan Receives Final Federal Approval

New York has received federal approval to execute a congestion pricing plan, reducing traffic by charging big tolls to drive into Manhattan, improving air quality and raising funds for the city’s public transit system.

RICHMOND — Richmond Narrows Transportation Needs Using Equity as Guide

Richmond’s equitable transit and mobility office has released a city-wide map of Richmond’s most pressing transportation needs based on input from its residents.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. Councilmember Aims to Keep Dangerous, Reckless Drivers Off the Road

A new bill introduced by D.C. Councilmember At-Large Christina Henderson would suspend the license and registration of vehicles owned by drivers who are arrested for violations.


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