Cozen Cities – March 22, 2023
March 22, 2023
March 22, 2023
Throughout the country, large municipalities are laboratories of democracy. New and innovative policies introduced in one market are often exported to others, and ultimately replicated at the state and federal level. This newsletter highlights emerging local policy and regulatory discussions that impact industries, businesses, and organizations across the nation.
Chicago will begin testing parking enforcement technology and smart loading zones following an ordinance the City Council passed March 15. The technology will automatically issue tickets for parking or standing violations in areas with posted signs, such as bike lanes and commercial loading zones.
Detroit has moved its first city department to an all-electric vehicle fleet, spending $3 million to completely convert the municipal parking department’s 48 cars to Chevy Bolt EVs.
A merging of the taxi and rideshare pickup zones at the Philadelphia International Airport went into effect last week, resulting in protests from taxi drivers who claim the change threatens their business.
A 15% pandemic-era flat cap on fees charged to D.C. restaurants by third-party delivery apps has expired, resulting in an increase in commission fees.
Corean Reynolds has begun as Boston’s “Director of Nightlife Economy.” She is tasked with reviving the city’s nightlife and building up local corridors.
Aldermen voted to pass an ordinance that mandates human service providers partnering with the City to sign labor peace agreements. The measure effectively prevents nonprofit organizations from interfering with employee unionization efforts.
On March 13, Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order requiring the city to conduct a “comprehensive pay equity audit” every two years to identify “gender and racial” differences in employee compensation in its workforce of 32,000.
The Los Angeles teachers union plans to join an anticipated three-day strike with thousands of L.A. Unified’s non-teaching workers. This would likely shut down schools amid an explosion of labor discontent.
The Adams administration will be mandating a $19.96 per hour wage for app-based food delivery workers, in contrast to $23.82 per hour that the administration championed in November 2022.
Richmond Public Utilities Director April Bingham revealed during a recent Audit Committee meeting that her department is dealing with soaring staff vacancy rates, with some areas of the department at 50% vacancy or higher, making it difficult for the department to do its job effectively.
A new report from Commute Seattle indicates that while workers are returning to downtown Seattle, they are primarily commuting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
District 1 Councilmember Zeke Cohen announced his candidacy for City Council president over the weekend, formalizing a long-speculated challenge to current Council President Nick Mosby, who has already launched his own re-election campaign.
Last week, after it had previously rejected Mayor Brandon Scott’s nomination due to members’ concerns about the necessity of the position itself, the Baltimore Rules and Legislative Oversight Committee voted unanimously to approve Faith Leach as city administrator.
Seizing on the lame-duck period between Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s election loss and the start of the next administration, on March 15 a group of aldermen called for a special meeting next week to consider a slate of rule changes they say would bolster the City Council’s independence from the mayor’s office and “improve city governance.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan shined the spotlight on an abundance of new and completed initiatives, such as crime and housing issues, in his 10th State of the City address on March 7.
NYC Council has launched “Welcome NYC,” a $2.2 million public-private partnership to support organizations providing legal services, workforce development, youth services, and food assistance to asylum seekers.
Mayoral candidates are continuing to distinguish themselves from their competition in a packed race, with former Councilmember Cherelle Parker becoming the third mayoral candidate to air television ads and former City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart securing former Mayor Michael Nutter’s endorsement. Meanwhile, all municipal candidates have now drawn ballot positions from Philadelphia’s infamous “coffee can of destiny.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and City Council have committed themselves to finding a solution to the city’s affordable housing crisis, with strategies including allocating more funding for first-time homebuyers, emergency shelters, and the Eviction Diversion Program.
Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray has filed a complaint alleging that his reduced council committee assignments and oversight responsibilities are due to health-based discrimination.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is looking to provide community groups with financial incentives to help curb shootings and homicides in the city. The city’s contracting and procurement department issued a Request for Proposals seeking plans to reduce gun violence in defined areas from local organizations known for intervening and mediating situations involving public safety.
The City Council unanimously approved $1 million to fund and create the Office of Unarmed Response and Safety, which council members said is necessary to expand the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis hotline to include an unarmed crisis response.
With downtown homeless encampments in his district surging in recent months, San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn announced he will propose an ordinance banning tents and makeshift structures on public property.
The ACLU of Washington has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle for the deteriorated conditions of the Kings County jail.
Congress is likely to block legislation passed by D.C. City Council to revise the city’s criminal code, reigniting the federal debate over D.C. home rule. While Mayor Muriel Bowser had unsuccessfully vetoed the bill, she also opposes congressional efforts to overturn it.
Boston City Council approved Mayor Wu’s rent control proposal by a large majority. The state must now approve the proposal before it can become law.
The days of mega-mega-million dollar home sales may be coming to an end, at least in Los Angeles, as several seven and eight-figure properties in the city have seen their prices slashed.
Accessory dwelling units have surged since regulations eased in 2019, and ADUs now outnumber single homes in the city.
Mayor Harrell signed a law which would provide 18 months of funding to the Seattle Social Housing Developer, a public authority to build, acquire, and maintain social housing.
City Council approved a measure to accept $20 million from the state to care for migrants in Chicago — but not before several alderpeople rebuked how Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration has communicated decisions surrounding the thousands of migrants who have arrived in the city since this summer.
The nearly $800 million in development incentives and tax breaks for the proposed $1.5 billion District Detroit buildout are drawing closer to a crucial Detroit City Council vote later this month following weeks of hearings and process approvals.
Ahead of Los Angeles’ ULA Measure taking effect next month, which will raise taxes on house sales above $5 million to fund affordable housing, sellers are scrambling to sell mansions by offering discounts and closing bonuses.
Philadelphia City Council intends to withhold funding from the Philadelphia School District until it is able to present a “concrete plan” to deal with the multiple school buildings with damaged asbestos.
The City of Richmond will soon be mailing one-time real estate tax rebates in order to counteract the financial burden as part of Mayor Levar Stoney’s “Five Back Initiative.”
To help Mayor Todd Gloria’s staff put together a proposed budget for fiscal 2024, scheduled to be unveiled April 14, each city department has been required to create a tactical plan and an equity action plan.
President Joe Biden’s 2024 budget proposal includes a $350 million capital grant toward extending Chicago’s Red Line south to 130th Street. The funding comes just three months after the City Council approved the creation of a new tax-increment financing district to create $950 million over three decades to help pay for the estimated $3.6 billion project.
The Port Authority has formally ended plans to bring Air Train service to LaGuardia airport, due to cost. The agency is exploring other alternatives, including an express bus service.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) announced Friday that it has ceased work on the King of Prussia railway extension project after the federal government declined its capital grant application.
San Diego police officials held public meetings in each of the city’s nine council districts to give residents an opportunity to weigh in on proposed surveillance technology that would revive the controversial “smart streetlight” program and add technology to those cameras, allowing the agency to collect drivers’ location data.
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.
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February 22, 2024
February 22, 2024