Cozen Cities – November 1, 2023

November 2, 2023

Gig Economy & Technology

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Selected as Federal Tech Hub for AI, Biotechnology

The Baltimore region has been awarded a federal designation as a national tech hub, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and create tens of thousands of jobs.

CHICAGO — CTIT Launches Ambitious Plan for City Transformation

The City of Chicago announced the launch of the Chicago Taskforce on Innovation and Technology (CTIT), an initiative dedicated to advancing new solutions in public safety, smart government, and connected infrastructure.

NEW YORK — AI Action Plan Released by the Adams Administration

The Adams administration released the “New York City Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan,” developing a framework for city agencies to evaluate AI tools and risks and support the implementation of technology citywide.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Region Wins Federal Tech Hub Designation

The Philadelphia region has been selected as one of 31 federal innovation and technology hubs under a new U.S. Department of Commerce program designed to spur advanced manufacturing.

Labor & Employment

CHICAGO — Police Union, Johnson Reach Deal on Two-Year Contract Extension With Bigger Raises, Bonuses for Cops

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced that negotiators had reached a deal to extend the contract for Chicago’s more than 10,000 police officers for an additional two years with an agreement that includes bigger than expected raises and bonuses, as well as changes city officials said will reduce murders and crime on public transit.

CHICAGO — Vote Delayed on Plan to Expand Workers’ Paid Time Off Amid Fierce Push Back by Chicago Business Groups

Allies of Mayor Brandon Johnson delayed a vote on a proposal to require employers to offer their workers 12 days of paid time off in the face of fierce opposition from Chicago’s business community.

DETROIT — Ford, UAW Reach Tentative Deal to End Labor Strikes

The tentative deal includes 25% pay increases over the terms of the agreement and will cumulatively raise the top wage to more than $40 an hour, including an increase of 68% for starting wages to over $28 an hour.

NEW YORK — Remote Work Pilot Expanded for Non-Union Employees

Over 16,500 non-union city employees will now be able to work remotely up to two days a week following a successful pilot with DC37.

PHILADELPHIA — How Can Philadelphia’s Next Mayor Promote Private-Sector Job Growth

According to a Center City District report, Philadelphia lags behind its peer cities in terms of private-sector job growth. Many are hoping the next mayor will work to more radically reduce Philadelphia’s business income and receipts tax.

PHILADELPHIA — PHL Restaurant Workers Vote to Strike

Food service workers at two restaurants in the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) — Independence Prime and Local Tavern — have voted to authorize a strike.

Policy & Politics

CHICAGO — Chicago Quietly Renews Controversial Migrant Shelter Staffing Contract

Mayor Brandon Johnson this week quietly reupped a $40 million controversial migrant shelter contract with Favorite Healthcare Staffing that some alders had called “shameful” and “insanity.”

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Bass Signs Executive Directive to Upgrade City Services

Mayor Karen Bass signed her fifth executive directive to improve the customer experience of Angelenos requesting city services by decreasing wait times, enhancing the quality of the service and better communicating the result of service requests.

PHILADELPHIA — Mayoral Candidates Make Media Rounds in Final Stretch of Campaign

In the leadup to the general election, Democrat Cherelle Parker and Republican David Oh have participated in a live town hall with 6ABC, a joint interview with editorial board of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the only debate of this election cycle with KYW Newsradio.

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Democrats Expel Member for WFP Endorsement

Philadelphia Democratic City Committee Chair Bob Brady expelled a committee member for her endorsement of Working Families Party (WFP) candidates for City Council, which he claims is a violation of party rules.

Public Health & Safety

BALTIMORE — Safe Streets Program Effectiveness Called Into Question

The recent drug conviction of a former employee of Safe Streets, a program that hires ex-cons to mediate conflicts in communities, renewed concerns about the organization’s effectiveness at keeping Baltimore streets safe.

BALTIMORE — Violence Increasing Around Baltimore City Schools

Already this year, several teens and even a 12-year-old have been shot near a Baltimore City School. With only two months into the school year, the level of violence will likely match that of the last school year.

BOSTON — New Ordinance Banning Tents, Tarps From Public Streets

Police and public health workers will begin enforcing a new ordinance banning tents and tarps from public streets, with the aim of clearing the tent encampment around Mass and Cass.

CHICAGO — Top Cop Vows to Rid Chicago Police Department of Officers Tied to Proud Boys, Oath Keepers

Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling vowed to rid the Chicago Police Department of officers with ties to hate groups and far-right extremist organizations after “stringent” and “thorough” investigations.

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Bass Celebrates $48 Million Federal Grant to Expand and Strengthen Clean Energy in L.A.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) was approved to receive $48 million in federal dollars to enhance its grid flexibility, improve the resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change, and ensure Los Angeles has access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity throughout all areas of the City.

PHILADELPHIA — Philly Counts Advocates for Use of Lifesaving Narcan to Prevent Overdose Deaths

Philly Counts is combating the disproportionate number of overdose deaths seen in Black and brown communities through door-to-door canvassing efforts intended to destigmatize the use of Narcan, a lifesaving overdose treatment drug.

RICHMOND — Richmond Looks To Expand VCU Police’s Jurisdiction

Richmond City Council is considering a proposal that would allow Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) police to expand their authority to surrounding neighborhoods not already in the department’s jurisdiction.

SEATTLE — Kings County to Begin Office of Gun Violence Prevention

Kings County will create a new Regional Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The office will expand violence-intervention services and work with federal agencies to combat gun violence in the area.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — D.C. Mayor’s Crime Bill Would Make Changes on Chokeholds, Police Chases

Mayor Muriel Bowser recently unveiled the new Addressing Crime Trends (ACT) Now Act of 2023, which would redefine what constitutes a chokehold by police, allow some vehicle pursuits by police, and create new penalties for organized retail theft.

Real Estate Development

BALTIMORE — With New Offices, Apartments, Harbor Point’s Profile Continues to Change

It’s been 13 years since this former harborside industrial Harbor Point neighborhood began its Cinderella-like transformation into 9-to-5 offices, hotels, and luxury apartment buildings.

CHICAGO — Mayor Johnson Taps Chicago Native, Real Estate Executive to Lead Planning Department

Mayor Brandon Johnson tapped Ciere Boatright, a real estate executive with deep ties to the South and West sides, to lead the city’s Department of Planning and Development.

DETROIT — City of Detroit Launches New Online Estimator Tool

The City of Detroit launched a new online tool for homeowners to estimate their property tax cut under the proposed Land Value Tax Plan. Under the plan, residential homeowners will see an average 17% cut in property taxes, with 97% of homeowners seeing tax savings and none seeing an increase.

SAN DIEGO — New Home Construction to be Accelerated in San Diego with SANDAG Funds

According to the City of San Diego, $4.8 million is being allocated for these efforts through SANDAG’s Housing Acceleration Program. Officials say the money will be used to support local governments, developers, tribal nations, and transit agencies to develop policies that will help quicken home production.

Taxes & Spending

CHICAGO — “Mansion Tax” Proposal Heads to City Council for Vote

The City Council will vote next week on a proposal to ask Chicago voters if they support raising the one-time tax on high-end property sales, setting up a fierce referendum campaign between advocates who say the money is needed to combat homelessness against a real estate industry arguing it will hurt an already reeling market.

LOS ANGELES — “Mansion Tax” Prevails in Court as Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Measure ULA

An L.A. County judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging L.A.’s “mansion tax,” marking the end of a months-long legal challenge from the luxury real estate community that looked to declare the measure unconstitutional.

SEATTLE — Voters to Decide on $970 Million Levy on Affordable Housing

The newest Seattle Housing Levy, which will be on the Seattle ballot next month, would raise $970 million over seven years, triple the existing levy that will expire at the end of 2023. However, the city’s need for new affordable housing is far outpaced by what the levy is expected to build.

Transportation & Mobility

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Neighbors Discuss Support for, Frustration with Bike Lane Projects

At a recent City Council meeting, Baltimore community members debated the merits of the Complete Streets ordinance, which was passed five years ago with the goal of granting more priority to bikes, pedestrians, and public transportation passengers.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego MTS Rolls Out its First All-Electric Bus Routes in South Bay

San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) cut the ribbon Friday, October 13 on its new all-electric bus route through San Diego County’s South Bay communities. Twelve new electric buses will transport upwards of 5,000 people every day on the new Rapid Route 227 between the Otay Mesa Port of Entry and Imperial Beach.


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