San Francisco, A Leading Immigrant Hub, Sues Trump Over Sanctuary City Order

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco, CA–On January 25th, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating that so-called “sanctuary cities”–or cities where local government officials choose not to cooperate with federal deportation agents–would lose federal funding. Now San Francisco has struck back, with a lawsuit titled City and County of San Francisco v. Donald J. Trump….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Oakland’s Warehouse Tragedy Resulted From Too Little Housing Construction

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

In the time since a warehouse fire killed 36 people in Oakland, several lengthy media reports have provided valuable context. As the cover story of this past weekend’s Los Angeles Times noted, the reason that so many people in Oakland live in illegal warehouses, amid unsafe conditions, is because they can’t afford anything else in the nation’s 4th priciest rental market. What these articles didn’t report–or misrepresented–was how prices got so high. Since 2010, Oakland, like much of the Bay Area, hasn’t even remotely allowed housing construction to meet population growth, causing, as the numbers show, a blatant imbalance…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Watch Scott’s Two TV Appearances On Austin’s Local News

Last week, I published articles about two hot-button Austin issues, Austin’s Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste and Austin Needs to Unleash Sixth Street. The articles got a lot of views and comments, leading to back-to-back nightly TV appearances on KVUE, Austin’s local ABC affiliate.

The articles also got much local print commentary, both negative and positive:

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Modern Zoning Would Have Killed Off America’s Dense Cities

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

For people who like dense, walkable, transit-oriented, cosmopolitan cities, there are only a few genuine options in America. They have New York City, Chicago, DC, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and maybe portions of a few other cities. These “legacy cities” are unique because they grew before the automobile, necessitating dense settlement patterns, while most other U.S. cities grew afterwards. But another, far less discussed, factor is that they grew before the evolution of strict zoning regulations. From the Industrial Era until World War II, these cities received floods of immigrants, and allowed developers to build housing for them, since there was very little legal framework to stop this.… Read more

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How No Zoning Laws Works For Houston

[Originally published by The Federalist]

 

Houston, TX — When traveling through America’s foremost boomtown, the atmosphere of change quickly becomes evident, from new buildings to added traffic. But one can’t truly appreciate this growth until on a balcony. So there I was one December evening in 2015 atop a high-rise, watching the sun set over Houston. My view was of an urban core that, contrary to its reputation, has become dense, global, and cosmopolitan. The panorama conveyed, moreover, growth that has been driven not by government centralization, but a laissez-faire mentality….[read the rest at The Federalist]… Read more

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Will San Francisco’s Solar Panel Mandate Increase Housing Costs?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Francisco has some of the nation’s highest housing prices, whether one is looking at median home values or median rents. One reason for this, among many, is the city’s rigorous approval process for new housing projects, which increases costs for developers. On April 19, the city added another layer, mandating that new buildings add solar photovoltaic panels. This will likely further increase said compliance and construction costs, which will then be passed onto consumers…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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St. Louis Torched By Six Recent Black Church Fires

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

The St. Louis area has been torched by a spate of church fires, and almost all of them have been predominately black, raising suspicions of racism in the already-tense city. Between October 8th and October 18th, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6 churches have caught fire within mere miles of each other. Four are on St. Louis’ north side, and the other two are in the nearby township of Jennings. Like the areas in which they sit, five of the churches catered to black congregations, and the other was racially-mixed…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Stumptown Coffee Hopes To Expand, Maintain Authenticity

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

I knew before visiting Portland several years ago that the city’s famously weird culture had caused the proliferation of cool coffee shops. But the one that really caught my eye was on 3rd Avenue in the heart of downtown. I had ridden my bike down from the nearby hills and parked at a shop that, in typical Portlandia fashion, had multiple bike racks out front. Once inside, I found a wide-open space with exposed bricks, sleek furniture, stoical tattooed baristas, and advanced coffee-making equipment within customer eyeshot.… Read more

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National League Of Cities Issues Report On Urban America’s Shaky Finances

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

The National League of Cities recently released its City Fiscal Conditions 2015 report, which surveys 100 large U.S. cities about the state of their finances. According to the report, there is a renewed optimism among finance officials about their cities, despite actual numbers suggesting the contrary….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Baltimore Gets Minor Federal Help Following Murder Spike

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

In the three months since Baltimore exploded with riots, the city has seen a record murder spike. Now, the federal government is sending in ten officials to quell the violence.

On Monday, the police department, joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, and other officials, partnered with the federal government to start the Baltimore Federal Homicide Task Force. For 60 days, the city will receive two officials each from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.… Read more

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