03.07.17 Buzz

In today’s Buzz: Gavin Grimm’s case is sent back to a lower court, schools plan to close tomorrow for “A Day Without A Woman,” and why mayors are so dang great.

This Buzz is brought to you by brunch: a meal, a verb, a lifestyle.

Right now with Kylie Bayer-Fertterer (LinkedIn/Twitter)

What I’m Listening to – Instrumental Hip Hop, on Pandora

What I’m Reading – Finishing up another Jack Reacher book

What I’m Watching – This Is Us, I am only on episode 3 and already had to go to Costco for Kleenex. 

What I’m Doing – Packing for my trip to Phoenix! 


  • GOP Releases Bills to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare: Yesterday Republicans issued legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees will vote tomorrow and the full House will vote in a few weeks. The new bill is centered on a tax credit to help Americans buy insurance.
  • Ben Carson Compares Slaves to Immigrants ‘Coming to a Land of Opportunity’: You probably saw this on social media yesterday afternoon but Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made some interesting comments comparing slaves to immigrants. 
  • Supreme Court Won’t Hear Major Case on Transgender Rights: Citing the Trump administration’s rollback on the rights of transgender students, the Supreme Court announced yesterday that it would not hear the case involving Gavin Grimm, the transgender high school student in Virginia. It is expected this case will return to the court in 1-2 years. This would have been the court’s first encounter with a case involving transgender rights.



Nifty Fifty

  • In Building Homes Near Highways, L.A. Ignores a Public Health Issue: Living in Los Angeles can be very expensive, and the city is exporting its poor in part because of high housing costs. But recent developments near highways have raised health concerns. “People there suffer higher rates of asthma, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and pre-term births. Recent research has added more health risks to the list, including childhood obesity, autism and dementia,” Tony Barboza and Jon Schleuss report for the Los Angeles Times.
  • Deja Vu: Muslim Ban 2.0 Looks a Lot Like the Original: The Trump Administration’s new executive order removes Iraq from the list of Muslim-majority countries and exempts legal permanent residents from the ban on travel. Activists say the new order still discriminates on the basis of faith and national origin.
  • Virginia School District to Close for ‘A Day Without a Woman’: A Northern Virginia school system is canceling classes for all students Wednesday after numerous teachers requested the day off to join a national day of protest called “A Day Without a Woman,” in which organizers are urging female workers to stay home.
  • Few Go to Prison on Felony Pot Charges, but Alabama Police Still Busy Making Arrests:Caught by an Alabama police officer for holding less than a couple pounds of marijuana? You may be convicted of a felony in this state, but you aren’t likely to go to prison – at least not the first time or two. And not if you are white.
  • Why I’m an Unabashed Fan of America’s Mayors: Lobbyists aside, spending quality time with elected officials is not high on anyone’s priority list these days. But I often tell people how much I love walking into a room of mayors.
  • What the Girl Scout Cookie Program Can Teach ALL of Us: By one of ELGL’s faves, Julie Underwood! It’s the best time of year! It’s Girl Scout cookie time! I get so excited when a Girl Scout rings our doorbell or we see a cookie table at our local grocery store. We load up on boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and Tagalongs. Yum!
  • The Neighborhood That Went to War Against Gentrifiers: In East L.A.’s Boyle Heights, an art gallery closes, and a group of activists and residents claim a victory in their battle against encroaching development.
  • Planners Across America: Making Albuquerque Land of Enchantment, Not Confusion: The city of Albuquerque is focused on bringing consistency and coherence to an unwieldy collection of planning and land use regulations. An interview with Albuquerque Planning Director Suzanne Lubar explores the city’s approach to the challenge.

Local Government Confidential

  • Neighborhood Updates Master Plan with Changing Chicago in Mind: Since at least the 1950s, when a highway construction project displaced thousands of residents, the Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Bucktown have been shaped by transportation networks. Adjacent neighborhoods are uniquely transit rich, sporting access to the Kennedy Expressway, the Blue Line rapid transit and two regional rail lines. Milwaukee Avenue, which cuts through the heart of Wicker Park, is one of Chicago’s most biked thoroughfares.
  • Months Later, Some Parks Are Protecting Themselves Against Pokémon Go Problems: When Pokémon Go was in its prime last year, many of the game’s more popular locations were parks. And some of those parks got trashed. Understandably, if also a little late (at least for Pokémon Go), local governments are now taking steps to try and stop this happening again. Side note: I miss this game and will pick it back up when the weather improves.
  • Former Emergency Managers Due Back in Court for Water Crisis Charges: Two former state-appointed emergency managers facing charges from the Flint water crisis are due back in court Tuesday morning.