Pittsburgh Mayor Has Harsh Words for Uber on Its ‘Moral Obligation’


Connecting state and local government leaders

Also in our State and Local Daily Digest: Distracted driving deaths in Colorado; Massachusetts city calls for Trump impeachment; and Florida governor’s prosecutorial intervention.

CITY HALLS | Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto had some sharp words for Uber and CEO Travis Kalanick, saying in a statement and a newspaper interview that the ride-booking service needs to “fight for more than profit” and has “a moral obligation” to provide community benefits. The words come from a mayor who has previously welcomed Uber to his city, which has set up a robotics research facility in the Lawrenceville neighborhood and is testing self-driving cars on city streets. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is pressuring the City Council to maintain its ban on nonessential travel to North Carolina, which was implemented after the then Republican-controlled government passed a law prohibiting transgender people from using bathrooms other than the one for their “biological sex.” Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, struck a deal with the GOP-controlled legislature to repeal the law, but critics have argued it does not go far enough. “Cities should have every opportunity to make policies that affirm values of equal justice, protect people from hate and bias, and uphold the Constitutional right to self-determination,” Garcetti said. [City of Los Angeles]

Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to Harvard University and MIT, is the latest city to pass a resolution calling for an impeachment probe of President Trump, citing business conflicts of interest. The vote was 7-1 with one abstention and urges the U.S. House of Representatives to review whether Trump has violated the foreign or domestic emoluments clauses of the Constitution—prohibiting the president from profiting from his office aside from his salary. [CBS Boston]

TRAFFIC SAFETY | The executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation says that last year’s rise in roadway fatalities can be largely blamed on an “epidemic of distracted driving” in the state. “Ninety percent of crashes are a result of human error,” CDOT executive director Sahilen Bhatt said. “That’s why we don’t call them accidents, we call them crashes.” [The Denver Post]

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order that reassigns 21 first-degree murder cases from the purview of Orlando’s top prosecutor, Aramis Ayala, because she has said she would not pursue the death penalty. [National Public Radio]

HEALTH CARE | Indiana’s one-of-a-kind Medicaid system, HIP 2.0—which has been touted as a potential model for other states considering expansion—is under consideration by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the state’s formal request to continue operating the program. In comments submitted however, HIP 2.0 gets more criticism than praise. The program has support from hospitals and insurance companies, but many other stakeholders, including participants argue the program is far too complicated and confusing and isn’t as effective as more traditional Medicaid. [The Indianapolis Star]

IMMIGRATION | Detroit Police Chief James Craig tried to reassure the public that his department would not, and had no interest in detaining immigrants who were in the country without appropriate documentation. “We’re not trained to do it, and frankly I don’t want to do it,” Craig said. Craig also said that Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly relayed his agency did not want local governments involved in immigration enforcement. [Patch.com]

MARIJUANA | Currently, every ounce on medical pot that’s grown in Massachusetts is produced under special lights in industrial areas. But, now the state’s small organic farmers are looking to get in on the action. “People who voted for legalized marijuana should have the choice of smoking good, healthy, outdoor-grown weed,” says Ted Dobson, one such farmer. Currently, Dobson grows trendy crops like mesclun ad Swiss chard. “This is just another green I want in the mix,” he says about his desire to add marijuana to his rotation. However, it may be a long process to get pot onto his farm. Farmers who want to enter the industry face significant bureaucratic, legal and financial hurdles. [Globe Magazine]

MOBILITY | Officials in Boise, Idaho, are expanding the local bike-share network, GreenBike, which originally launched in 2015. [Idaho Statesman]