As cities make deep cuts because of COVID-19, police departments are keeping their funding

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Across the country, the police are often the one city agency not facing deep cuts in proposed post-pandemic budgets. As protesters face off against incredibly well-equipped police, they’re asking what that money is for. As images from protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death have spread around the country, a key demand from protesters has been the defunding of city police departments: that cutting the money a city spends on police would, in fact, make communities safer. They’ve pointed to the tactical gear and equipment that the police have been pictured using as evidence that cities spend far too much money on their law enforcement, at the expense of other agencies that often lack funds to offer basic services to residents. Read Full Story

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Facing a $40 billion shortfall, U.S. transit agencies jump into real estate

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Ridership is down 79% nationally compared to pre-pandemic rates. So transit agencies in Silicon Valley, Atlanta, and beyond are getting creative. The pandemic has been devastating for public transit. According to the American Public Transportation Association, transit ridership in 2020 was down 79% nationally compared to pre-pandemic rates. And though no public transit agencies in the United States get all their revenue from ridership alone, the shortfall of riders is putting many transit agencies in a bind. Agencies face a collective budget shortfall of nearly $40 billion through the end of 2023. Read Full Story

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This DIY kit turns an Ikea box into a mask decontamination unit for hospitals on the brink

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As hospitals run out of protective gear and are forced to use masks over and over, scientists are looking for ways to make masks safer to reuse. This one would let hospitals make a simple machine to squeeze a longer life out of every mask they have. Hospitals still don’t have enough masks for the nurses and doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis—and in the U.S., at least 5,400 healthcare workers have been infected and at least 40 have died. N95 masks aren’t designed to be reusable , but many hospitals are now faced with no other choice. In New York City, nurses have reported being told to use the same mask for five shifts in a row. Read Full Story

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Here’s what defunding the police would look like in your city

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A new tool from the Vera Institute for Justice shows how police departments spend their budgets—and lets you experiment with reallocating them. Calls to defund police departments intensified after George Floyd was killed in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. But just how big are these budgets? A new infographic looks at the actual cost to cities across the country—and it’s huge. Read Full Story

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Cars have run their course in U.S. cities. Here’s what’s next

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“Cars are guests.” And they’re no longer welcome. Sticking closer to home because of COVID-19 has shown many people what cities can be like with less traffic, noise, congestion, and pollution. Roads and parking lots devoted to cars take up a lot of land . For example, in Phoenix, Los Angeles , and New York City , these spaces account for over one-third of each city’s total area. Read Full Story

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Feel like you’re stretched thin? Here’s how to be more intentional as a leader

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A business psychologist observes that the best leaders are those who can step into different roles without compromising their core mandates or their own health and wellness. Over the past year, leaders across industries and around the world have been called on to wear many hats. But advice to them during this same period—and there has been no shortage of it—has been contradictory. For example, as early as mid-March when many U.S. cities were facing their first lockdown, the Harvard Business Review urged leaders to slow down . Less than one month later, HBR ran an article urging leads to be decisive and act with urgency . Read Full Story

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