Connecting state and local government leaders
Also: Aging Twin Cities suburbs go begging for subsidies and a look at where Confederate flag rallies have taken place.
Here’s some of what we’ve been reading today …
FRESNO COUNTY, California: The great drought is putting into effect the 2012 Mitt Romney “self-deportation” immigration plan across the Central Valley farmland this year. The rains didn’t come. So the crops were never planted. The butter lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, garlic and onions are all gone. So are the immigrant field workers. And, as the Los Angeles Times reports, they took their kids with them. Federally funded Migrant Head Start child care centers in the area are now closing their doors for lack of students. So the Head Start workers are leaving the area, too.
In related immigration news: GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s “self deportation” immigration plan comes with a twist. As Ezra Klein puts it at Vox, his proposed policy is to motivate unauthorized immigrants to leave mainly by targeting their children and families. Trump would outlaw tax credits aimed at supporting the children (many of whom are U.S. citizens) and he would confiscate the billions of dollars unauthorized immigrants send every year to their families abroad.
In other California drought news: Miracle water-saving reservoir shade balls.
[Los Angeles Times, Vox, Time Magazine]
TORONTO, Ontario: Local government officials and employees who have used the services of Canada-based relationship-cheating site Ashley Madison, you’re on notice: As John Herman writes at The Awl, data collected by the site and allegedly stolen is reported to contain more than 35 million email addresses and every credit card transaction made through the site over the last seven years. Hackers at 4Chan have been combing through the data and posting discoveries. Guess where they decided to look first?
They started by searching for people with government email addresses, university email addresses, and addresses associated with major corporations. This is unfolding very quickly, already revealing the email addresses of students, teachers, public servants and municipal employees.
Stay tuned ... [The Awl]
AUSTIN, Texas: In the wake of the death of Sandra Bland, who allegedly hanged herself in a Waller County lockup after being arrested on a minor traffic violation, the Lone Star State Senate is launching a special inquiry into jail safety policies. Hearings will begin in September.
“I think we have an emergency,” Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee conducting the investigation, told the Austin American-Statesman. “When people enter the criminal justice system, when we take their liberty away from them, we have a responsibility to make sure they’re safe.”
After Bland’s death in July, a state investigation found jailers lacked sufficient mental health training and that they failed to adequately monitor prisoners under their watch. [Austin American-Statesman]
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: City to suburbs: “How you like me now, Mr. Great Big Strip Mall, Mrs. Six-Lane Road?” The Star Tribune reports that Twin Cities suburbs are leaning on a state-tax-supported “controversial development subsidy” to undertake major revitalization projects. The subsidy used to prop up projects in the state’s two major cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, but the script has flipped, and the suburbs now need the help. As the Star Tribune puts it: “The tax tool is now underwriting growing visions of suburban renewal as the first generation of postwar suburbia reaches middle age.” [Star Tribune]
NATIONWIDE: The Washington Post mapped the 173 pro-confederate flag rallies that have been held in the two months since the Charleston church shooting. The Old South states have hosted most of the rallies. Also participating: Arizona, Michigan, Oregon. [The Washington Post]
John Tomasic is a journalist based in Boulder, Colorado.
NEXT STORY: Route Fifty City-County Roadtrip Recap: Baltimore City Hall’s Tough Year