March 22: PA legislators on self-driving cars | gender-neutral bathrooms | post-LIHTC equity

Yesterday Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was charged by federal authorities on 23 counts of public corruption. NewsWorks has the details on the indictment and an Inquirer editorial says the charges detailed show Williams was “rotten from the start.”

Despite a slew of controversial and highly publicized scandals surrounding Uber front man Travis Kalanick, the rail-hailing company’s leadership stands by its contentious CEO, The Hill reports. Two female executives for the tech company, boardmember Arianna Huffington and human resources head Liane Hornsey, defend Kalanick and promise an overhaul of the company to foster inclusivity and equitable opportunities for advancement in a respectful workplace. In the last few weeks alone, former and current Uber employees have publicly criticized Kalanick for fostering a culture of sexism, aggressively arguing with one of his own employees, and most recently driving president Jeff Jones to quit.

Beyond Uber leadership drama, advancements in ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles are moving faster than lawmakers can create legal standards. Pennsylvania legislators are in for a wild ride as they craft the state’s first laws specific to self-driving cars on public roads, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Our Jim Saksa wrote about Pennsylvania and driverless cars back in September.

A dollar of equity won’t go as far under Trump’s proposed lowered tax rates, real estate investors worry. The affordable housing development market, facing the loss of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, has driven municipal agencies, developers and community organizations to scramble in an effort to patch the funding gap, MarketWatch reports.

Bathrooms tend to be the most expensive room per square foot, according to New York architect Joel Saunders, and “where social, political, psychological, technological, and legal forces all converge.” Inga Saffron interviews Joel on his “Stalled” initiative, which aims to design the universal bathroom that is inclusive, comfortable, and safe.

But in Pennsylvania, bathroom design is the least of some families’ concerns this week. The transgender school bathroom debate rages on, with the first case in the state where the student filing the complaint is not himself transgender. NewsWorks’ Avi Wolfman-Arent reports that on Tuesday an 11th grade student, with the backing of two conservative faith-based organizations, Alliance Defending Freedom and Independence Law Center, filed a lawsuit against the Boyertown Area School District for allowing a transgender student to change in the boys’ locker room.

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