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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mike Allen talk Future of Work. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios

Axios' Mike Allen was in Chicago last week to discuss the Future of Work 💼 and smart cities 🏙 with:

  • T.H. Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, Chicago; T.H. G.T. Bynum, Mayor, Tulsa; Mr. Imir Arifi, Head of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Health Care Service Corporation.

Mike, and over 120 Chicagoans, learned how AI and data can make cities smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mike Allen. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios

What is a smart city? "There’s a lot of different interpretations of what a smart city is," says Mayor Emanuel. "My view is using data to be more interactive, focused and tailored to the resident than we are today.”

Data has even enabled Chicago to shift from reactive to proactive policing methods.

Why it matters: Since adopting this technique, shootings in the South Side neighborhood of Englewood have decreased 67 percent.

How to become a tech hub: “Chicago has the most diversified economy in the country," says Mayor Emanuel. "No sector drives more than 14% of the economy. Diversity is an asset, not a liability."

1 big thing from Mayor Emanuel: "The biggest thing [...] is inclusion. Making sure that everybody can participate...all communities feel like it is helping them."

Mayor G.T. Bynum and Mike Allen. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios

Mayor Bynum on innovation in Tulsa: “With increasing creative destruction in industries, Tulsa is a top city for young professionals."

How cities are powerful: "Cities have an opportunity to focus on solving problems," says Mayor Bynum, "and not be dragged down by the partisan warfare on the national level."

Mr. Imir Arifi and Mike Allen. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios

How cities can use health care innovation: “Just like we’re applying technology to make health care more affordable, accessible and sustainable," says Arifi, "the city of Chicago could use it to make education more effective to improve test scores."

This is not science fiction. This is here now.
— Mr. Imir Arifi, Head of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Health Care Service Corporation
Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios
Future of Snacks. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios
Automated chia seed parfait station. Photo: Chris Dilts for Axios

Thank you to everyone who joined us and to Koch Industries for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.

U.S. Chamber decides against political ban for Capitol insurrection

A pedestrian passes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters as it undergoes renovation. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed Friday it won't withhold political donations from lawmakers who simply voted against certifying the presidential election results and instead decide on a case-by-case basis.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the marquee entity representing businesses and their interests in Washington. Its memo, obtained exclusively by Axios, could set the tone for businesses debating how to handle their candidate and PAC spending following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.