Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Silhouettes of people outside the Denver City and County Building. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver City Council approved on Monday amendments to the city’s Code of Ethics that will help protect the identity of whistleblowers by allowing anonymous complaints.

Why it matters: Filing an ethics complaint against Denver officials will no longer require the disclosure of personal information, like one's name and home address.

  • A 2020 city auditor survey of Denver employees found that 43% of respondents said they either wouldn’t file a complaint if they witnessed an ethics violation or were less likely to if they could not do so anonymously.
  • City officials also indicated the top two reasons they avoided reporting ethics violations were "fear of retaliation" and because they "did not expect any action" to be taken.

The backdrop: The Denver Board of Ethics — a five-member panel appointed by the mayor and city council to regulate Code of Ethics compliance — releases findings and opinions, but lacks disciplinary power.

  • The new amendments, however, now bolster the board with the ability to ask for follow-up information to determine whether agencies abided by its recommendations.
Data: The Denver Board of Ethics; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Yes, but: The board still lacks the authority to hold officers, officials and employees fully accountable.

  • In the one rare instance within the last decade that the board found a city official had violated the code, "the appointing authority both publicly stated it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t really take very serious action," said Jane Feldman, who’s served on and off the board for the past six years.

What to watch: Feldman and other board members are pushing for independent enforcement authority. And council member Kevin Flynn, who sponsored this round of amendments, said he is "interested" in moving forward with their idea.

Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

Apr 26, 2021 - Axios Denver

Denver looks to tech to make its streets safer to stroll

A ghost bike in Denver honoring a cyclist killed at the intersection of West Bayaud Avenue and South Tejon Street. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver is leveraging smart technology to improve safety for bikers and pedestrians.

Why it matters: The investment in tech could position the city as a national leader in safety innovation and move it closer to achieving the goal of ending all traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

  • Ten pedestrians were killed in Denver last year, city data shows, and at least one pedestrian has died in a crash this year.

Driving the news: Denver will become the first U.S. city to launch a study using "smart" bike light technology to improve cyclist safety, the Downtown Denver Partnership announced last week.

  • The study will be conducted by See.Sense, a U.K.-based cycling tech company whose bike lights have sensors that can detect behavior like severe braking and swerving, helping identify where Denver cyclists experience challenges such as rough pavement or close calls with drivers.
  • The data will be gathered over a year from 300 volunteers, and findings will help officials improve "safety, connectivity and equity," according to the downtown business advocacy group.

What they’re saying: "There's truth to the saying, 'what gets measured gets done,'" said Jill Locantore, head of Denver Streets Partnership, a coalition of community groups advocating for people-friendly streets.

  • "They've also made a concerted effort to recruit a diversity of people who bike, which will help inform the design of bike [systems] that are safe and comfortable for all kinds of people," she told Axios.

What else: Denver’s transportation department is deploying artificial intelligence to improve street safety, particularly for pedestrians using crosswalks.

  • New technology is being tested at certain high-trafficked crosswalks that can detect pedestrians and keep a red light from turning green until they finish crossing.
  • Eventually, city engineers hope the signals could also send a message to vehicles to alert drivers, Denverite reports.

Baseline data is currently being collected from four intersections: Green Valley Ranch Boulevard and Walden Street; 29th Street and Galena Street; Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Galena Street; and Morrison Road and Raleigh Street.

  • 17 other locations are under consideration, an agency spokesperson tells Axios.

The big picture: City planners across the country are working on ways to make crosswalks safer, as they become a growing site of preventable deaths — often with distracted driving to blame, writes Axios’ Jennifer Kingston.

Apr 26, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Minnesota campaign finance watchdog in limbo without full board

Photo by: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Minnesota's campaign finance watchdog agency will lack teeth for at least a month, after legislators failed to approve three of Gov. Tim Walz's appointees.

Why it matters: Without a quorum, the six-member Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure board can't meet or move forward with investigations and fines targeting politicians and groups that break the state's political disclosure laws.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.