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The Weekly Wrap: Biden Administration Rule Change Could Ramp Up EV Production

Also, planning boards don’t reflect their communities.

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2032 Could Be The Year We See More EVs On The Road

The Biden administration has proposed new vehicle standards that could dramatically increase the share of electric vehicles on the road. The proposed standards could mean a projected 67% of passenger vehicles and 46% of heavy vehicles sold in the United States are all-electric by 2032, according to the New York Times. The standards, which rely on the executive authority in the Clean Air Act, will likely face lawsuits amid claims of overreach.

The Biden administration is intervening in a dispute between states relying on water from the Colorado River, which is facing historic drought. Any plan that the administration moves forward on could result in economic losses and rising water costs for some states that rely on the river, Grist reports.

In New York, A Proposal To Reduce Car Use

On the local level, New York Senator Andrew Gounardes introduced legislation requiring a change in the environmental review process, Streetsblog reports. Most projects that require public review go through an environmental assessment, but it often looks at whether traffic will increase as a result. Gounardes’ legislation would revise the process to look at how much a given project would decrease car use. A similar standard went into effect in California during the pandemic. Gounardes’ legislation would have the goal of reducing vehicle miles driven by 15% by 2050.

Who Makes Planning Choices? Typically Not Women, People of Color, and Renters.

A report from the Urban Institute reinforced what many already knew: white people are overrepresented on planning boards when compared to the populations they serve. The report found that “non-Hispanic white residents are overrepresented by 15 percentage points” and “45% of land-use boards have a membership that is at least 95% white, even though only 5% of jurisdictions have such high white population shares.” Men were overrepresented on average by 20 percentage points.

Reparations In California Might Be An Uphill Battle

According to Cal Matters, a reparations task force empaneled by California in 2020 will face a steep hill trying to get its recommendations passed in the legislature. Cal Matters emailed 80 assembly members to gauge their support for the task force; three said they supported it and the rest did not respond.

The task force has not settled on recommendations yet, but in March decided payments could go to descendants of enslaved people in California or to residents who have experienced five ongoing injustices including “health, disproportionate mass incarceration and over-policing, housing discrimination, unjust property taken by eminent domain and the devaluation of Black-owned businesses,” according to Cal Matters.

Missouri Libraries Face Defunding Proposal

Missouri’s House of Representatives passed a budget that would defund the state’s library system, Salon reports. The budget would still need to pass the state Senate, where legislators said they would restore the $4.5 million in funding that had been zeroed out. The cuts are in response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Missouri Libraries Association targeting a law that has led to hundreds of books being removed from shelves.


  • In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed introduced a plan to convert the city’s unused downtown office buildings into homes. ABC7 Bay Area

  • Chicagoans voted in a new mayor last week. Here’s what the election of Brandon Johnson means for environmental justice. Grist

  • In North Carolina, members of Trinity Moravian Church purchased nearly $3.3 million of local residents’ medical debt for much less. More Perfect Union

    • ICYMI: Next City Senior Economic Justice Correspondent Oscar Perry Abello reported about local governments using federal aid to cancel medical debt.

  • St. Paul joined the Just Deeds Coalition to offer residents help in removing racist language from their deeds. Axios Twin Cities


  • Transportation: The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities at Notre Dame and King County will discuss the county’s income-based approach to transit fares. Tuesday, April 14 at 4 p.m. Eastern. Register here.

  • Poverty: The Urban Institute will be hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matt Desmond to discuss his bestselling new book, “Poverty, by America.” Wednesday, May 3 at 12 p.m Eastern. Register here.

  • Critical Race Theory: The Shriver Center on Poverty Law and the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute will bring together policymakers and social justice advocates to talk about how whitewashing American history holds us back from real progress. May 4 at 12 p.m. Eastern. Register here.

This article is part of The Weekly Wrap, a newsletter rounding up stories that explain the problems oppressing people in cities and elevate the solutions bringing us closer to economic, environmental and social justice. Click here to subscribe to The Weekly Wrap newsletter.

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Roshan Abraham is Next City's housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

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