Welcome back to The Weekly Wrap! Last week, we announced our 20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year Festival, taking place November 6-9, 2023, and our $50 event bundle, which registers you to all the events at once.
But if you want to sign up for the individual events, you can do that too! Just head to our event page to find the specific one you’re looking for — whether it’s our Pecha Kucha-style webinar about local and federal reperations, the discussion about making community development more equitable, or any of the other events we’ll be hosting that week.
We hope to see you there! Now onto this week’s briefs…
Scientists Warn About Key Climate Thresholds Passed This Year
A report released by the journal Bioscience found that 20 of 35 planetary vital signs used to track climate change have crossed key thresholds. Among those thresholds, “2023 has already seen 38 days with global average temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celcuis by 12 September — more than any other year — and the total may continue to rise,” according to the report. The other thresholds, “include things like ice sheet melt, greenhouse gas emissions, meat production, tree cover loss, and billion-dollar flood events, highlight the interconnectedness of the climate crisis,” according to Earther.
The changes are driven by human behavior pushing carbon into the atmosphere as well as regulatory changes, like “mandating the use of low-sulfur fuels in ocean shipping.” William Ripple, one of the study’s authors, told Earther, “I’m shocked at the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters this year. It seems like they’re happening most every day in the summer in the Northern Hemisphere.”
Report: 24% Fewer People Face Felony Disenfranchisement Since 2016
A new report from The Sentencing Project found that the number of people deprived of voting rights due to incarceration has decreased by 24% since 2016, when it reached its peak. This is because the overall prison and jail population dropped and policy reforms that have been put in place on the local level, including the expansion of rights to people on probation and parole in 12 states. Overall, 2 million people have regained the right to vote since 1997, according to the report.
California AG Successfully Sues Coronado for Flouting Affordable Development
The wealthy town of Coronado reached a legal agreement after being sued by the state attorney general, agreeing to follow a state law that requires cities to zone for their fair share of housing on their land, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Times, the city will permit construction of more than 900 homes, 70% of which will be priced for low- and moderate- income families. A decades-old state law in California requires that cities zone for housing based on a region by region calculation, takinginto account population growth and local incomes. But many cities flout or ignore the law, which doesn’t require that the cities fund or build the housing. The lawsuit from state attorney general Rob Bonta’s office reflects the urgency of the housing crisis and the degree to which wealthy Coronado was flouting the law. The city’s median home value is more than $2.4 million, according to the LA Times.
New York City’s Dangerous Vehicle Abatement Law Just Expired
Streetsblog reports that a 2020 law that gives judges discretion to force drivers with 15 or more speeding tickets to take a driving course is elapsing soon, and there is no plan to extend or replace the law from the city council or Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. The bill’s original language would have required that anyone who received five tickets for speeding or running a red light over a 12-month period have their car impounded, but the penalty was later softened. Only 885 people were required to take the driving class between October 2020 and March 2023, but Streetsblog reports that “tens of thousands” of people got 15 or more tickets in that time.
Houston Transfers Toxic Incinerator Site To Land Bank
Houston’s city council voted last week to transfer 4.56 acres of contaminated land in the city’s second ward to Houston Land Bank, ABC reports. The former Velasco incinerator site was active from the 1920s to the 1960s, and the soil underneath still contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other chemicals. The land bank hopes to eventually transform the site to a park after community outreach. The land is not structurally sound enough to house buildings, according to ABC.
Curated by Deonna Anderson
How community fridges are used to fight hunger and serve as a climate solutions. Grist
The luxury real estate community filed a lawsuit to challenge the “mansion tax” in Los Angeles but a judge dismissed the case and upheld Measure ULA, which was approved by voters last November. Los Angeles Times
In a 12-month guaranteed income program, Denver gave $1,000 per month to people experiencing homelessness. Here’s how it had an impact on their lives. My Modern Met
Partners for Sacred Places and the Greater Philadelphia Preservation Alliance launched the Philadelphia Fund for Black Sacred Places this week. The three-year project will expand equitable access to quality public spaces in Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and support Black congregations’ efforts to maintain their properties, cultural centers, and neighborhood landmarks for future generations. They’re accepting grant applications between November 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024. Learn more here.
Common Future is accepting applications for its three-month accelerator program, aimed at BIPOC women- and non-binary-led organizations that are actively working to dismantle economic inequality by giving power back to communities left out of prosperity. Cohorts receive $50,000 in unrestricted grants, a curated curriculum, personal coaching, mentorship, and connection to a peer-to-peer community. Applications are due by November 3. Learn more and apply here.
The National Black Food and Justice Alliance is accepting applications for its Mutual Aid, Resource, & Capacity Fund, which aims to suuport Black-centered farm and food organizations. Learn more here and access the application here.
Liberation Ventures and members of the Reparations Narrative Lab’s inaugural cohort will be hosting a conversation that will dive into what it takes to build narrative power for the Black reparations movement. Register at this link.
The Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University and the Centre for Public Impact will host the third annual The Opportunity Project For Cities Demo Day. November 2 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Learn more and register at this link.
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.
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.