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New Leases In New York State Will Require Flood Disclosures
As of June 21, new leases in New York state will have to include information about whether the unit being rented is in an area at risk of flooding or if it’s been damaged due to flooding, The City reports. Despite past damage, developers have continued to build housing in flood-prone areas like Coney Island. Six other states, including California, Texas and Oregon require renters to receive flood disclosures. Such disclosures may not dissuade lower-income renters from living in flood prone areas if their options are limited, and might not impact people living in informal basement apartments, many of whom do not have a lease.
In related news, climate risk is drastically changing the insurance landscape, as State Farm has stopped accepting new homeowner insurance applications in California, NPR reports. And the San Francisco Chronicle confirms that Allstate has also stopped “writing new homeowner, condominium and commercial insurance policies in California.”
California Transit Officials Ask For Capital Funds In State Budget
Leaders in California are urging Governor Gavin Newsom to reverse $2 billion in capital funding cuts from the state budget, Streetsblog reports. State Senator Scott Wiener joined advocates and transit leaders in calling for the cuts to be reversed at a time when falling pandemic ridership has hurt the revenues of transit agencies across the country.
In New York City, Streetsblog reports that the NYPD has cut 483 unfilled crossing guard positions from the budget. The job is dangerous, with guards vulnerable to injury and harassment, and the pay is slightly above minimum wage.
Mountain Valley Pipeline Approval in Debt Limit Bill Raises Alarm
The recent debt limit agreement, which still has to make its way through Congress, includes approval of permits for The Mountain Valley Pipeline, a 303-mile natural gas pipe from West Virginia to Virginia. According to Grist, the debt limit bill “protects the permits from judicial review.” Environmental advocates warn that moving forward with the project would lead to 89 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses a year. The bill would also speed up environmental reviews mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Minnesota Legalizes Marijuana
Minnesota became the 23rd state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana. The AP reports that on August 1, it will be legal to grow and use cannabis at home. Legal possession is limited to 2 pounds at home and 2 ounces in public. Additionally, there will be a limit of 800 milligrams of THC in edibles. It will take up to a year for retail cannabis stores to be up and running but a 10% cannabis sales tax will eventually be instituted.
People across the state who were convicted of misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor possession will also have those convictions expunged, a process that could take over a year.
Climate Activists Who Targeted Degas Sculpture Indicted
Two climate activists who targeted an Edgar Degas sculpture, “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” were indicted and taken into custody on May 27, according to Hyperallergic. Timothy Martin and Joanna Smith were charged with “conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States” and could face five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
The duo doused the painting with red and black paint on plexiglass surrounding the sculpture on April 27. Video captured by the Washington Post does not appear to show any damage to the sculpture, although the museum says the sculpture was damaged. The couple was protesting for political leaders to take “serious action” on climate change.
Curated by Deonna Anderson
MORE NEWS AND RESOURCES
Black San Franciscans, who have faced deep housing discrimination, are fighting for reparations. A plan is almost ready for submission but funding hasn’t been secured. (SF Public Press)
“If we can understand that cities are part of nature — even if they don’t really look like nature — that means we’ve got to change how we plan with them, how we work with them, and what our future looks like on spaceship Earth,” says Adrian McGregor, founder and chief design officer at McGregor Coxall. (CityLab)
Chicago City Council approves $51 million in migrant aid. Alderperson Andre Vasquez says the city will still need much more money from state and federal sources to support migrants. (Axios)
In Seattle, city agencies and companies are embracing the principles of a circular economy. (GreenBiz)
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.