Welcome back to The Weekly Wrap! Next week, we’ll be having a handful of conversations in celebration of our 20th Anniversary. Tap here to learn more about each of our Solutions of the Year Festival events.
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San Francisco Bans Street Vendors In The Mission
San Francisco announced a proposed 90 day ban on licensed street vendors in the city’s Mission District, leading to pushback, the San Francisco Standard reports. The announcement from City Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s office linked the moratorium to wider issues of drug use, homelessness and crime, claiming that some vendors were selling stolen fruit. Ronen wrote that the “Mission’s vulnerable small businesses and residents deserve streets and a public transportation system that they can easily access and that is safe,” apparently not counting vendors among small businesses. Ronen said that city workers enforcing street vending laws were being assaulted and facing threats and that some wore bullet proof vests to work.
“Ninety days is a long time,” one vendor told SF Standard, adding, “The people that are here need money month to month because the landlord isn’t going to wait more than one month for the rent.”
How Solar Is Being Promoted in Coal Country
Grist reports on the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia, which is pushing policy and advocating for solar energy and a green transition in coal country. The region is the fourth most coal-dependent in the country, according to Grist. The Solar Workgroup benefits from provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act directed to low-income and coal communities, allowing them to save 60% per installation, and the savings are passed on to consumers. Solar could be responsible for more than 2,000 new jobs in the region by 2028.
Oakland Gathers Input For Potential Highway Removal
Oaklandside reports that the city of Oakland is planning to get rid of the I-980 freeway, which was completed in 1980 after 500 homes and four churches in a predominantly Black neighborhood were demolished. But the plan is in its very early stages, with state and city officials soliciting public feedback in January 2024. Caltrans will then study different options in Fall 2026. The highway might be torn out entirely, capped or turned into a park. It’s one of many highway teardown projects across the country that could be facilitated with federal infrastructure funds.
Portland Wealth Tax Will Bring in $1 Billion More Than Expected
A new Portland tax meant to fund homeless services could bring in $1 billion more than expected over the next six years, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. The tax is now expected to bring in $437 million annually by 2026, whereas initial estimates showed it would bring in $250 million annually. The tax, implemented in 2020, includes a 1% income tax on people making over $125,000 a year and a 1% tax on businesses that make over $5 million annually. The unexpected increase in revenue is a result of the city’s wealthiest residents getting even wealthier: Between 2020 and 2021 alone, the number of people making over $250,000 increased by 25%.
Art Forum Fires Editor in Chief Over Ceasefire Letter
Art Forum’s editor-in-chief David Velasco was fired by parent company Penske Media on October 26 after the magazine published an open letter calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, Hyperallergic reports. “I have no regrets … I’m disappointed that a magazine that has always stood for freedom of speech and the voices of artists has bent to outside pressure,” Velasco told the New York Times. The Intercept reports that it was the result of high-profile collectors, including a Bed, Bath and Beyond heir who owns millions of dollars of artwork purchased from some of the letter’s thousands of signatories. After Velasco’s firing, several high profile editors resigned and writers have been pulling articles from Art Forum, as well as Penske Media owned publications ARTnews and Art in America.
Curated by Deonna Anderson
LISC pledged $50 million match to double Richmond’s housing investment. Earlier in 2023, the city declared a housing crisis. Richmond BizSense
As medical debt is removed from people’s credit reports, their scores increase. “Credit scores depressed by medical debt, for example, can threaten people’s access to housing and fuel homelessness,” according to the outlets. KFF Health News and NPR
Police departments are taking notes from Denver and how its officers investigate nonfatal shootings. The Marshall Project
The Urban Institute is hosting a conversation with Luke Shaefer, co-authors of “The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America.” November 16, 2023 at 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eastern. In-person or virtual. Learn more here.
Plus, check out other events from Next City and our partners!
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.