Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. – NYTimes.com

States have banned local ordinances on minimum wage increases, paid sick days and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. They’ve bannedsanctuary cities.” They’ve even banned a number of bans (it’s now illegal for Michigan cities to ban plastic bags, for Texas towns to ban fracking).

A law passed in Arizona last year threatens to withhold shared state revenue from local governments that adopt ordinances in conflict with state policy. Texas’ new sanctuary city law imposes civil fines as high as $25,500 a day on local governments and officials who block cooperation with federal immigration requests. And it threatens officials who flout the law with removal from office and misdemeanor charges.

Read the Article at the Source: Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. – NYTimes.com

Texas’ four largest cities are now suing the state in response. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, has been a vocal advocate for state laws that he says are necessary to protect individual liberty from local government overreach. When cities overstep their bounds, he said this year, they “should have to pay a price for it.”

Policies in these states block or limit local laws.

These new pre-emption laws echo 19th-century “ripper bills,” legal scholars say, state laws that ripped control from cities over their finances, utilities, police forces and local charters. The backlash against them helped spur the movement for local control in the United States. Now home rule is under a “troubling nationwide assault,” warn municipal lawyers and law professors, including Mr. Davidson, in an amicus brief supporting another legal fight, in Cleveland.

There, Ohio passed a law blocking a longstanding requirement that city construction contracts hire some local workers. Cleveland, in other words, was trying to ensure that local projects created local jobs, alleviating local poverty.

Both state legislators and municipal groups agree that pre-emption laws have proliferated in the last few years in number and in the breadth of issues they touch. They disagree on who started the fight: states in stripping municipal power, or cities in seizing new roles that weren’t theirs to begin with.

Read the Read of the Article at the Source: Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. – NYTimes.com

Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord – The New York Times

It was unclear how, exactly, that submission to the United Nations would take place. Christiana Figueres, a former top United Nations climate official, said there was currently no formal mechanism for entities that were not countries to be full parties to the Paris accord.

Ms. Figueres, who described the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw as a “vacuous political melodrama,” said the American government was required to continue reporting its emissions to the United Nations because a formal withdrawal would not take place for several years.

But Ms. Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change until last year, said the Bloomberg group’s submission could be included in future reports the United Nations compiled on the progress made by the signatories of the Paris deal.

Read the Article at the Source: Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord – The New York Times

There are 195 countries committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the 2015 agreement.

Still, producing what Mr. Bloomberg described as a “parallel” pledge would indicate that leadership in the fight against climate change in the United States had shifted from the federal government to lower levels of government, academia and industry.

Mr. Bloomberg, a United Nations envoy on climate, is a political independent who has been among the critics of Mr. Trump’s climate and energy policies.

Mayors of cities including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City have signed on — along with Pittsburgh, which Mr. Trump mentioned in his speech announcing the withdrawal — as have Hewlett-Packard, Mars and dozens of other companies.

Finish the Article at the Source: Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord – The New York Times

Trump budget proposal would result in ‘big impacts for cities’ around the world | Citiscope

WASHINGTON — Reaction to U. S. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, which calls for deep cuts in federal agencies responsible for the environment and diplomacy while ramping up defence spending, has been swift in cities from coast to coast. But the impact of the proposal could be felt by urban areas well beyond U. S. shores.

Article: Trump budget proposal would result in ‘big impacts for cities’ around the world by GREGORY SCRUGGS MARCH 23, 2017

Last week, the White House released a blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that would sharply reduce funding for domestic housing assistance and mass transit while eliminating a grant programme for community development. The potential impact has left advocates for cities flabbergasted.

“Here’s an incomplete list of the things the new U. S. budget would make worse in American cities,” said ICLEI USA Executive Director Angie Fyfe. “Air quality, morning commutes, water pollution in rivers and lakes, insurance against floods and other climate-adverse events, energy efficiency of our appliances, therefore energy independence, wildlife refuge, public and affordable housing.”

[See: What effect could President Trump have on U. S. cities’ climate action?]

It’s important to recognize that the Trump budget is nothing more than a proposal. The U. S. president makes budget recommendations that typically carry significant weight, particularly in their broad vision, but ultimately it is lawmakers in Congress who decide on the country’s spending at both the macro and micro levels. In its broad brushes, however, Trump’s proposal makes clear what it would like to see on the cutting block.

One key area that appears to be receiving particular attention for cuts is U. S. foreign aid, in all of its flavours. In his budget, Trump is making good on his “America First” pledge with plans to slash the State Department by 28 percent, cut down the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by 30 percent, and reduce funding to the United Nations by 20 percent.

Still, as legislators and advocates gear up for a major battle in the coming months, it is unclear the potential effect of a tightened U. S. budget on international urban development. Indeed, it may not have much direct impact, because of the convoluted way in which foreign aid money is channeled through departments such as USAID.

[See: In Mexico City for climate talks, U. S. mayors get advice on how to deal with Donald Trump]

Nevertheless, the United States is a major foreign-aid player and a key signatory to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which will require action at the city level to deliver on ambitious plans to reduce emissions. And while Washington has traditionally played a bigger role in areas such as humanitarian assistance and fighting disease, a budgetary rollback the likes of which is seen in the Trump proposal is clear for many.

“If the budget were to be approved in its current form,” said ICLEI’s Yunus Arikan, “there would be indeed big impacts for cities.”

Climate conundrum

Given that cities are responsible for 70 percent of global emissions of greenhouse gases, local climate plans are essential to the international effort to rein in global warming.

Cities in the developing world, in turn, are counting on the Green Climate Fund, a globally agreed financial mechanism to fund climate adaptation and mitigation projects in poor countries. It was established in 2010 and received a boost in the wake of the Paris Agreement, with many developing countries signing onto the accord with the explicit expectation that they would receive financial assistance through the fund.

[See: Cities unveil time frame for ‘localizing’ climate finance]

As part of the climate deal, which was inked in December 2015, the U. S. pledged to provide USD 3 billion of the USD 10.1 billion that countries so far have committed. However, Barack Obama’s administration had delivered only USD 1 billion by the time it left office in January.

Trump’s budget now proposes eliminating its contribution to the fund altogether. And this month, the Group of 20 (G20) advanced industrialized nations appeared to walk back previous pledges to the fund, which media reports suggested was due to the Trump effect.

“In the short term, there is enough going on in the private sector — the momentum around renewables has gone past the point of no return — that this isn’t going to be so much of a problem,” said U. N. lobbyist Felix Dodds. “In the longer term, clearly the Green Climate Fund won’t hit its targets.”

In addition, even before the Paris Agreement was signed, the Obama administration offered foreign aid for climate change through an umbrella effort called the Global Climate Change Initiative. From monitoring the “carbon sink” potential of forests to supporting clean energy, the USD 350 million programme channeled through the State Department and USAID has had a worldwide impact. “With [Trump’s] proposal, all of this will be gone, which means that all sorts of important programmes on American soil and abroad will come to an abrupt halt,” Arikan said.

[See: Climate-friendly cities pledge solidarity with U. S. mayors ahead of Trump presidency]

Still, the urban scope of these programmes was never clearly outlined. According to the World Resources Institute’s Andrew Light, none of the projects funded by the Global Climate Change Initiative had a specific focus on cities, although many, such as those addressing air quality, most likely involved urban areas.

Indeed, the circuitous funding path from donor countries to projects in cities has been a point of frustration for organizations working to promote local-level climate action. “Most finance for sustainability only reaches the local level via indirect routes,” Arikan said.

His organization, a global network of cities committed to sustainability, has been pushing for alternatives, such as the Transformative Action Programme, which connects cities with financing, and coalitions like the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance. “If the U. S. reneges on its commitments, the need to rethink the climate finance architecture becomes even more pressing,” he said.

Lost leadership

There are also broader concerns around the role that the United States currently plays on the global stage.

The State Department cuts are so severe in part because many of the climate programmes targeted are housed there. Further, USAID is potentially at risk of being merged with the State Department. The agency, which is not known for having a robust urban programme but does sponsor an initiative called Making Cities Work, did not respond on the record to requests for comment on the implications of the proposed budget.

[See: How U. S. foreign policy came to embrace urban issues — and may change under Trump]

Meanwhile, the United States is the largest single donor to the United Nations. While reductions in U. S. contributions haven’t yet been parceled out by agency, Dodds sees some obvious targets based on the U. S. president’s agenda.

“UN-Habitat is sitting there as one of those that will be hit heavily,” he said, referring to the U. N.’s lead agency on urban issues. “And clearly the U. N. Environmental Programme will be hit, for obvious reasons.”

The United States contributed approximately USD 5.4 million to UN-Habitat in 2015. The following year, it gave USD 6.1 million to UNEP.

[See: UN-Habitat facing ‘considerable decline’ in core funding, assessment warns]

Any major retrenchment in the diplomatic corps would affect the visibility of the United States in foreign-policy circles. Former deputy assistant secretary Salin Geevarghese, who ran the international office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the final years of the Obama administration, lamented the potential outcome.

“When the U. S. shows up at any multilateral forum, people count on our leadership,” he told Citiscope. “It matters when we speak, what we say and when we show up. Leaders from around the world have always desired a strong U. S. presence.”

He cited policy exchanges under his watch that traded ideas on rental housing assistance with Chile, post-industrial cities with Germany and aging policy with Japan as examples of the kind of U. S. international engagement on urban issues likely to wither during the Trump administration. HUD also collaborated closely with the State Department and played a key role in the heated negotiations that produced last year’s New Urban Agenda, the U. N.’s 20-year urbanization strategy.

“My hopefulness is that this is the opening salvo of the Trump administration, and as budget sausage-making actually happens, people will register that these kinds of cuts will come at a huge cost to our ‘thought leadership’ role and, moreover, will do harm to our communities,” he said. “How they begin is not the way they are going to end. One can only hope.”

[See: Why are U. S. mayors missing Habitat III?]

It is unlikely that the Trump administration will entirely get its way on the budget — several senators from Trump’s own Republican Party declared the proposal “dead on arrival”. Nonetheless, many are preparing for the prospect of the U. S. government retreating to within its own borders, at least for a time.

“If the U. S. dramatically cuts its contributions to international affairs and climate action, others will have to step in to fill the void,” Arikan said. “If confirmed, this budget is an open call for a new global leadership on sustainability and climate change.”

Citiscope is a nonprofit news outlet that covers innovations in cities around the world. More at Citiscope. org.”

 

Why does Donald Trump demonize cities? – The Washington Post

President Trump is a big-city guy. He made his fortune in cities and keeps his family in a Manhattan tower. But when Trump talks about cities, he presents a fearsome caricature that bears little resemblance to the real urban landscape.

“Our inner cities are a disaster,” he declared in a campaign debate. “You get shot walking to the store. They have no education. They have no jobs.” Before his inauguration, in a spat with Atlanta’s representative in Congress, he tweeted: “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested).” He makes Chicago sound like an anarchic failed state. “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!” he warned. His executive order on public safety claimed that sanctuary cities, which harbor undocumented immigrants, “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.”

With this talk, Trump is playing to his base, which overwhelmingly is not in cities. Party affiliation increasingly reflects the gulf between big, diverse metros and whiter, less densely populated locales. For decades, like-minded people have been clustering geographically — a phenomenon author Bill Bishop dubbed “the Big Sort ” — pushing cities to the left and the rest of the country to the right. Indeed, the bigger, denser and more diverse the city, the better Hillary Clinton did in November. But Trump prevailed everywhere else — in small cities, suburbs, exurbs and beyond. The whiter and more spread out the population, the better he did.

 

Continue reading at the Source: Why does Donald Trump demonize cities? – The Washington Post

 

Bloomberg Says Cities Will Fight Climate Change, With or Without Trump – The New York Times

Donald J. Trump has said climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese to get the United States to suppress its manufacturing sector. That prompted a public rebuttal last week from a Chinese official attending a climate summit meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump appeared to back away from the strict climate-denier viewpoint embraced by many Republicans in an interview with The New York Times, saying that there was “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. He also said he wanted to keep an “open mind” about whether to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, the main global climate change accord.

Mr. Trump’s opacity means it is unclear whether he will actually support policies to limit the effects of climate change after being sworn in as president in January. But officials from China, which has surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas, have said they will move forward on climate policies without the Americans, if it comes to that.

More at: Bloomberg Says Cities Will Fight Climate Change, With or Without Trump – The New York Times

 

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California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump – The New York Times

The prospect of California’s elevated role on climate change is the latest sign of how this state, where Hillary Clinton defeated Mr. Trump by more than four million votes, is preparing to resist the policies of the incoming White House. State and city officials have already vowed to fight any attempt by Washington to crack down on undocumented immigrants; Los Angeles officials last week set aside $10 million to help fund the legal costs of residents facing deportation.

The environmental effort poses decided risks for this state. For one thing, Mr. Trump and Republicans have the power to undercut California’s climate policies. The Trump administration could reduce funds for the state’s vast research community — including two national laboratories — which has contributed a great deal to climate science and energy innovation, or effectively nullify state regulations on clean air emissions and automobile fuel standards.

“They could basically stop enforcement of the Clean Air Act and CO2 emissions,” said Hal Harvey, president of Energy Innovation, a policy research group in San Francisco. “That would affect California because it would constrain markets. It would make them fight political and legal battles rather than scientific and technological ones.”

More at: California, at Forefront of Climate Fight, Won’t Back Down to Trump – The New York Times

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Cities Can Prepare for Trump by Establishing Digital Service Organizations and Mobilizing Civic Tech Communities

Within a few weeks of Trump’s victory, mayors of big “sanctuary cities” throughout America, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles declared that they wouldn’t collaborate with a Trump administration order to deport peaceful, law-abiding resident. Trump is now threatening that he will deny these cities federal funding unless they comply. The amount of money that cities could be denied by the Trump administration isn’t entirely clear, but Mother Jones estimates that Washington DC could potentially lose up to 25% of its budget, New York and San Francisco could lose 10% and Los Angeles could lose 2%.

If cities want to have a leg to stand on during their negotiations with the Trump administration, they must prepare to operate without federal funding. If there is one message US cities need to convey to Trump, it’s that they can turn Trump’s belligerence into the political will they need to make municipal government more  efficient, transparent and participatory than the Federal government; and in the process restructure the relationship between municipalities and nations. Trump and his supporters must realize that the more pressure the Federal government puts on cities, the more cities will unite together, and the faster an emergent, post-nation-state paradigm will emerge. If In short, if Trump doesn’t play his cards right, he could very well become the president that undermines the role of the nation-state in global affairs and kicks off a new version of the “devolution revolution“, but this time based in cities and inspired by progressive values.

Municipal governments will not be able to fend off the federal government if their bureaucracies are inefficient and unpopular with the public. Most municipal bureaucracies were designed in an era of switchboards and memos and need a significant upgrade. Is there really any doubt that new systems designed around smart phones and open source software couldn’t out perform the many-decades-old legacy systems most cities currently use by significant margins? The factor limiting the upgrading of municipal bureaucracies are political, not technological. Changing how government works involves shifting the balance of power within agencies, department and groups. These types of changes require tremendous amounts of buy-in from members of the bureaucracy and the public in general. This buy-in is hard to get, but with the nightmare of Trump using federal funds as leverage to coerce cities to adopt policies their residents abhor, it will become much easier to make the case that municipalities must engage in serious internal reform.

The choice for city residents should be clear: adopt 21st century technologies and organizational forms, or submitting to federal coercion. If current city leaders can’t or won’t execute the reforms needed to wean their cities off federal funds, then new leaders need to be brought in who will. Instead of talking about it — let’s build it. For our cities. And now. As if the lives of our neighbors depends on it. Because it might.

Existing models show us how we can systematically transforming government agencies through the adoption and use of inexpensive open source tools and techniques. One group that performs this type of activity is 18F, a unit within the Federal Government’s General Services Administration. 18F helps federal agencies figure out how to improve their operations using open source technology and iterative development processes. They’ve been extremely successful, to the point where government contractors lodged an official complaint that 18F was hurting their businesses because they were saving the Federal government too much money.  18F’s is small group in a massive federal government so their impact is limited, but their model is spreading. The Pentagon’s Defense Digital Services and the White Houses US Digital Service both model themselves off of 18F. City governments could and should create similar types of Digital Service Organizations (DSOs) as a means of increasing their ability to not only do more with less, but also as a means of challenging the Trump administration’s competence.

One of the innovative features of DSOs is their commitments to clear documentation of business processes and utilization of open source software. This allows them to share the innovations they develop for one agency with other agencies within that government (and ideally with other governments around the world.) This eliminates complex procurement processes, reduces costs and even creates an opportunity for highly skilled developers outside government to contribute to their effort. Since the solutions DSOs create are often open source, they can (and do) set up bounty systems that allow software developers to submit code that solve problems identified by the DSO. Allowing highly skilled urban residents to contribute code to a project that improves a city’s effectiveness if precisely the type of deep contribution city residents should be able to make to defend their cities from federal coercion.

There are existing “civic tech” volunteer groups in cities all around the country filled with people passionate about finding ways to help city governments run faster, better and cheaper. A great example is NYC’s BetaNYC group. These groups present fantastic venues for sourcing and organizing volunteers that can amplify and support the work of DSOs to help make cities more resilient to federal coercion. But technology is just one area. Cities will need to build many more mechanisms that can convert their resident’s anger at Federal policies into surges of local volunteer-ship that increase the capability of city governments and reduce their need for federal aid.

If cities can find more effective ways to mobilize their massive human resources, then the era of Trump will be a catalyst pushing cities to be more efficient, autonomous and globally networked than ever before. This might sound like overkill, or too much work, but we have to be prepared if we want to defend ourselves and our neighbors from destructive federal actions. And if it turns out we overreacted and mistakenly volunteered to improve our cities, so it goes.

Here Are the Sanctuary Cities Ready to Resist Trump’s Deportation Threats | Mother Jones

President-elect Donald Trump still has about two months to go before he is inaugurated, but pockets of resistance to his mass immigrant deportation plan are already emerging across the country. Since his election, local officials in at least 18 major “sanctuary” cities have pledged to limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials. By one estimate, 12 of these cities account for roughly 20 percent of all undocumented immigrants in the United States.

“We have been and always will be a city of refuge, a city of sanctuary, a city of love,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

Original Source: Here Are the Sanctuary Cities Ready to Resist Trump’s Deportation Threats | Mother Jones

There are at least 364 counties that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities, including 39 cities. For years, these sanctuary cities have resisted federal deportation efforts in different ways. Some jurisdictions have policies that prevent police officers from inquiring into the immigration status of residents; in other locales, jails have refused to comply with requests from the feds to hold suspected undocumented immigrants past their scheduled release dates. Immigration advocates argue that that these tactics encourage immigrants in their communities to report crimes or cooperate with police investigations.

But critics of sanctuary cities, like Trump, say these policies run contrary to federal immigration law and risk releasing criminals onto the streets. In fact, the term “sanctuary city” has become so politicized that many jurisdictions have hesitated to accept the label. (It is worth noting that evidence suggests sanctuary cities are actually safer for local residents.)

Trump has vowed to stomp out such local resistance by cutting off federal funding to any sanctuary city. That would mean that in a worst-case scenario, these jurisdictions risk losing anywhere between 1 percent and 25 percent of their total city budgets, depending on how much they rely on federal funds. However, a Trump administration may decide not to withhold all that funding. The Los Angeles Times reported that Trump’s advisors are considering specifically targeting law enforcement funding.

Here are some of the metros that have renewed their resistance to federal deportation efforts since the election—in order of what percent of their budgets they stand to lose if Trump stays true to his threats:

District of Columbia
At risk: 25 percent of its city budget.

DC risks more of its budget than any other jurisdiction on this list. A week after Trump’s election, Mayor Muriel Bowser reaffirmed that DC would remain a sanctuary city by keeping in place its policy of preventing city employees and police officers from asking residents about their immigration status. DC also grants driver’s licenses and other benefits to undocumented immigrants.

San Francisco
At risk: More than 10 percent of the city budget, amounting to about $1 billion total.

San Francisco has put in place some of the most expansive sanctuary city laws in the country. In fact, the city has been at the center of the sanctuary city debate ever since 2015, when a young woman was killed by an undocumented Mexican immigrant who had reportedly been deported five times and had just been released from the sheriff department’s custody. Trump repeatedly drew attention to the case during his campaign. After Trump’s election, Mayor Ed Lee and the school district and sheriff’s office, among others, pledged to abide by San Francisco’s current policies. “We have been and always will be a city of refuge, a city of sanctuary, a city of love,” Lee said. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city attorney is looking into the possibility of suing the federal government should it withhold funds.

Chicago
At risk: At least 10 percent of the city budget, totaling more than $1 billion.

According to the Chicago Tribune, should Trump choose to target law enforcement funding, the city could stand to lose nearly $29 million per year in justice grants. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel vowed that Chicago “always will be a sanctuary city.” He added, “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety as we’ve spoken to, you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago, and you are supported in Chicago.”

Providence, Rhode Island
At risk: Approximately 10 percent of the city budget, amounting to $71 million last year.

Providence does not refer undocumented immigrants charged with low-level civil infractions to federal immigration authorities. Mayor Jorge Elorza, the son of Guatemalan immigrants, does not consider Providence a sanctuary city, but he did declare in a statement, “We are standing with cities like Los Angeles and New York City who have made it clear that we will not sacrifice a single resident and we will continue to protect our communities.” He added, “It is important that every resident can live their lives without fear of being persecuted.”

Denver
At risk: About 9 percent of the city budget in 2015, or more than $175 million.

Justice Department funding, the most vulnerable to attack, amounted to about $5.4 million last year. The Denver Police Department released a statement in the wake of Trump’s election saying it does not plan to participate in federal immigration enforcement.

New York
At risk: About 9 percent of the city budget, totaling just over $7 billion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called Trump’s threats against so-called sanctuary cities “dangerous.” He said, “We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us, who are part of our community. We are not going to tear families apart.” Should Trump choose to target law enforcement funding, the city’s police department budget is less vulnerable than the overall city budget. Just over 3 percent, or $185 million, of the police budget comes from federal aid.

Baltimore
At risk: About 8 percent of the city’s budget, or more than $216 million

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reaffirmed that the city police will continue its policy of not asking about a person’s immigration status, stipulating that she considers Baltimore a “welcoming city” but not a “sanctuary city.”

Oakland, California
At risk: A rough estimate suggests that at least 4 percent of the city’s funds, or $52 million. (The Oakland City Administrator’s Office did not respond to our request for a specific breakdown of the budget.)

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wrote in an op-ed that Oakland will “proudly stand as a sanctuary city—protecting our residents from what we deem unjust federal immigration laws.”

Minneapolis
At risk: 2 percent of the city budget—more than $25 million.

The police department stands to lose about $2.1 million in federal funding, or about 1.4 percent of its budget. Responding to Trump budget threats, Mayor Betsy Hodges said, “In his quest to scapegoat immigrants, Donald Trump has threatened cities’ federal funding if we do not change this practice. I repeat: I will continue to stand by and fight for immigrants in Minneapolis regardless of President-elect Trump’s threats.”

Los Angeles
At risk: About 2 percent of the city’s budget, or $507 million.

This year, Los Angeles is expected to receive $127 million in federal law enforcement grants. LA became one of the country’s first sanctuary cities, if not the first, back in 1979. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck declared that his department will not “engage in law enforcement activities solely based on somebody’s immigration status.”

Santa Fe, New Mexico
At risk: About 2 percent of the city’s annual budget, or about $6 million in federal funding.

The city’s police department relies on federal funding for just 0.25 percent of its budget, or about $62,000. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales vocally denounced Trump’s proposed policy toward sanctuary cities on Fox and CNN, earning him the title of the latest “public face of ‘sanctuary cities.’” He called Trump funding threats “dangerous.”

Aurora, Colorado, and Seattle:
At risk: About 1.8 percent of each city’s total budget and 2 to 3 percent of Seattle’s police budget.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said that standing by his city’s policies is “the most American thing we could possibly do.”

Portland, Oregon
At risk: Up to 1.3 percent of its total budget and up to 2 percent of its police budget.

Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler said, “We’re saying that we’re willing to sacrifice those dollars and we are willing to live with whatever consequences may come our way.”

Other cities that have vowed to restrict their participation in Trump’s mass deportation plan include Philadelphia, Boston, Newark, and Austin.

Source: Here Are the Sanctuary Cities Ready to Resist Trump’s Deportation Threats | Mother Jones.

Mayors WorldWide Will Act on Climate, Whatever Trump Does – Scientific American

Source: Mayors WorldWide Will Act on Climate, Whatever Trump Does – Scientific American

Mayors WorldWide Will Act on Climate, Whatever Trump Does – Scientific American.

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, from left, speaks while Wong Kam-Sing, secretory of the environment for Hong Kong, and Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver, listen during a press conference at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, Mexico, on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.

Leaders from 90 world “megacities” meeting in Mexico City this week are sending a message that they plan to act on climate change—whatever national leaders do.

The sixth C40 Mayors Summit is occurring one year after the landmark conference in Paris, at which nearly 200 countries agreed to take steps to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels. But it is also taking place in the shadow of last month’s election of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to “cancel” U.S. participation in the agreement.

In a call with reporters ahead of the conference Monday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged that the world has “a lot of concern” about the track Trump is likely to take on warming.

“But mayors, as we know, have never waited for Washington to act here in the United States,” said Bloomberg, who is also the United Nations’ special envoy for cities and climate change. “They’ve never waited for an international treaty to take steps to protect their citizens and improve public health. And whatever happens, mayors will continue leading by example.”

Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is the incoming chairwoman of the group, released a report this week showing that the world’s large cities would need to peak emissions by 2020 and then nearly halve carbon emissions for every citizen in a decade to avoid the worst impacts of warming. This compares with a business-as-usual trajectory of a 35 percent increase in emissions over the next four years.

The so-called Deadline 2020 analysis proposes that city governments focus on placing key sectors in building, transportation and urban development on a low-carbon pathway. It estimated a price tag of $375 billion over the next four years for new climate-friendly infrastructure in C40’s 90 cities.

It also set ambitious reduction targets for urban centers. While cities would take the same steps over the next 14 years to achieve either the 2 C target or Paris’ more aspirational goal of containing warming to 1.5 C, the difference between the two goals becomes more pronounced after 2030. The report found that the tighter goal would require cities to zero out their emissions on a net basis by midcentury and make them negative in the second half of the century.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania offered a joint pledge of $40 million toward supporting actions in cities. It’s part of a recent trend in private-sector support for initiatives on research, phasing out chemicals and other climate issues. But Bloomberg sidestepped a question about whether private dollars might replace some or all of the public commitments the Obama administration made to the Green Climate Fund if Trump withdraws U.S. support.

“Since we haven’t been getting a lot from the federal government, it’s hard to argue that they can cut back a lot,” he said.

“But in all fairness to Trump, we don’t know what he’s going to want to do,” Bloomberg added. The president-elect repeatedly said on the campaign trail that he would rescind all funding for climate programs, signaling out U.N. funds in particular as something he would eliminate.

‘Get on with it’

Today at the summit, Hidalgo will launch an initiative aimed at fostering female leadership on climate issues at the city level. Mayors, including Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., will participate in the rollout of the Women4Climate initiative, which will provide a platform for climate leaders to mentor younger women and provide networking and capacity-building opportunities.

Research has shown that women in low- and moderate-income countries are more at risk than men of suffering from natural disasters or water and food shortages linked to climate change. But data on how warming might affect women in urban environments are scarcer, and Hidalgo’s initiative will support research into that.

Hidalgo, who is the daughter of Spanish immigrants to France and became Paris’ mayor in 2014, has frequently discussed climate change as a social justice issue with gender implications. She’s not alone. The bench of female climate leaders is very deep, including U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change chief Patricia Espinosa and her predecessor, Christiana Figueres; national leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and a number of mayors.

“Women are a very determined lot,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney, Australia, who will participate in the rollout. “I think we hang in there, notwithstanding misogyny and notwithstanding, as I have received, attacks from right-wing media in our city. And we do that because we believe that action is critical, and if we don’t take the action, the future could be disastrous.”

Moore offered her city as an example of how municipal governments can continue to make strides on climate action even as the federal government goes a different way. Australia repealed its carbon tax two years ago and has often been seen as a laggard in the international climate process, though it has ratified the Paris deal. Moore noted that Sydney has made climate action a priority.

With 80 percent of world emissions emanating from urban areas, action at the city level can add up to significant reductions, she said.

“I think the message to U.S. cities is that it’s more incumbent than ever that you get on with it, because it’s up to you, notwithstanding your federal leadership,” she said.

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net.