Thursday’s Briefing: Big Oil Admits in Court Humans Cause Climate Change; Jack London Square Housing Development Breaks Ground

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Stories you shouldn’t miss for March 22, 2018:

1. Attorneys for Chevron and other major oil companies admitted in federal court in San Francisco that climate change is caused by human activity, reports David DeBolt of the East Bay Times$. The admission by Big Oil is believed to be the first of its kind in a legal setting and came during a hearing involving the city of Oakland’s lawsuit against fossil fuel corporations. Oakland and other cities want oil companies to pay for infrastructure upgrades needed to deal with sea-level rise. Oil company lawyers argue that the courts are not the right forum for that type of public policy decision.

2. Developer CIM Group, which is Oakland’s largest private landlord, has begun construction on a 333-unit housing project in Jack London Square at the foot of Harrison Street, reports George Avalos of the Bay Area News Group$. The eight-story project is expected to be completed in 2020.

3. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf announced a tax measure initiative to fund pre-school for low-income families in the city, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle. The proposed parcel tax measure, which is also backed by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, would generate an estimated $30 million a year.

4. Schaaf also fired back at President Trump, calling his anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric “racist,” reports Carla Marinucci of Politico. “It is a continued perpetration of a racist lie, that immigrants are not valued members of our society,’’ Schaaf said. “We in Oakland know better. We in Oakland have a community that welcomes and honors all people, no matter where they came from — no matter how they got here.”

5. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has a clear lead in the race to become California’s next governor, reports Casey Tolan of the Bay Area News Group$, citing a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. The survey showed Newsom leading with 28 percent support, followed by Republican John Cox at 14 percent and ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, at 12 percent.

6. Former Alameda planning commissioner John Knox White, a progressive, announced that he’s running for Alameda City Council in the November election, reports Steven Tavares of the East Bay Citizen. Knox White, who is pro-tenant protections, pro-housing, and pro-mass transit, is expected to face fierce opposition from landlords’ groups on the Island.

7. California ranks 49th nationwide in terms of per capita housing production, reports Politifact California in a fact check of a statement made by Newsom. California has 358 housing units per 1,000 people, much lower than the U.S. average of 419.

8. And The Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow and is now twice the size of Texas, reports Amina Khan of the LA Times$, citing new research published in the journal Scientific Reports. The massive patch of floating garbage in the ocean is mostly composed of plastic.

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