A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Opioid alarm: Donald Trump’s bipartisan commission on opioids, led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has asked the president to declare a national emergency over the epidemic that “creates a death toll equal to Sept. 11 every three weeks” in America. The New York Times reports:
“It’s really about drawing attention to the issue and pushing for all hands on deck,” said Michael Fraser, the executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “It would allow a level of attention and coordination that the federal agencies might not otherwise have, but in terms of day-to-day lifesaving, I don’t think it would make much difference.”
The governors of Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Virginia have declared states of emergency regarding the opioid addiction crisis; in Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration.
- See also: Once known as a rural problem with “hillbilly heroin,” the opioid epidemic is now just as prevalent in urban and suburban areas, new research shows. (Washington Post)
Big oil steps up: Leaders from more than than 50 Houston-based businesses, including some of the nation’s most powerful oil and gas interests, are urging Texas Governor Greg Abbott not to sign onto a so-called “bathroom bill” that targets transgender people. As one analyst notes, this opposition from traditional conservative allies can’t be dismissed as “simply the coastal elite trying to impose their cultural values on us.” (Los Angeles Times)
Thanks, L.A.: With yesterday’s news that Los Angeles has officially won hosting duties for the 2028 Olympic Summer Games (see CityLab’s piece here), an AP columnist argues that we all should be thanking the city for enduring the joyless selection process and future burdens in costs, traffic, and pollution that scared other cities off.
Starbucks’ social conscience: A new Starbucks in Ferguson, Missouri—around the corner from where Michael Brown was killed by police three years ago—is one of 15 cafes the coffee chain is committed to opening in underserved communities across the U.S. by the end of 2018, as part of its increasingly aggressive social-impact agenda. (Fast Company)
Resilience buzz: A summit in Manhattan last week brought together “chief resilience officers” from 40 international cities, as natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy have forced concrete strategies from city halls. (Next City)
The urban lens:
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