A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Taking on Big Pharm: Two years ago, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood became the first state attorney to sue a prescription drugmaker for its role in the opioid crisis. In the time since, more than 100 states, cities, and counties have pursued similar lawsuits—a trend many see echoing the fight against big tobacco in the late ‘90s. Governing reports:
One significant difference between the opioid cases and the tobacco cases is that counties and cities are filing suit this time—not just the states.
“[The tobacco] litigation was successful, but states kept all that money. None of it flowed down to the counties,” says Paul Hanly, a partner with Simmons Hanly Conroy, which is representing more than a dozen counties in opioid lawsuits and has already settled similar cases on behalf of patients.
Climate promises: As 25 mayors from cities around the world pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, an alliance of U.S. cities, states, and businesses stood in opposition to Donald Trump at this weekend’s Bonn conference for climate change, taking “America’s pledge” to combat global warming. (Reuters, Guardian)
Deportation defense: Eleven U.S. cities and counties, including Chicago and Baltimore, have joined a network to provide free legal counsel for undocumented immigrants facing deportation—joining a wave of states and cities that have tried for similar programs. (NPR)
Quake-proof buildings: Following September’s massive earthquake, experts are calling for Mexico City to catalog its buildings based on seismic resiliency — a costly and politically difficult prospect, but one that Los Angeles has already waded through. (L.A. Times)
Bill Gates’ smart city: A Bill Gates-run investment firm is putting $80 million toward develop a planned community west of Phoenix that will show off “smart city” tech. (Popular Mechanics)
The urban lens:
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