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Residential zoning and housing policy are critical components of wildfire mitigation. Over the last fifty years, California has been facing an affordable housing crisis. In an attempted solution, government subsidies have driven housing development into untouched wildlands across the state. However, these developments are increasingly subject to destruction by wildfire due to global climate change and historical mismanagement of public lands. This report suggests a multipronged approach to reducing the impact of wildfires, such as discontinuing development in extremely high-risk fire zones, utilizing government buyouts in high-risk areas to move people out of harm’s way, increase urban up-zoning to generate affordable housing, and increase retrofitting of existing at-risk homes to enhance structural and resident survival and safety.
Science and technology policy fellowships train scientists and engineers to use their expertise to advise government officials in technical matters to inform policymaking. Across the US, differences in legislative structures between states (e.g. legislative size, session duration, state resources) require state-specific fellowship design. This report describes two case studies of emerging fellowships in North Carolina and Virginia and uses these examples as a model to suggest how other states might implement similar policy fellowships. This report highlights the government structures in each of these states, focusing on how each unique type of legislature informs the most promising options for host locations, funding sources, and duties for fellows in each state. For coalitions to establish successful state science policy fellowships, the report recommends understanding the particular structure and needs of state governments, communicating with key stakeholders, and identifying additional opportunities for fellows to engage outside of the state government.
This report reviews state legislation and interviews waste management coordinators to identify the key challenges and opportunities for improving recycling in Arizona municipalities. China’s 2018 ban on importing recyclables has disrupted recycling programs across the United States. In Arizona, many municipalities are significantly reducing or completely halting their recycling programs, causing some cities to landfill their recyclables. This report recommends Arizona state legislators pass appropriate funding for the recycling grant program, amend recycling programs to allow for joint applications, repeal prohibitions on municipal regulation of auxiliary recycling containers, introduce a tax on products imported in single-use containers, and provide incentives to companies using Arizona recyclables. These policies work to reinvigorate recycling within the state, make Arizona’s waste management systems more cost-effective, and foster new local processing and manufacturing industries.
The rapid developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) present a serious challenge to the American copyright system and future advancements in the AI industry. These industries rely on intellectual property protections to maintain equilibrium between productivity, remuneration, and competitiveness. American policymakers, however, have paid little attention to the intersection of artificial intelligence and copyright protection. This study collects data from AI scientists, tech policy experts, and copyright scholars which shows that while intelligent software is an important contributor to American cultural development, half of the respondents believe that the US Copyright Office is not prepared to deal with an influx of computer-generated works.
The report outlines the current air pollution and transportation issue in Washington, D.C. which looks to reduce the use of cars and their impact on air pollution and smog in the city. The concentration of air pollutants in DC makes it a top 20 city with the highest smog in the United States, which is the rationale for the need to implement combative policies. Two of the policy recommendations in this report are to establish a pilot superblock in a DC mixed-use zone, which would be a feasible and low-cost way to create car-free areas, and to implement congestion pricing, which would be used as a financial incentive to reduce traffic. These policies would work to achieve the goals of reducing air pollution in the metro DC area and lower the use of cars to do so.
This paper highlights the state of Colorado and the exponential growth of fracking in the state over the last two decades. The growth of fracking has benefitted the economy of the state and employs hundreds of thousands of residents, but fracking presents serious environmental and human health risks. The greatest risks are linked to those who live near wells, due to toxins released in the fracking process. There have been local attempts to combat this issue, but a more uniform response is needed to regulate the harmful effects of fracking on the state. Some policy recommendations from the paper include banning fracking in certain areas, such as residential or schools, and ban wells within these areas as well in order to mitigate the effects that fracking has on the water quality.
Over the last fifty years, California has been facing an affordable housing crisis. In an attempted solution, government subsidies have driven housing development into untouched wildlands across the state. However, these developments are increasingly subject to destruction by wildfire due to global climate change and historical mismanagement of public lands. This places residential zoning and housing policy as critical components to mitigate wildfire impact. This report suggests implementation of a multipronged approach over the next decade, which includes discontinuing development in extremely high-risk fire zones, increase government buyouts in these high-risk areas to move people out of harm’s way, increase urban up-zoning to generate affordable housing, and increase retrofitting of existing at-risk homes to enhance structural and resident survival and safety.
Following the 2020 executive order from California to have all new passenger vehicles be zero-emission by 2035, the paper outlines the ways to expand access to electric vehicles (EV) to low-income Californians. For the state to meet its clean energy goals, it must include these communities in a just and equity-focused transition to widespread use of EVs. This report highlights the buildup to the latest EV goals in California as well as the challenges of deploying such a plan into action. The recommendations to increase access in the state include updating building codes, curbside charging stations, EV sharing programs, and charger rebate programs, among other things, to generate greater access across California.
This report explores five privacy provisions to mitigate the harms associated with exploiting smart city-data. The policy proposals include differentiating personally identifiable smart city data from de-identified data, creating a warrant requirement for personally identifiable smart city data, limiting the sharing of personally identifiable information collected by smart city sensors, adopting data minimization requirements, and introducing private and public enforcement mechanisms. Taken together, these provisions can lay the foundation for creating a robust, privacy-protective response to the threats posed by unregulated access to smart city-data. In order to prevent the emergence of surveillance cities, the report urges states and local governments to implement these fundamental privacy provisions in their specific jurisdictions.
Racial and ethnic disparities in agriculture and the food system experienced by farmers of color (FoC) in the United States stem from an exploitative and racialized agricultural system. Sustainable agriculture with a strong orientation toward racial justice can serve as a policy tool for building more racial equity and transforming our racialized food system by ensuring that the resources necessary to participate and contribute to a sustainable food system are accessible to everyone, not just those with significant power and resources. This report recommends the creation of an incentivized farm program as a way to address agrarian racial and ethnic disparities experienced by FoC and advance an equitable and just sustainable food system within the state of Michigan.