Take action for CORI reform before July 31

July 7, 2008

Over the past three years, our partner organization, the Boston Workers Alliance (BWA) has worked tirelessly to reform Criminal Offense Record Information (CORI). Now, the chance to make real change is before us as the state legislature is bringing a CORI reform bill to vote before summer recess on July 31.

Hundreds march for CORI reform

Representative Eugene O'Flaherty, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, is proposing a bill that reduces the CORI sealing periods to five years for misdemeanors and ten years for a felony. While this is a good first step, the BWA continues to build support to bring the sealing period down to three and seven years respectively.

Currently, many employers use applications that require a potential employee to divulge their criminal history. Because of this application question, employers are 50 percent less likely to offer interviews to white applicants and 64 percent less likely to call back black applicants with a record. Providing criminal history on job applications prevents employers from considering resumes, references or relevance of the offense. CORIs include people with juvenile records, people arrested but not convicted and people cleared of charges. Read more...

aceadmin – Tue, 07/08/2008 – 9:28pm

New laws in Massachusetts may promote green jobs

July 3, 2008

On Thursday, Mayor Menino issued an executive order to green City Hall, requiring city departments to use green cleaning contractors, recycle more, and take simple energy conservation measures.

A vision for Dudley from our public art project at EJ in the 'Hood

This order came one day after Governor Patrick signed into law the Green Communities Act. The new state law strengthens Massachusetts' renewable energy standard so that by 2030, utilities will be obligated to generate at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. It also forces utilities to enter into 10 to 15 year contracts with sustainable electricity developers. This will provide funding for the development of green technology, focusing specifically on Massachusetts-based firms.

The Governor asserted, "This legislation will reduce electric bills, promote the development of renewable energy, and stimulate the clean energy industry that is taking root here in the Commonwealth."

ACE believes that all communities should share the benefits of this new wave of green legislation. Cleaner energy production and the benefits of new green collar jobs should go to communities that have been overburdened with environmental injustices, not just higher income neighborhoods. Read more...

aceadmin – Thu, 07/03/2008 – 8:31pm

Check out the Radical Organizing Conference Summer Institute

July 2, 2008

A gentrification workshop from ROC this spring

ACE is helping to roll out the Radical Organizing Conference (ROC) Summer Institute, which builds on the dialog from the ROC this spring. The Summer Institute is series of workshops that will continue to bring people together to build relationships, common understanding and united strategies to make radical social change for our communities.

You're invited to participate in these sessions that cover a broad range of social justice issues. Workshops are free and are conducted by ACE, City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU) and UNITE HERE! Local 26. Read more...

aceadmin – Wed, 07/02/2008 – 5:09pm

Pictures from EJ in the 'Hood

July 1, 2008

Attendees of all ages enjoyed the obstacle course

As promised from yesterday's blog, here are some photos from EJ in the 'Hood on Saturday. We all had a great time and despite our recent thunderstorm-a-day weather pattern, the rain held off all day.

Thanks again to all attendees, volunteers, sponsors and donors who helped make this event possible! See more pictures...

aceadmin – Tue, 07/01/2008 – 7:43pm

Thanks for coming out to EJ in the 'Hood!

June 30, 2007

Face painting was just one of the attractions at EJ in the 'Hood

Hundreds of people turned out on Saturday for EJ in the 'Hood our Dudley Square celebration. We had a great time and send our deepest thanks to all who came, helping to make this a vibrant, community-building event. More pics to come tomorrow! See blog...

aceadmin – Mon, 06/30/2008 – 4:45pm

You're invited to EJ in the 'Hood!

June 27, 2008

We can't wait for EJ in the 'Hood. We've made our lists and checked them twice. Here's a sneak peak at all the crazy preparations - mouse over to see captions. To see an interview about the event by ACE members, tune in to Neighborhood Network News at 11 p.m. tonight on Channel 9. See you tomorrow! See more pictures...

Everything's packed up and ready to go
Signing up for tasks on our massive to-do list

aceadmin – Fri, 06/27/2008 – 4:40pm

Dudley Square time capsule opened from 1922

June 26, 2008

Elected officials unveil the time capsule

Local and state officials visited Roxbury yesterday morning to open a time capsule from 1922. The capsule was found in the cornerstone of an expansion to Dudley Square's Ferdinand building, which is being renovated into a city office building. Mayor Menino, State Representative Byron Rushing, State Senator Diane Wilkerson, BRA Director John Palmieri and members of the Dudley Vision Task Force helped present the capsule to the public. Representative Rushing provided a salient overview Roxbury's history, highlighting the different groups of people who have lived in Roxbury over the centuries.

Inside the capsule were newspapers from June 1922, Ferdinand's Furniture advertisements, and a list of Ferdinand's employees. Read more...

aceadmin – Thu, 06/26/2008 – 6:19pm

March for fully bilingual ballots in Boston

June 25, 2008

"It's not a joke! We want to vote!" was the rallying call when a group of residents marched from Chinatown to the Massachusetts State House demanding fully bilingual ballots this past Monday.

Residents march for Chinese and Vietnamese translated ballots

The Asian American Civil Rights March and Speak-Out was originally planned for last Thursday, June 19, also known as Juneteenth, the annual celebration of African American Emancipation Day. (The march had to be rescheduled due to the Celtics victory parade.) Organizers of the march from the Coalition for Asian American Voting Rights paid tribute to past voting rights movements.

"We are standing in the footsteps of African American civil rights activists," said Lydia Lowe, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association.

Monday's march was the newest action in the fight for Chinese and Vietnamese fully bilingual ballots. In 2005 an agreement was made between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Boston to provide fully bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese Americans with limited English proficiency. However, this agreement expires in 2008. Read more...

aceadmin – Wed, 06/25/2008 – 5:22pm

Working for a just future at the Regional Sustainability Energy Summit

June 24, 2008

Over the past weekend, over 20 people from ACE and our partner organizations attended the 2008 Regional Sustainable Energy Summit sponsored by Co-op Power at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The green jobs contingent of ACE and our partners

On Friday, the Pre-Summit featured day-long lectures including green jobs training and networking opportunities. Speeches were delivered by Dr. Beth Sawin and Dr. Phil Rice from the Our Climate Ourselves Program at the Sustainability Institute, and Tina Clarke from Clean Water Action. Attendees also enjoyed a catered dinner and salsa dancing to a live Puerto Rican band. Read more...

aceadmin – Tue, 06/24/2008 – 6:50pm

Urban Ring: A transit injustice in the making?

June 20, 2008

Monday night in Roxbury, the state Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) held the last in a series of meetings about the Urban Ring. This proposed network of bus rapid transit (BRT) lines would run in a loop around Downtown Boston, offering connectivity for communities that are underserved by the MBTA's rapid transit routes.

A slide in the consultant's presentation on the Urban Ring

Employees of Earth Tech, the state's consultant for the project, shared how the Urban Ring would pass through the Melnea Cass corridor, using renderings and design guidelines from the Roxbury Master Plan. After passing through a tunnel under the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), the Ring would come above ground at Ruggles Station, then travel in a dedicated busway on Melnea Cass Boulevard. Some service buses along the Urban Ring would also include a stop at Dudley Station, running in mixed traffic down Washington Street. These presenters insisted that the Urban Ring would provide accessibility benefits to Roxbury residents and learn from the mistakes of the Silver Line Bus.

Despite problems with facilitation and misleading information about the format of the meeting, TRU members and Roxbury residents were able to raise some critical concerns about the project. Read more...

aceadmin – Fri, 06/20/2008 – 3:10pm
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