ACE Blog

Taking back Boston, one house and lot at a time

October 6, 2011

Marchers headed toward the Bank of America building after a rally at Boston Common

Last week's Right to the City (RTTC) Member Congress and Take Back Boston events showed the power of community-building in a shared experience filled with determination, solidarity and love.

We opened with a convening of member groups in RTTC on Thursday, leading up to two days of massive actions and rallies calling out the corporate greed, predatory lending practices and disinvestment that have decimated lower-income communities and communities of color.

REEP helps lead rally chants

On Friday, we marched with over 3,000 people from across the country to demand an end to foreclosures, full funding for youth jobs and local hiring for green jobs, culminating in a demonstration and civil disobedience action at Bank of America.

Saturday, we held events in the Four Corners neighborhood of Dorchester that included a block party for residents.

Our friends at City Live/Vida Urbana took back a foreclosed home, cleaning, decorating and holding it for the father and son who were evicted a year ago.

Chelsea TRU improves access for Route 112 riders

July 9, 2011

Route 112 now stops directly at the store

ACE members in the Chelsea T Riders Union (TRU) recently improved access for bus riders on Route 112.

The T has agreed to run all Route 112 buses to the Market Basket in Admiral’s Hill, starting with the summer schedule on June 25. The bus will now drive into the parking lot and stop directly on the right side of the building.

Two years ago, a new Market Basket was opened across the street from the former store, but the bus continued to use the old stop, forcing riders—including elderly and disabled passengers—to cross a busy street and parking lot for groceries.

In fall 2010, the route was changed to service the new Market Basket, but buses were still stopping at the old site. Because the Admiral’s Hill stop is in a cul-de-sac, drivers were confused over whether the Wellington- or Wood Island-bound buses were supposed to stop at the store.

“This calls for a celebration! I’ve been fighting for this for over a year,” said Marjorie Delorian, a member of ACE and Chelsea TRU. “A lot of the seniors are handicapped, or they’ve got bundles, and it’s too much for them to cross the parking lot. This is a necessity. It will make so many seniors happy.”

Youth Way Campaign Releases Report, Demands Youth Pass

June 9, 2011

We demand a youth pass!

This is an exciting week for the Youth Way on the MBTA Campaign!

After three years of youth-led research and organizing for a new Youth Pass, we are releasing a report titled Opportuni(T): Youth riders, the affordability crisis, and the Youth Pass solution. The report is now available on our Youth Way website.

While thousands of youth depend on the MBTA and ride it daily, many can’t afford to pay adult fares. As Opportuni(T) shows, affordable access for youth riders on public transportation benefits everyone. Public transit is part of a sustainable future for the Boston area, and improving access for youth today encourages life-long public transit riders tomorrow.

We propose the creation of a new Youth Pass, an unrestricted monthly LinkPass available for ages 12 to 21 at Charlie Card machines for $10 a month. While the MBTA provides discounted student fares, the benefit reaches less than 50 percent of young people. The Youth Pass is an innovative solution to young people’s crisis of affordability. Its creation will transform and increase youth riders’ access to the MBTA, bridging the transportation gap to education, employment, healthcare and community involvement.

It's here! Jammin' for Justice today!

May 26, 2011

We're so excited that Jammin' for Justice is finally here! It's been wonderful hearing from members as RSVPs come rolling in, and each day feels a little birthday-like as new items arrive in the mail for the Silent Auction.

Please join us tonight to celebrate the struggle for environmental justice!

Jammin' for Justice
Thursday, May 26, 2011
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

You already know all the great things about this event:

  • Live bands
  • Free admission
  • Delicious appetizers, dinner and dessert
  • Open bar with beer and wine
  • Extensive Silent Auction with items like Red Sox tickets, massages, zip lining tours, vacation home stays, Daily Show tickets and more!
  • EJ Awards to amazing people and groups
  • And much more!

If that doesn't convince you, check out some of our member's reasons for coming to Jammin', presented for the first time ever in haiku form!

Today's Jammin' for Justice EJ Award: Chuck Turner

May 24, 2011

Chuck Turner

Chuck Turner is an iconic and crucial voice in the social justice movement of Boston.

Before he ran for office, Chuck was a community organizer and activist working with families who were losing homes to gentrification in the ‘60s, with communities to turn a 10-lane highway plan into a nearly five mile park in the ‘70s, with union workers to fight job discrimination in the ‘80s, and speaking against imperialism from the Middle East to Dudley Square in the ‘90s and beyond.

More recently, he worked tirelessly as a City Councilor to ensure that residents of Roxbury had a voice and an advocate at the city level.

There are hundreds of stories about Chuck's commitment to communities of color and the social justice movement—his support of ACE has been no exception.

Shortly after taking office, Chuck attended an EJ study group hosted by ACE about the struggles and victories of the civil rights and environmental justice movements. He inspired our staff, board and youth with his stories of organizing, especially his experience working with civil rights hero Ella Baker.

Today's Jammin' for Justice EJ Awardees: Environmental Chelsea Creek Crew and Know What's Up

May 23, 2011

E3C

The Environmental Chelsea Creek Crew (E3C) is a program of the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) in East Boston. The teens work with Know What's Up (KWU) and the Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG) to clean and redevelop polluted sites and lead environmental justice campaigns in the local watershed.

E3C and KWU are geared towards experiential learning, and their work has ranged from conducting field studies with the Urban Ecology Institute at the Condor Street Urban Wild to organizing cleanups and managing a community garden. During the Earth Day cleanup last month, they removed a seven-foot tractor tire that had been dumped in the Chelsea Creek over a decade ago.

Today's Jammin' for Justice EJ Awardee: Mission Hill Summer Program

May 20, 2011

MHSP

The Mission Hill Summer Program (MHSP), run by the Philips Brooks House Association, works with elementary and middle-school youth from the Mission Main and Alice Taylor housing developments in Roxbury to promote academic excellence, advocacy and non-violence. Over the last two years, they partnered with Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) Youth Organizers at ACE on campaigns to stop diesel pollution.

In 2010, MHSP and REEP, along with the Massachusetts Diesel Coalition, led a campaign to reduce diesel emissions from the construction projects of Northeastern University and Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH). Demands included restricting diesel fuel to ultra-low-sulfur-diesel, enforcing state anti-idling laws on construction sites, and requiring vehicles and equipment to be retrofitted with the best available pollution control technology. The campaign also contacted local construction equipment rental companies to help them secure city retrofit funds.

Today's Jammin' for Justice EJ Awardee: Boston Workers Alliance

May 19, 2011

Jammin' for Justice, ACE’s annual celebration and fundraiser, is next Thursday, May 26! Members and supporters will be celebrating with delicious food, a live band, and our famous silent auction. Don't forget to RSVP by calling 617-442-3343 x231 or emailing Jasmine -- the deadline is tomorrow!

Jammin' is also an opportunity to showcase outstanding environmental justice work. In the next few days we will be highlighting our 2011 Environmental Justice Award honorees. Our first honoree is the Boston Workers Alliance.

BWA celebrates the passage of CORI reform

Founded in 2005, the Boston Workers Alliance (BWA) is a grassroots organization led by unemployed and under-employed workers fighting for social and economic justice. Their vision and leadership in a multi-year statewide campaign led to the passage of a long-awaited Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) reform bill in August 2010. Job applicants will no longer be required to disclose their criminal history on preliminary job applications, giving equal footing for people who have completed sentences and those who were arrested and cleared.

CORIs will now be sealed after five years for misdemeanors and 10 years for felonies, a five-year decrease in both instances, and the CORI system will be upgraded so that employers will not have to depend on unregulated and inaccurate private databases. These reforms open doors for people who have paid their debt to society, give equal opportunities for employment, and place Massachusetts at the forefront of the national movement for economic justice.

Do you want your very own garden?

April 14, 2011

Do you like fresh vegetables? Want to grow them in your own backyard? The Food Project's Build-a-Garden program is now accepting applications for raised bed garden kits.

Having a backyard garden plot can help encourage better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle, reduce food costs, and foster a sense of community in the neighborhood. All Boston residents are eligible to apply, but residents of Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan and others with financial need are given priority.

With a raised bed, you can grow vegetables in your own backyard

The program will provide participants with a raised bed garden or container gardening kit, (including soil and compost) as well as seeds and plants. Additionally, printed growing guides and workshops are available.

In order to make the beds accessible to all, The Food Project requires a minimum contribution of $10 for individuals ($25 for organizations) for each bed. However, those with the ability to pay more are encouraged to do so to offset the cost of a raised bed for another applicant.

If you're interested in applying, complete the application and return it to the Food Project at 555 Dudley Street, Dorchester, MA 02125. Applications are accepted throughout the year. For more information, email The Food Project.

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