May 17, 2008
ACE’s annual celebration and fundraiser, Jammin' for Justice, is this Wednesday, May 20. Members and supporters will be sharing our 15th Anniversary with delicious food, a live band, silent auction and many projects on display. This is our opportunity to also showcase our members’ outstanding environmental justice work over the last year. In the next few days we will be highlighting our 2009 honorees. Today’s selected honoree is Brockton and West Bridgewater Residents Against the Power Plant.
In November 2007, residents of West Bridgewater asked ACE for assistance fighting a proposed fossil fuel burning power plant in nearby Brockton. Residents of Brockton also contacted ACE for assistance against the power plant.
After meeting with ACE, the two groups agreed to work together, with ACE providing legal advice and representation to the residents.
Since then, the residents and their allies have organized their communities, creating an active and vocal opposition to the power plant. They helped persuade the Mayor of Brockton, almost all the Brockton City Council, and their state senator and representatives to oppose the power plant.
Brockton is one of the few cities in Massachusetts that meets all four criteria for designation as an environmental justice community. It has neighborhoods with the median household income less than 65 percent the state average, and neighborhoods in which more than 25 percent of the residents are people of color, foreign born or lack English language proficiency. It is also rated as one of the most environmentally overburdened communities and its residents have one of the highest premature mortality rates in the state.
ACE thanks Brockton and West Bridgewater residents for their dedication to public health, their organizing to stop the power plant, and their work for environmental justice in the region.