Judy Babikian, ACE Member
I’m originally from Lynn, but I’ve lived in Chelsea for a long time. I’ve been in my building for 11 years now. I’m retired, but I go to day programs twice a week to get out of the house. I started coming to some of the ACE events a while back. It was nice to get out of my house and meet some interesting people.
I got involved with TRU five years ago. It all started because of a bus stop. I noticed that not all the stops in Chelsea have bus shelters on both sides of the street. People were getting wet and it wasn’t safe, so I spoke up. From there to the city council, and now meeting with the general manager…it’s really been a learning process for me. It’s very exciting. I’m learning to talk in front of big groups of people. Sometimes you’re afraid to talk to anyone, afraid to sound like an idiot, but this way it’s fun!
I use the MBTA Ride, but people in Chelsea have a hard time getting out to Roxbury. We would love to have our own space for meetings. That’s why it’s great that the general manager came out to Chelsea—I worked very hard to prepare for this meeting.
For me, environmental justice is all about making the situation comfortable. But a lot of the time it’s just a waiting game. We bring up a problem and it might take one and a half or two years to be addressed. I don’t think we should have to wait that long.
TRU is one group that’s for the public good, not our own personal gain. We’re working to help the city as a whole. Everyone’s very nice—I love being with them. I would love to see more young people get involved in the process. We need their energy and ideas to bring things into perspective.