Support the continuation of our Youth Pass program!

May 11, 2016

The fate of our MBTA Youth Pass will be determined in the next few weeks. Just over 10 months ago, we held a ribbon cutting to launch our Youth Pass pilot with representatives from the cities of Boston, Chelsea, Malden and Somerville, and MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. At the time, Secretary Pollack said it was up to organizers to keep pressure on her to make this a reality.

It's now time to do just that and push for the Youth Pass to be a permanent fare category at upcoming MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) meetings. Data from the pilot shows that the program is effective and affordable, and has opened access for youth riders in need. Our municipal partners have proven to be effective administers of the program, which has had no instances of fraud.

"I have more freedom to use the T now, I'm not worried, like, Oh, I don't have money on my T Pass. I can go and use the bus and take the train because it's unlimited. So, it's really good and a big difference," said Larissa Williams, a Youth Pass pilot participant. "When you're struggling with money also, it's really helpful, so I think that it would be a good idea to keep it."

We are also asking for a 60-day extension of the Youth Pass pilot, from July 1 to August 31. This will cover the gap between the end of the pilot on June 30 to September 1, when fare vending machines will begin offering Student (and potentially Youth) Passes.

To improve the program, we need to expand the eligibility range beyond age 21 to include low-income youth up to age 25. Currently, the pilot is available to youth ages 12 to 18 without restriction and to low-income youth ages 19 to 21. Expanding the range responds to the demonstrated need cited by municipal partners and better aligns the pass with workforce and healthcare programs.

"We are asking for your support for these youth. Not saying we are all one, but united we stand, divided we fall," said Youth Pass campaign leader Trae Weekes. "We share similar challenges and one of those youth at risk of losing this opportunity may be your family, or your friend, or even you yourself."

Jammin' tickets & volunteer opportunities

May 11, 2016

Jammin' for Justice is just a week and a half away! We can't wait to celebrate another year of environmental justice with you on Monday, May 23, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Hibernian Hall in Dudley Square.

Buy your ticket today! Tickets start at $35. A "Set your own ticket price" option is available and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Already got your ticket? Get a sneak peek of our silent auction items and learn more about our EJ Awardees: Grow or Die gardeners Altha Henderson and Teresa Senices, the Greater Boston Community Land Trust Network, and the Equity, Public Transit & Health Access Project.

Calling volunteers! We would love your help at Jammin' to assist with setup, welcome guests, provide logistical support and photograph the event. Also, join us for Volunteer Night on Wednesday, May 18, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. to make decorations, displays and more. To volunteer, please contact Giselle.

Can't make it? We'll miss you! You can still show your support by giving online or donating via our amazing hosts to help us continue this work for environmental justice.

Hope to see you there!

Preparing gardens this spring

May 11, 2016

Thank you to the amazing volunteers who helped refresh our Grow or Die community gardens for the growing season! Our Ellington garden is ready for planting and our Magnolia garden was successfully relocated thanks to dozens of folks who turned out to shovel compost, renovate raised beds and clean up from winter.

There are still opportunities to get involved! Join us on Saturday, May 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. to finish our new garden design on Magnolia Street. For more information and to RSVP, contact Olmis.

Toxic Tour season now open!

May 11, 2016

Join us for our Toxic Tour of Dudley Square and learn about the history of environmental justice in our home neighborhood. Toxic Tours are great for students, teachers, community organizations, faith-based groups, public health professionals and anyone interested in EJ organizing.

"The electroplating factory and piles of rubble were obvious health risks to students at the nearby middle schools and daycare, yet the management of the factory and construction agency did nothing to help or warn the population...I could not believe that somebody could care so little about the safety of a large population.

The other specific moment that impacted me the most was when [ACE staff] asked us if those events outlined above could happen in the places where we live. That moment was the first time I fully realized how real environmental racism is."

                                                                                                                          --C.B., Milton Academy student

Tours usually last about two hours and we are happy to work with your group's specific needs. In exchange, we ask for a sliding scale honorarium to support this work. See more details and contact us to schedule a tour.


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