May 20, 2015
We would like to highlight our EJ Award recipients who worked hard to secure our state's Executive Order on Environmental Justice!
The Massachusetts Environmental Justice Alliance (MA EJ Alliance) accomplished a major goal in 2014 when Massachusetts became one of just eight states to issue an Executive Order on Environmental Justice (EJ EO). Convened by ACE in 2009, the alliance is comprised of more than 20 grassroots groups and supported by health professionals and academic researchers who came together to push for an EJ policy agenda. MA EJ Alliance members identified the Executive Order as a priority.
After five years of campaigning, including meeting with officials and government agencies, collecting signed postcards calling for the EJ EO, and language negotiations, the MA EJ Alliance convinced Governor Deval Patrick to sign the EJ EO to ensure that state agencies take EJ communities' interests into account.
"Having a state environmental justice order in place makes a difference to a community like Salem in giving citizens more leverage to demand a cleaner environment," said Pat Gozemba, Co-Chair of Salem Alliance for the Environment (SAFE). "SAFE was proud to partner with ACE in getting Governor Patrick to sign the historic order."