May 21, 2012
Today we'd like to share more about awardee Morley Street Neighborhood Association (MSNA) and Dana Lanzillo of Saul Ewing:
Morley Street Neighborhood Association (MSNA) formed almost three decades ago with the goal of converting an empty lot in Fort Hill into a green space for the community. MSNA has long used this vacant for local activities that include a play place for children and neighborhood cookouts. To ensure future use as a community space, MSNA decided to pursue using the site permanently.
Co-chairs Carol Best and former ACE attorney Quita Sullivan continued the process of acquiring this land. After many years of negotiations, MSNA won the land from the city and had it transferred to the Cooper Community Center (Cooper). MSNA now leases this lot and the neighborhood has a permanent space to enjoy. This victory shows how the tenacity of residents can lead to powerful organizing and is an inspiration to all of us who work to increase green spaces in our communities.
Dana C. Lanzillo of Saul Ewing, representing MSNA pro bono as a Massachusetts Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN) volunteer, was responsible for the complex paperwork throughout the negotiations for the lot. Dana worked with MSNA, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and Cooper, and also appeared before the Environmental Section Public Service/Pro Bono Committee with Quita Sullivan to advocate for the transfer of this lot. His hard work and dedication helped make the acquisition of this community space possible. Congratulations Dana and MSNA residents on your tremendous work!