ACE Blog

Green streets, healthier lives

November 18, 2008

The Globe's Green Blog recently highlighted a study touting the health benefits of community green space.

REEP youth at ACE's summer outing enjoy one of the few Roxbury parks

The study suggested that parks, trees, and landscaped areas in a neighborhood can help reduce residents' risk of heart attack and stroke.

Even the tiniest green spaces can be powerful tools in confronting public health problems. As one of the doctors who conducted the study put it, "This study offers valuable evidence that green space does more than 'pretty up' the neighborhood - it appears to have real effects on health inequality, of a kind that politicians and health authorities should take seriously."

ACE has understood and advocated for the benefits of green spaces for a long time. Green spaces, in the form of parks, urban farms, and trees on local streets, can reduce localized pollution and encourage recreation. Read more...

Pictures from ACE's 2008 Annual Meeting

November 14, 2008

A warm thank you to everyone who came out and made ACE's Annual Meeting a blast this year. It was great to see so many members and supporters and be able to share this work for environmental justice - we wouldn't be able to do it without you.

Much appreciation also goes to our volunteers, members and interns who helped set things up and made the event run smoothly all night. Enjoy the pictures!

REEP presents the upcoming year's priorities
Members enjoy the evening

See more pictures...

REEP alum to be honored by the National Wildlife Federation

November 13, 2008

Tonight, ACE's own Carlos Moreno will receive the prestigious National Conservation Achievement Award, also known as the "Connie Award," in Washington D.C.

Carlos (center) at a United Youth and Youth Workers of Boston rally for youth jobs funding

For the past 43 years the National Wildlife Federation has held the Connie Awards as a commemoration to "individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting wildlife through education, advocacy, and on–the–ground conservation."

Carlos has been chosen in the Youth award category for his extensive environmental justice work and organizing that has raised $1.75 million for the development of youth jobs and programming in Boston.

"Carlos is a remarkable young man and his leadership at ACE has inspired both youth and adults. We are very proud of him," said Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, Program Director at ACE. Read more...

Congratulations Penn!

November 10, 2008

 Charles Lee of the EPA with Khalida Smalls and Penn Loh of ACE.

We're pleased to announce that our very own Penn Loh was recently honored with an EPA New England Merit Award.

Penn has been at ACE since 1996 and has provided us with strong visioning and guidance in his most recent role as Executive Director. He currently also teaches at Tufts University and can be spotted biking all over the city. Penn is an asset to ACE as well as the environmental justice movement, and we know he'll continue to make great contributions to this work.

The award was presented by Charles Lee, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice. Charles has been a leader in the environmental justice movement for a number of years and continues to push for fair regulation and development within communities. Read more...

New videos feature youth and environmental justice

November 6, 2008

Photo from 1000 Voices Archive and EJCC

Check out these videos of young environmental justice organizers created by the 1000 Voice Archive and the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. The videos feature four young organizers explaining how they realized their calling to fight for environmental justice. This project is part of the 1000 Voices Archive, a "national collection of video stories created by filmmakers and communities across the country" that is being used to "encourage community conversations."

The short videos introduce Kari, Tony, Nia and Lllai, four youth activists who are engaging their communities in the green movement while also advocating for EJ issues. Read more...

Get your vote on!

November 3, 2008

Vote NO on Question 1 for our families and communities - do not repeal the state income tax!

As we all know, tomorrow is Election Day (finally)! We urge everyone to come out and make your voice heard in what may be one of the most important elections of our time. There is much at stake, whether it's choosing a president on the national level or deciding the fate of the income tax here in Massachusetts. Here are some tips and info to make sure your turn at the polls goes smoothly.

The voter checklist provided by the elections bureau of Massachusetts lists all offices and ballot questions so you can write down your choices before heading to the voting booth. Remember to bring your ID and know where polling locations are ahead of time. See your full ballot, polling location and other information by entering your address at

For voting assistance, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE for English help, or 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA for Spanish. These lines are staffed and available to answer any questions about the voting process. Read more...

Vote NO on Ballot Question 1 - an environmental injustice

October 30, 2008

Vote NO on Ballot Question 1 - do NOT repeal the state income tax

This November, our communities face the threat of an ill-conceived proposal to repeal the state income tax. Though proponents (a "yes" vote) point to punishing irresponsible government, we believe the initiative would have a disastrous effect on already disadvantaged and oppressed neighborhoods.

With a loss of over 40 percent of the state budget, there would be a brutal cutback in services that would primarily hurt lower income communities and communities of color that do not have the same cushion as wealthier communities and individuals.

Some of our hard-fought victories would be wiped out or severely cut, including youth jobs and programs that have helped keep young people off the streets. Like other city services, those jobs are paid for by state grants. Youth would be hit doubly as state funding for our already failing public schools would be slashed, leaving expensive private schooling the only decent method of education. Read more...

Question 1 would make current budget cuts seem insignificant

October 27, 2008

Election Day is only a week away, and while most of the attention is focused on the presidential race, on November 4, Massachusetts voters will weigh in on three ballot questions. In addition to taking a stance on marijuana possession and dog racing, (Questions 2 and 3), Question 1 will ask voters to determine the fate of the state income tax.

Ballot Question 1 would devastate Massachusetts communities - please vote NO!

Let’s look at the facts. Income taxes account for $12 billion or roughly 40 percent of the state budget. A repeal of the state income tax would let an executive with a $200,000 salary collect more than $200 a week, while a full-time minimum wage worker would only get $16 a week.

But what exactly would happen if in just two years the state’s budget was reduced by 40 percent? According to the Coalition for Our Communities, we would see a sharp increase in property taxes as well as other fees that affect lower income families the most. The cost of living would spike, hitting those in lower income communities and communities of color the hardest. Cuts in education would mean less funding for our public schools as well as teacher lay-offs and even school closings in some areas. It would also affect funding for healthcare, law enforcement, and infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.) as well as the state’s job market in general – a deathwish to the state’s already fragile economy. Read more...