ACE Blog

Help us kick off the gardening season

April 15, 2016

It's time to get our gardens ready for planting! We have two opportunities this month to plug into our Grow or Die campaign and see how youth and residents have transformed vacant lots into thriving community gardens.

Magnolia Street Garden Clean-Up
Saturday, April 16, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Intersection of Magnolia Street and Woodford Street
Dorchester, MA 02125

Ellington Street Garden Clean-Up
Saturday, April 30, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

104 Ellington Street
Dorchester, MA 02121

#FightTheHike Accountability Action on Monday

March 7, 2016

It's all come down to this: On Monday, March 7, the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) will be voting on whether to increase fares. 

Please join us at 1:00 p.m. at the Transportation Building to hold the FMCB accountable!

These hikes will disproportionately hurt youth, seniors, people of color and low-income riders. Student and Youth Passes could be raised as much as 23.1 percent, bus passes 19.5 percent and THE RIDE and senior fares 10.3 percent.

Compare these to the average raise on the commuter rail - a service that predominately services wealthier suburban communities - from 3.9 percent in the MBTA's lower proposal to 6.3 percent in the higher proposal (some hikes as low as zero percent in both scenarios).

Hearing on Just Cause Eviction coming up

March 7, 2016

Join us on Monday, March 14, at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall to prevent the displacement of low-income families from our neighborhoods. City councilors will be discussing our Just Cause Eviction policy and we need your support to show the importance of these tenant protections.

With Right to the City - Boston, we held a city-wide assembly and march, received recognition from Mayor Marty Walsh and support from several city councilors, and stood with neighbors facing no-fault evictions in our community. Now, it's time to come out and ask our elected officials to defend our right to remain.

#FightTheHike: Championship Round

February 26, 2016

We need your support to save the MBTA and keep fares and passes affordable for riders. In the next two weeks, the entity tasked with overseeing the T, the Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB), will be discussing and voting on proposals to raise fares by 6.71 and 9.77 percent, and monthly passes by as much as 23.1 percent.

Making EJ Connections

February 2, 2016

Watch: EJ analysis of Flint water poisoning

Check out the most recent episode of WGBH's Basic Black to see our Executive Director Kalila Barnett discuss the environmental justice crisis in Flint, Michigan, where government officials have poisoned city residents with lead-contaminated drinking water for over a year.

Sign: Stop the hikes!

Sign our petition to reject fare increases on the MBTA and support sustainable, long-term investment in the system. We have over 400 supporters already - add your name, share it with your friends, and stay tuned for updates!

Attend: Help connect residents to legal and technical assistance

Save the date: On Monday, March 7, we will be joining with Prince Lobel Tye LLP and Anderson & Kreiger LLP to celebrate the work of our Environmental Justice Legal Services program and Massachusetts Environmental Justice Assistance Network (MEJAN). Join us to support legal services for EJ groups in our state and beyond.

Save the Date: Jammin' for Justice 2016

February 2, 2016

You're invited to Jammin' for Justice, our annual fundraiser and celebration! It's time to get together to enjoy dinner and drinks and connect with the ACE community as we raise funds to support the next year of work.

Monday, May 23, 2016
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Hibernian Hall
184 Dudley Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

We hope you'll join us! Stay tuned for ticket sales. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Translation and childcare is available with RSVP.

Want to help with out? There are plenty of ways to support Jammin' that make a big impact:

Become a host: As a host, you set a personal fundraising goal and invite family and friends to join you in supporting ACE. Hosts play a crucial and fun role in making the event a success!

Sponsor Jammin': Sponsorships provide great visibility for your business or organization and show the community that you support environmental justice.

Donate a silent auction item: Do you have a talent for homemade crafts? Got a connection to some local businesses? Let us know if you have an item you'd like to donate!

Volunteer: We'd love to have your help as event staff and at volunteer nights this spring. See our calendar for upcoming opportunities.

For more information on hosting, sponsoring, donating and volunteering at the event, email John or call (617) 442-3343 x231.

Standing against displacement in Dudley

February 2, 2016

On January 15, ACE members and neighbors rallied against gentrification and displacement in Dudley Square at a protest organized by City Life/Vida Urbana, one of our partners in Right to the City - Boston (RTCB).

Residents of 9-15 Ruggles Street, across the street from ACE's office, are facing eviction from real estate and management groups that are profiting from predatory rent hikes. The Mayo Group and Advanced Property Management (APM) are renovating the units to rent at much higher prices, pushing out families who are willing to negotiate a reasonable rent increase but can't afford to pay hundreds more.

Building residents and supporters shared stories of no-fault evictions in Boston's low-income neighborhoods, dramatic rent increases and landlords clearing buildings for higher-income renters.

"I've been in this building here for 16 years. I've been a good tenant, I've paid my rent," said Felicha, a Ruggles Street resident threatened with eviction who has lived in Roxbury for 49 years. "This is my home - this is where I grew up."

Fight Night at the MBTA

February 2, 2016

Join our T Riders Union (TRU) tonight for the MBTA's fare increase hearing at the Transportation Building and on February 10 for the meeting in Roxbury! We are organizing for an equitably funded transit system and a moratorium on fare hikes and service cuts.

The Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB), appointed to oversee the MBTA by Governor Baker, will be voting on two fare increase proposals in the next couple months. These plans will raise fares by an (unlawful) average of 6.71 or 9.77 percent, respectively bringing in an additional $33.2 million or $49.4 million.

Last year, Baker proposed abolishing the fare cap from our 2013 transportation bill that limits fare hikes to five percent every two years. This year, he, along with some legislators and transit officials, has shamelessly twisted the law to allow for a 10 percent increase, including substantially higher fares on the people least able to afford them - youth, seniors and disabled people.

In an additional show of disrespect to riders, the administration has deliberately misrepresented monthly passes as being different from fares to exempt them from the cap. Under this interpretation, passes will be subject to raises of any amount at any time.

Fares on seniors and THE RIDE could be raised as much as 10.3 percent. Monthly passes for the bus - the mode used most by low-income riders - could be hiked by 19.5 percent. Worst of all, the cost for Student Passes (and our Youth Pass) is the most extreme of any increase, at 23.1 percent.

The FMCB claims that fare hikes are the last option and the only way to balance the budget. But we have identified a number of ways to cut costs and increase revenue without raising fares, using the T's own numbers and Baker's promised $187 million in state funding that has been hidden from the public.

Open Letter to MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board

December 14, 2015

Dear MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board Members,

On behalf of the T Riders Union (TRU) program at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), I am submitting this testimony offering our perspective on your upcoming December 15 report to the Massachusetts Legislature.

ACE is an environmental justice organization with 1,000 members based in the Dudley Square, Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. For more than 15 years, our programs—including the T Riders Union (TRU), the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP) and Environmental Justice Legal Services (EJLS)—have been working with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) riders, both adults and young people to organize and advocate for an affordable and reliable public transit system for all.

ACE, TRU, dozens of organizations, elected officials, and tens of thousands of riders, business owners, and residents are deeply concerned about what this board plans to include in its long-awaited report to the Legislature. Over the last six months, your slideshows have depicted cost inflation and stagnating ridership—a misleading representation of problems. We hope that you will change direction to bring honesty and clarity to this situation.

Increased funding is the keystone solution for the MBTA and without this, it will be impossible to stop the MBTA from falling apart. Last winter should have made that clear to each of you, as it very publicly showed the depths of the MBTA’s financial crisis.