ACE Blog

Dudley Square time capsule opened from 1922

June 26, 2008

Elected officials unveil the time capsule

Local and state officials visited Roxbury yesterday morning to open a time capsule from 1922. The capsule was found in the cornerstone of an expansion to Dudley Square's Ferdinand building, which is being renovated into a city office building. Mayor Menino, State Representative Byron Rushing, State Senator Diane Wilkerson, BRA Director John Palmieri and members of the Dudley Vision Task Force helped present the capsule to the public. Representative Rushing provided a salient overview Roxbury's history, highlighting the different groups of people who have lived in Roxbury over the centuries.

Inside the capsule were newspapers from June 1922, Ferdinand's Furniture advertisements, and a list of Ferdinand's employees. Read more...

March for fully bilingual ballots in Boston

June 25, 2008

"It's not a joke! We want to vote!" was the rallying call when a group of residents marched from Chinatown to the Massachusetts State House demanding fully bilingual ballots this past Monday.

Residents march for Chinese and Vietnamese translated ballots

The Asian American Civil Rights March and Speak-Out was originally planned for last Thursday, June 19, also known as Juneteenth, the annual celebration of African American Emancipation Day. (The march had to be rescheduled due to the Celtics victory parade.) Organizers of the march from the Coalition for Asian American Voting Rights paid tribute to past voting rights movements.

"We are standing in the footsteps of African American civil rights activists," said Lydia Lowe, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association.

Monday's march was the newest action in the fight for Chinese and Vietnamese fully bilingual ballots. In 2005 an agreement was made between the U.S. Department of Justice and the City of Boston to provide fully bilingual ballots for Chinese and Vietnamese Americans with limited English proficiency. However, this agreement expires in 2008. Read more...

Working for a just future at the Regional Sustainability Energy Summit

June 24, 2008

Over the past weekend, over 20 people from ACE and our partner organizations attended the 2008 Regional Sustainable Energy Summit sponsored by Co-op Power at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The green jobs contingent of ACE and our partners

On Friday, the Pre-Summit featured day-long lectures including green jobs training and networking opportunities. Speeches were delivered by Dr. Beth Sawin and Dr. Phil Rice from the Our Climate Ourselves Program at the Sustainability Institute, and Tina Clarke from Clean Water Action. Attendees also enjoyed a catered dinner and salsa dancing to a live Puerto Rican band. Read more...

Urban Ring: A transit injustice in the making?

June 20, 2008

Monday night in Roxbury, the state Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) held the last in a series of meetings about the Urban Ring. This proposed network of bus rapid transit (BRT) lines would run in a loop around Downtown Boston, offering connectivity for communities that are underserved by the MBTA's rapid transit routes.

A slide in the consultant's presentation on the Urban Ring

Employees of Earth Tech, the state's consultant for the project, shared how the Urban Ring would pass through the Melnea Cass corridor, using renderings and design guidelines from the Roxbury Master Plan. After passing through a tunnel under the Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), the Ring would come above ground at Ruggles Station, then travel in a dedicated busway on Melnea Cass Boulevard. Some service buses along the Urban Ring would also include a stop at Dudley Station, running in mixed traffic down Washington Street. These presenters insisted that the Urban Ring would provide accessibility benefits to Roxbury residents and learn from the mistakes of the Silver Line Bus.

Despite problems with facilitation and misleading information about the format of the meeting, TRU members and Roxbury residents were able to raise some critical concerns about the project. Read more...

Diesel school buses to be cleaned up in Massachusetts

June 19, 2008

Last Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick announced a plan to install pollution control equipment on 5,500 diesel school buses by 2010.

Retrofitting school buses would improve the air and health of children and drivers

The initiative, MassCleanDiesel: Clean Air for Kids, will fund retrofits for all school buses through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The announcement was made in Lynn, MA, which will be serviced by newly retrofitted school buses operated by the first bus company to sign up for funding, the North Reading Transportation Co.

Though the program is voluntary, bus companies are encouraged to join to avoid any potential later costs. We are currently working to pass the Diesel Bill, which would require state and municipal buses and other diesel powered heavy-duty vehicles to be retrofitted by 2012. Read more...

Serve and Protect: Exploring interactions between youth and police

June 18, 2008

Youth speak about their experiences during the premiere

Last Thursday, Suffolk Law School hosted the premiere screening of Serve and Protect – Reframing Youth Police Relationships. The 35 minute film was created by the youth media production group of the YWCA Boston Youth Voice Collaborative. The film features interviews with juvenile justice professionals, teens, youth workers and MBTA transit police. It explores the relationship between teens and police, particularly within the Boston area, and how this dynamic is shaped and affected by the media.

According to the YWCA, "this film hopes to make adults and young people aware of the role that manufactured images play in the decisions they make about law and order, and aims to give everyone some tools to think critically about a more just society." Read more...

Boston Pride celebrates green theme

June 17, 2008

Floats incorporated green messages

This year's Boston Pride theme, "Sustaining our Community, Conserving Our World," lead the festivities of the LGBTQQIAA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally) community's annual celebration.

Running from June 6 to June 15, Pride featured green initiatives such as increased usage of recycled materials, encouragement of greener transportation like public transit, biking, and car-pooling, and plans to offset the 2009 event's carbon footprint. The theme also promoted health awareness and community unity. Read more...

Pictures from the Chelsea River Revel

June 16, 2008

Runners starting the 5K race through the Chelsea community

Over the weekend ACE staff, members and interns had a blast at the Fifth Annual Chelsea River Revel on the Meridian Street Bridge in Chelsea, MA. This event is "the one day of the year that the Chelsea Creek is opened to the community" according to the Chelsea Creek Action Group (CCAG), a neighborhood coalition of local residents in Chelsea and East Boston working on environmental justice issues.

Through tabling, music and boat tours, the event highlighted local environmental injustices such as the infamous "Salt Mountain," and was hosted by Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee, the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) and CCAG. See more pictures...