ACE Blog

Top 10 reasons to attend Jammin' for Justice

May 28, 2008

As you know, ACE's Annual Celebration and Fundraiser is tonight, at the Red Fez, from 6-9 p.m. If we haven't convinced you to come from the previous days' blogs, here's a few more reasons...

Come join us at Jammin' tonight, May 28, 2008

#10 – Hey why not, it's free! If you feel moved to donate, we'll be passing a hat around during the program where you can give as much or as little as you want. Food and soda are also provided and we'll have a cash bar.

#9 – Everyone is welcome! This is a family-friendly event in a wheelchair-accessible location. Childcare is provided offsite at a nearby community center. Drop your kids off and head to the Fez. We'll bring them there at the end of the night.

#8 – We're public transit and car accessible. Free parking is available in the restaurant's back lot and the Silver Line bus runs right down Washington Street, connecting to the Red, Orange and Green Lines and Dudley Square.

#7 – The fantastic music. Our playlist has been compiled from our diverse staff, board, members and youth, so there's bound to be something in the mix that appeals to you, or new music that piques your interest.

#6 – Bragging rights: Your friends and family will thank you for bringing them. Years down the line you can say, "Remember that time I brought you to the ACE party at the Red Fez?" and they will say, "OMG, that was great! You're the best!" Read more...

Local attorney to win Pro Bono Advocate Award

May 27, 2008

Sidra M. Vitale

As you know from recent blogs, we will be highlighting our Jammin' awardees leading up to the event tomorrow. Today’s selected honoree is Sidra M. Vitale, Esq.

Sidra Vitale is an attorney on a one-year fellowship at the New England School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 2007. She is tirelessly working with ACE’s Legal Counsel as pro bono co-counsel for the Brockton and West Bridgewater residents fighting to stop the construction of a fossil fuel power plant in Brockton.


Roxbury High School to win award for EJ work

May 26, 2008

New Mission students on the Unity for the Community panel

As you know from Thursday's blog, we will be highlighting our Jammin' awardees leading up to the event this Wednesday. Today’s selected honoree is New Mission High School.

The seniors at New Mission have devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to four projects this year: affordable housing and gentrification, MBTA service, youth violence and the BU Bioterrorism Lab. This month, these service learning projects were presented as videos, workshops, poems and information booths in a public forum called Unity for the Community. The event culminated in a panel focusing on the relationship between teens and police, and how to cultivate a more respectful, cooperative dialogue. Read more...

Boston teen to win award for transit work

May 23, 2008

As you know from yesterday's blog, we will be highlighting our Jammin' awardees leading up to the event next Wednesday. Today’s selected honoree is TRU member Stuart Spina.

Stuart (middle, speaking) tells reporters and T officials how to improve buses

Stuart’s involvement with the T Riders Union (TRU) began with a chance encounter last summer. In June 2007, he was at Dudley Square Bus Station conducting his own research on bus service and came across a TRU organizer doing outreach. He realized that we were working on the same issues, decided to attend a meeting, and as he says, "the rest is history!"

In the past year he has become a prominent face at the ACE office, TRU events and MBTA board meetings. At a recent press conference Stuart presented his research on twelve bus routes in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, which he collected over nine months of observations. This report caught the attention of the MBTA, and they offered him a summer internship in scheduling and service planning. Read more...

Chelsea residents defeat power plant

May 22, 2008

ACE’s annual celebration and fundraiser, Jammin' for Justice, is less than one week away. The evening will feature delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, lively music, and a silent auction. It will also be an opportunity for ACE to showcase our members’ outstanding work of the last year. Over the next few days we will be highlighting some of our honorees. Today’s selected honoree is Chelsea Creek Communities Against the Power Plant.

Chelsea residents protest against the diesel power plant

Chelsea residents, in collaboration with Chelsea Green Space and ACE, successfully organized against a proposed diesel-burning power plant in their community. The plant would have been sited near Chelsea’s Mary C. Burke Elementary School, exposing children to diesel exhaust and particulate matter. Due to residents’ strong, organized resistance against the plant, the developer withdrew its plans in November 2007. This is not the first time residents have successfully fought industrial interests in their neighborhoods. Last year, with help from our legal network, residents forced a local tannery to clean-up its pollution and foul odors. Read more...

Service on the Silver Line bus anything but 'rapid transit'

May 21, 2008

Silver Line bus protestors

Our friends at No Free Transfer have started a 25 Things I Hate about the T list. Ranking at number seven is the Silver Line bus. While the MBTA promised the residents of Dorchester and Roxbury service equal to or better than the Washington Street Elevated Orange Line that was torn down in 1987, the T’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) replacement has been anything but an improvement.

The Silver Line bus has not incorporated widely used BRT innovations. Even transit-starved Los Angeles has been able to implement signal prioritization and headway-based scheduling (which would reduce the “clumping” of buses which plagues the Silver Line bus) for its BRT, and other cities are following LA’s lead. Read more...

New bill for clean energy filed

May 20, 2008

A bill filed in the Massachusetts state house yesterday would commit $100 million over five years to clean-energy research and development. This is a valuable step to encourage the use of clean and renewable energy in the state, but it is not completely on target. Sixty-five percent of the bill’s funds would go towards researching new technology at academic institutions and a newly created Clean Energy Technology Center.

We believe that the state must also consider grassroots efforts that are using existing green technology to build environmental justice in lower income communities. Community-owned cooperatives, like the one Co-op Power is fostering in partnership with ACE, are effectively promoting local green-collar jobs, solar installations, and green building. The development of green-collar jobs should not be limited to elite academic institutions; instead, it should be part of a movement that provides benefits for all communities, especially those that have been subject to past environmental injustices. Read more...

Local construction needs to employ local workers

May 16, 2008

Chuck Turner rallies the crowd

After 10 years the Ferdinand building is again the focus of a redevelopment plan aimed at "revitalizing" the Dudley Square area. Early this afternoon Mayor Thomas Menino, Senator Diane Wilkerson, Representative Gloria Fox, City Councilor Chuck Turner, city officials and business owners held a press conference in front of the skeletal structure that once was one of the largest furniture stores in New England.

The Mayor heralded the project as one that will bring renewed investment in the area, remove a long-standing eyesore from the Roxbury skyline and provide construction jobs for the neighborhood. This is a point of contention with residents, as city construction projects routinely hire from suburban areas in spite of the many local workers available. Read more...