Spotlight on Activism: Dorchesterites Heading to D.C. Over Education

Dorchester is home to many public school teachers, parents, students, and political activists and many of these folks will be heading to the nation's capital on July 30th to express their concern with the direction of public education in the United States. The Save Our Schools March hopes to give voice to the many parents and students upset by recent school closings here in Dorchester and other neighborhoods. The march will give a platform to those concerned by an agenda that is privatizing education, through charter schools and pressure from corporate America. The march is further motivated by the damaging educational policies embedded in No Child Left Behind and more recently Race to the Top that focuses heavily on standardized testing. The rally and march will include a diverse array of parents, students, teachers, and educational thinkers (including Jonathon Kozol, Diane Ravitch, Pedro Noguera, Cornell West) who will speak and we encourage you to attend.

Where: Washington, D.C. - The Ellipse near the White House
When: Rally July 30, 2011 at noon and march to the White House at 1:30 pm
Website: www.saveourschoolsmarch.org

#11 Convert Unused Lots to Public Gardens

One issue in the urban environment is the vacant lot. That is because vacant lots seem to have a love affair with trash. However, some people are proposing innovative solutions to these unintentional dump sites. Many cities around the country (including Boston) have begun to convert these vacant lots to public gardens and in some bolder projects urban farms (with the obvious soil safety tests). In fact, Revision Urban Farm has been doing this for years and more farms are in the works for city-owned vacant lots.

We think that people should not only support these community gardens and urban farms, but encourage this to be taken a step further. Many of the empty lots in Dorchester are owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (for example, below are known dumping areas on top of the Shawmut Tunnel and next to Ashmont station). We would love to see these areas also opened to community gardening (much like those in the Fenway area) and urban farming. This would prevent dumping and create a way for neighbors to work together to grown good food, flowers, and plants.

Do you think this is a good idea? Rate below.

(Top photo courtesy of Gown 2 Earth Boston.)


Highlight on Activism: Dorchester Food Coop Initiative

When we heard a group of Dorchesterites were working hard to create a community-owned food store to provide healthy, local, and natural food for Dorchester, we were excited and felt their efforts had to be highlighted. If you are unfamiliar with the food co-op model, think Harvest co-op in Somerville or Jamaica Plain.

The Dorchester Food Coop Initiative is encouraging area residents to buy shares for $100 or $200 in the company to help get this community owned store off the ground. The co-op needs 500 owners to break ground and currently they are in the planning stages, including looking for possible sites. We encourage you to go to their website to learn more: http://dotcommcoop.wordpress.com

(Top photo courtesy of green Dot!.)