In light of the growing need to provide a wide variety of legal services to the Chelsea and Greater Boston area immigrant community, the Chelsea Collaborative today launched a Citizenship Legal Service Program. Lawyers, staff, and trained volunteers of the Collaborative, American Friends Service Committee, United Food and Commercial Workers, La Comunidad Inc., and Jobs With Justice will provide intake and application processing on Saturday, October 17th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
According to Organizing Director Yessenia Alfaro, “this initiative by the Chelsea Collaborative in addition to providing naturalization services, aims to fully engage our community in civic participation, and to deter notary fraud.”
The Chelsea Collaborative is accepting applications for its Year Round Youth Employment Initiative. In order to apply, youth must be between 17 to 21; available to work from November 2015 to May 2016 for a maximum of 120 hours which includes 20 hours of Career Readiness Training; and must complete and submit application by Oct 19th. Click here for the application: /sites/default/files/application_2015-2016.pdf
The Chelsea Latino Immigrant Committee (CLIC) and its Workers Center organized a protest of popular restaurant McCormick and Schmick's in Boston's Faneuil Hall. The high end restaurant is being accused of employing immigrant workers and violating their rights within the work place. More than 30 people participated in the protest including a member of clergy who read a letter during the lunchtime bustle encouraging the restaurant owners to support all of the workers.
The Chelsea Collaborative held a forum for those candidates facing a primary election on September 22nd. The two featured races were the At-Large and District 5 City Council seats. Two District 5 challengers: Henry Wilson and Judith Garcia participated while incumbent Joe Perlatonda did not. For the At-Large race neither of the two incumbents, Calvin Brown and Leo Robinson, participated. Challengers Roy Avellaneda, John Cadiz, Todd Taylor, Damali Vidot and Deborah Washington participate. The ECO youth crew provided a welcome and ask questions, fielded from Collaborative members and members of the audience, of the candidates. The candidates field approximately one dozen questions from rat infestation to over-development and gentrification to workers rights and transgender rights. The dialogue was lively and informative. The forum as recorded on Chelsea Community Cable.
Green Space organized a highly successful transportation forum at the end of this summer. The forum was meant to be an opportunity for residents and public transit users to voice concern over the present services being offered and about the proposed silver line and its cost and effectiveness for Chelsea T riders. There were more than 50 people in attendance on a hot summer evening; and the forum was facilitated all in Spanish, with simultaneously translation into English. Both the MBTA and MAPC were there to listen to residents’ concerns.
Chelsea Green Space, the City of Chelsea and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation celebrated Arbor Day on Friday, April 24th. Arbor Day is a National Day celebrating the importance of trees. To commemorate this special day, Green Space and the City teamed up to join the state in planting 3 trees at the Burke Elementary School Complex. This effort was part of the Greening the City tree planting initiative which seeks to plant 2,000 trees in Chelsea by the end of 2015. For a free tree or more information on this project, please call Maria Belen Power at the Collaborative.
FoodCorps member Madelyn Herzog splits her time working for the Chelsea Collaborative and MGH's Healthy Chelsea Coalition. Madelyn's goals are to increase school gardens and access to healthy foods as well as to expand community gardening opportunities in Chelsea. Here she is pictured teaching a 2nd grade class at the Burke Elementary School Complex about the importance of composting! For more information on gardening in Chelsea, contact the Collaborative!
CTA has been organizing around and involved in legal disputes against David Zak an attorney based in Revere, MA who used discriminatory practices to take thousands of dollars from immigrant homeowners in exchange for promises of loan modifications and foreclosure prevention. He never followed through with his promises of help and legal representation. CTA organized the affected homeowners and with the pro bono legal assistance of Greater Boston Legal Services, brought a case to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The MCAD found Zak guilty of discriminating against 17 Latino homeowners by targeting them with predatory ads for modifying mortgages. He will pay $233,600 in restitution and fines to the victims. This was a significant victory for CTA, the Chelsea Collaborative and immigrant homeowners everywhere!
The Chelsea Summer Youth Employment Initiative relies on the help of community partners and stakeholders to interview the bright young applicants seeking summer jobs. Come on out and help us conduct approximately 250 interviews during the April School Vacation Week. The first round of interviews will be held on April 21st from 11 AM to 3 PM at the Williams School 180 Walnut Street. The second round of interviews will take place on April 23rd from 12 PM to 3 PM at The Collaborative. Please contact Sylvia for more information at (617)889-6080x106.