Health Justice for Boston ~ Number 16. April 2015
Stop Unhealthy Changes to School Meals!
More burgers, mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza - highly processed "foods" of questionable nutritional value - became the majority of hot entrees served every day of every week at all Boston public schools starting April 1st as a result of school budget cuts. Students need healthier foods, but instead the School Department and Mayor Marty Walsh approved cost-cutting menu changes that lower the quality of foods served to all 57,000 students in the district. Join the effort! Sign the petition! Go to: https://www.change.org/p/don-t-harm-our-kids-stop-unhealthy-changes-to-boston-school-meals. - Ann Eldridge Malone
Rebuild the Bridge! Don’t Tear It Down!
May 15th is the fast-approaching start date for demolition of the overpass at the Forest Hills T station. Over 24,000 cars a day will travel at ground level along Route 203. Drivers and those nearby will breathe idling traffic emissions, and Respirable Crystalline Silica dust from the demolition. Councillor Charles Yancey has introduced a hearing order to address this threat, which “brings … challenges to residents and visitors who routinely depend on safe travel to the Longwood Medical Area … for lifesaving medical services … ” For more information and a community petition, go to BridgingForestHills.com.
Boston 2024 Threatens Health
Planning and hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston would endanger Bostonians’ health for many reasons, including these:
- The Olympics demand money, time and attention from public officials, nonprofits, community leaders, and charitable donors. The Games distract our city from urgent needs for drug rehab services, affordable housing, clean air, better schools, and more. Right now, as city officials buzz about 2024 tourists, hundreds of homeless people remain stranded after city shelters closed.
- Construction of Olympic facilities would displace some communities, bring traffic chaos, and shut down precious parks and recreation sites for months or years. Poorer people will be harmed most.
- Major Olympic sponsors - McDonald’s, Coke, and others - will saturate our city with ads for their unhealthy products.
- Even in the US, sex trafficking is common around big sports events.
To achieve our city’s goals, we can’t just squeeze them into a plan for a three-week party. Olympic boosters say they want to boost our kids’ health and future. So why don’t they raise money for Boston schools? Half of Boston schools have no gyms, and many lack kitchens to prepare fresh, healthy food.
Two groups are organizing to oppose this distraction from Boston’s priorities. NoBostonOlympics emphasizes the undemocratic process and economic risks that outweigh gains. NoBoston2024 adds attention to displacement, militarized policing and other social justice concerns about the Olympics. - Debbie Socolar
Health Care & Social Justice Conversation
Saturday, May 2, 9:30 - 11:30 AM
Connolly Branch, Boston Public Library
433 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain
(Wheelchair accessible; please email for any other accessibility requests! MBTA: Orange Line to Stony Brook, or buses #14, 32, 35, 38, 39, or 41.
Are you a healthcare practitioner/provider who wants to:
+ be an integral part of the communities you serve?
+ challenge systemic health disparities?
+ empower people to make informed choices about their care?
+ re-imagine what healthcare can look like?
If yes, please come to this general interest meeting about healthcare justice!
We are delighted to welcome Health Care Justice for Boston to our coalition of forces! We hope for greater diversity in terms of age and people of color, and we think together we can manage to translate this newsletter into Spanish for the first time since February 2014. We urge all our readers to attend this May 2nd meeting of Health Care Justice for Boston in Jamaica Plain. - Quentin Davis
On March 26th at Harvard Medical School, Mass-Care, Physicians for a National Health Program, Students for a National Health Program, State Senator Jamie Eldridge and State Representative Jen Benson hosted the first of a statewide series of Speak Outs for healthcare justice entitled “Health Care in Massachusetts: An Ailing Model.” Speakers addressed continuing access problems and the single-payer solution. - Sandy Eaton
What is Healthcare Justice?
- Access: Can you get the care you need?
- Affordability: Will you go bankrupt if you do?
- Quality: Will you survive your encounter?
- Equality: Do you meet special barriers to care?
For more information on health care as a right, not a commodity:
To navigate the current system:
Boston Mayor’s HealthLine @ 617-534-5050
Health Care For All - Massachusetts
Consumer Health HelpLine @ 800-272-4232
Massachusetts Health Connector
Customer Support @ 877-623-6765
For more information, contact: