Lots going on tomorrow morning for social-justice activists in the city.
First up: the Springfield Institute will host an “Environmental Justice Tour” of the North End. This is SI’s second such tour; last summer, about 70 people, on foot and bike, participated in a similar tour, which hit some of the neighborhood’s public-health high points (the community garden on Sanderson Street; the free Brightwood health clinic; the brownfield-turned-playing field on Plainfield Street) and low points (the solid-waste facility on Bernie Street; the flood- and mold-plagued Gerena School; a McDonalds in the heart of a community where obesity and related health issues are a major problem).
The tour begins at 8:15 a.m.; participants should meet at the Gerena School at 8. For more information, click here.
Later that morning, Springfield No One Leaves/Nadie Se Mude will hold a rally outside the federal courthouse on State Street, where a hearing is scheduled in a lawsuit filed against the city over anti-foreclosure ordinances passed by the City Council last year.
The ordinances, passed last summer, require mortgage lenders to participate in a city-facilitated mediation process before they can foreclose on a property owner and also require lenders to put up $10,000 bonds to ensure that they’ll maintain vacant foreclosed properties. Proponents argue the rules would help individual families stay in their homes and spare neighborhoods the negative effects that come when houses are left vacant. The Mass Bankers Association opposed the ordinances, and late last year a group of local banks filed a lawsuit against the city over the rules.
The hearing will begin at 11 a.m.; before that, Springfield No One Leaves and its supporters will gather outside the courthouse for a 10:15 rally, where they will call on city officials to implement the ordinances now, rather than wait for the lawsuit to be resolved. “We worked too hard, and fought [too] long to let this ordinance sit un-used any longer,” organizers say in an announcement of the event. “… [W]e are confident that Federal Judge [Michael] Posner is going to stand on the side of the people and our communities vs. the banks!”