East Boston v. Eversource Substation: An Ongoing Fight for Justice

Climate XChange, October 15, 2021, East Boston V. Eversource Substation: An Ongoing Fight for Justice

In  the United States, gentrification and the displacement of long-time residents has been most intense in the largest cities. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) notes that Black and Hispanic U.S. residents were impacted the most by gentrification, affecting at least 135,000 people in 2019. More recently, NCRC ranked Boston as the third most gentrified city in the U.S. with 21.3 percent of neighborhoods being gentrified from 2013 – 2017.

Eversource plans to build a substation in East Boston, an area where 64 percent of community members are people of color and 54 percent of the community are immigrants.

For locals and activists, the project highlights a classic case of environmental injustice, in which a company places an industrialized project in often low- to mid-income communities or Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) communities. Many residents have voiced their concern of the project further contributing to the growing burden of pollution in an already heavily industrialized area.

 

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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