Neighbors for Neighbors

Do stuff with and for your neighbors

What should we do as neighbors this spring and why?


I'm inviting all NFN members from all neighborhoods to join this, our new citywide network. 

To get things going, I'm posing the first of a series of questions (the next are up to you - add a blog post now):

This question is: What should we do as neighbors this spring and why?

Specifically, I am looking for examples of actions we can take, behaviors we can change, organizations where we can volunteer with or financially support, events we can attend, and other things we can do as individuals and as groups.

Reply to share your thoughts - be serious and be playful - it's spring after all!

Non-profits - feel free to shamelessly promote yourselves in this discuss!




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Comment by Lisa Vaas (Moderator) on April 25, 2011 at 11:39am


Saturday, April 30, 6:00 p.m.:

Women Outdoors—a national, nonprofit, all-volunteer organization promoting wilderness activity, leadership and outdoors skills (check out our site)—is thrilled to be sponsoring two all-women teams for the Run of the Charles race on Saturday, April 30—so thrilled, we plan to have a party afterwards to honor our mighty rowers and party with all of those in town to urge them on.

If you don't know about Run of the Charles, check it out here. This is New England's largest canoe and kayak race, held every April, put on by the Charles River Watershed Association to showcase the ongoing improvements in the Charles River, while drawing 1,500 paddlers and hundreds of spectators to enjoy a day on the river.

Women Outdoors members are traveling from as far away as New York to participate or cheer WO paddlers on, and we want to hang with them! So if you're interested in hanging with us, meeting the paddlers, eating a little food, and learning more about our organization, we would love to see you.

The party will be at Women Outdoors headquarters, aka my house, in Jamaica Plain, starting around 6:00 on race day.

If you'd like to come, please RSVP to me at, and I'll send the address and directions.

Comment by keith barton on April 23, 2011 at 2:18pm
There are a lot of things we could be doing, but I'm going to suggest one campaign I believe in that few would speak up for (and is probably very controversial). That is that prostitution should be legalized, or at the very least, we should not insist that the police crack down on prostitution. Prostitution is more of in issue in other parts of the city, but it does occur in JP and it occurs rather widely in neighborhoods that border JP.

There are many reasons to legalize or decriminalize prostitution. Among the top reasons I will list here:

1. The police cannot control prostitution without violating the privacy and civil rights of individuals, some of whom are merely walking down the street, standing on the sidewalk or conversing with another individual.

2. In spite of some popular notions, prostitution is a relatively harmless and victimless “crime.”

3. Prostitutes (as well as customers) can become victims for the simple reason that prostitution is considered a crime. For example, if a young female prostitute is robbed or assaulted, she likely will not go to the police for help because she will be treated by the police as a criminal or worse.

4. Prostitutes are further victimized by a legal system that keeps them mired in a cycle of incarceration, poverty and humiliation that is nearly impossible for many women to break from.

5. Regardless of how distasteful it may be to some people, there is a market for prostitution and prostitutes provide a service. If there are men who have a desire or need to use the service of prostitutes, they probably should be allowed to. I’m not a doctor, but sometimes prohibition could have adverse effects on the mental and physical health of some individuals.

These are some of the reasons I can come up for now. I welcome responses of support or other comments.
Comment by Gretchen Van Ness on April 21, 2011 at 9:51am

Tonight, Thursday, April 21st, is the annual meeting of the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets organization, one of the sponsors of last Saturday's Shop Local event.  This organization is dedicated to supporting and promoting the small businesses in Hyde and Jackson Squares, many of which are locally-owned.   Join us tonight to find outmore about what we do and how you can participate!  


The meeting starts at 6 pm at the Julia Martin House on Bickford Street across from the Stop & Shop.  Slice O'Pie has donated pizza and Kennedy's Fried Chicken has donated -- well, come and see!  It's free and a great opportunity to meet your neighbors. 


For more information, check out:!/pages/Hyde-Jackson-Main-Street/215076511835923?sk=wall

Comment by Jack Ravenscroft on April 20, 2011 at 12:15pm

If you are interested in trying to get Wholefoods to set itself up elsewhere than at the old Hi-Lo, Whose Foods campaign has sent out this email on actions you can take to help, starting tonight with community action at Spontaneous Celebrations:


Hello friends and neighbors,
Reminder that TODAY is an important working meeting. The goal is getting stuff done! We'll have a part of the meeting geared directly towards orienting newcomers. If you've been involved for a while, please come out and share your wisdom and experience. If you can't make it right at six due to work commitments, still come. Better late than never!
TOMORROW is the JP Neighborhood Council meeting. LOCATION UPDATE: it's at the Nate Smith House. Your presence is needed.
1. TODAY: Accomplish next steps at a Working Meeting - Wednesday 4/20 at 6pm

Location: Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St. (map)
If you've been waiting on the sidelines and are not sure how to be involved, or want to refocus your energy on change in your neighborhood, this meeting is for you. Come and join your neighbors doing outreach and petitioning, turning out calls and emails to elected officials, envisioning viable alternatives, researching and writing op-eds, planning events, social media communication, or basic operations and logistics. You will accomplish at least one concrete thing with your time, and we'll buddy up to support each other. If you've come once, twice, or a few times, now is the time to come back together. Come and make some change with your neighbors.
2. TOMORROW: Attend the JPNC Ad Hoc Whole Foods Committee - Thursday 4/21 at 7pm

Location: Nate Smith House Community Room, 155 Lamartine St. Enter through courtyard on Lamartine. (map)
If you want to be involved in crafting alternatives or mitigating Whole Foods' effect on our neighborhood in any way you should keep showing up for these meetings. The committee was selected, but community participation is still very important. If we don't have strong voices in the room, our community will be in a much weaker position to negotiate with Whole Foods if it opens. 

3. Can't make it this week? Call and email your elected officials...

Staff at the Mayor's office, Felix Arroyo's office and all the other elected officials are saying that personal emails and phone calls are very important to them. A short phone call or email is fine. Share your address if you live in Jamaica Plain, and if you have more time, share a personal story of how increasing rents and prices have affected you and your friends, family, and neighbors. Please BCC so we can keep track of the emails!

Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council
Elected Officials
Whole Foods
Thanks and see you tonight and tomorrow!

Whose Foods / Whose Community? Coalition for an Affordable and Diverse JP
Comment by April Penn on April 20, 2011 at 9:05am

I have a suggestion.  Come out to the Boston Frog Pond located off the Park Street stop in the middle of the Boston Common.  There is a reflecting pool. And it is sure to be a beautiful park this summer after they finish the construction.  The spray pool will open June 29th.

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