March is Women's History Month. Greenovate is featuring perspectives of women who share our commitment to climate action, and to making Boston a thriving, healthy, and innovative city. The third post is from Cynthia Loesch, lifelong Dorchester resident.
My name is Cynthia Loesch. I am a lifelong resident of Dorchester and attended Boston Public schools, Boston College, and Northeastern University School of Law. I spent the last seventeen years focused on developing and enhancing policies, systems, and environmental change through youth engagement and community organizing.
At the age of 13, I founded the BOLD Teens, a youth-led group focused on social and environmental justice. The leadership of the BOLD Teens led to a number of environmental and tobacco control policies, including smoke-free work places in Boston and Massachusetts, banning the sale of tobacco products in Boston pharmacies, FDA regulation of tobacco products, and most recently, increasing the tobacco sale age to 21.
I served as the youngest President of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council and through that capacity established the Codman Square Farmer's Market to bring fresh, local, organic produce to my community; improved parks, such as the capital improvements made to the Dr. Loesch Family Park; enhanced public transportation by working with the MBTA on the local Fairmont stops; ensured our community is walkable and filled with green space; and worked with developers to build healthier, more efficient developments.
Presently, I am a real estate attorney at Nixon Peabody, and remain active in my community by working closely with the BOLD Teens and serving as the president of the Codman Square Neighborhood Council.
I was inspired by the many [people] that would tell me it was not cost effective, or they they just could not develop green, healthy housing in my neighborhood. I decided to build a three-family home on my own and make a true showcase for how homes should be built in my community.
My advice to a young person interested in making a difference would be to make the change you want to see. At the age of 26, I built Dorchester's first LEED Platinum home (the first of its kind in Boston). I was inspired by the many developers that would tell my community it was not cost effective, or that they just could not develop green, healthy housing in my neighborhood. I decided to build a three-family home on my own and make a true showcase for how homes should be built in my community. My home has solar PV, solar hot water, a rainwater harvesting system, sustainable land space, and was built with indoor air quality in mind. It is an excellent showcase of how to build a green and healthy home. Now, when developers present development plans to the community, we have a real example to showcase, and we confidently demand better and more from the developers. I invite you to visit www.81brent.org to learn more.
Dorchester is the largest, most diverse, and best part of Boston, if you ask me. Within Dorchester, I live in Codman Square, a vibrant community full of innovation and leadership. Civic groups like the Codman Square Neighborhood Council have been enhancing the quality of life and the built environment for decades. Efforts like the Daily Table make delicious, wholesome and affordable food available to all, the Eco Innovation District and the Dorchester Winter Farmers Market showcase the creativity and commitment to a sustainable and healthy environment.