Author Archives: Aaron Tanaka

BWA Harvard Volunteers

First Year Urban Program (FUP) from Harvard University. This group volunteered with us in the Roxbury community to help with the “Coalition for Jobs Not Jails”. They informed the community that 10,000 new prison units are expected to be built by 2023, costing $2 Billion. The volunteers asked the community to sign a petition to help with the reforms. FUB demonstrated enthusiastic attitudes while engaging with the community and helping BWA raise awareness to halt the construction of new prison units until these reforms can take effect.

BWA 2012 Year in Review

Since 2005, the BWA has grown into a powerful grassroots force, challenging the crisis of urban joblessness and fighting for social and economic justice. As a small community based organization, we thank you, our broad community of supporters who have helped us come this far! In 2012, BWA’s membership and community base continued to expand, while the organization took on new and exciting projects to advance our mission.

BWA’s 2012 Highlights

1. CORI Reform Becomes Law: After working to pass nationally recognized CORI reforms, BWA celebrated the implementation of the new laws on May 4, 2012. BWA hosted the “CORI Celebration and Sealing Day,” where over 350 residents came to the Dudley Library to take advantage of the new law and purge their past criminal records. Without CORI reform, hundreds of thousands of residents would still be suffering from old CORIs. (

2. Boston Staffing Alliance (BSA): BWA’s innovative staffing agency helped place over 55 people in temporary and temp-to-permanent positions in 2012. BSA is a non-profit temp agency that values its workers and provides critical pathways to permanent employment for our members. BSA expanded its placement areas, ranging from light construction to food service sectors. (

3. Economic Justice Organizing: As a Steering Committee member of MassUniting and Right to the City Alliance, BWA helped advance economic justice organizing in the streets. Over 1,500 people took over downtown Boston for the April 17 Tax Day Action, calling attention to the multi national corporations that are dogding taxes, corrupting our politics and bankrupting our communities. (

4. Jobs and CORI Support: BWA’s Worker Center, open Mon-Thurs 10-2pm helped over 600 people with employment and CORI services. Hundreds got help with their resumes and job searches and hundreds more received help in requesting and sealing their CORI records. (

5. Voter Engagement: 20+ BWA members led a non-partisan voter outreach campaign, knocking on over 6,500 doors in Grove Hall and increasing voter turnout to its highest levels in recent history. BWA also helped start the Massachusetts Voter Table, which collectively made over 104,000 voter contacts in MA. And with Right to the City VOTE!, BWA helped draft and pass the Budget for All Referendum in Boston, calling for taxation of the 1%, cutting military spending, and investing in jobs and vital services for our communities! (

6. Green Living: BWA’s Urban Garden project trained new families in gardening skills and produced free organic vegetables for our members.

7. Worker Cooperatives: Over 15 BWA members attended the national US Worker Cooperative Conference. BWA’s first worker-owned cooperative Roxbury Green Power partnered with MassCOSH to revamp the co-op into a Black and Latino run recycling company called CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling and Organics) for relaunch in 2013. BWA and MassCOSH members began a 14 week Co-op Academy training and hired a new startup manager.

8. Construction Jobs Campaign: BWA helped launch a new citywide coalition, dedicated to winning policy changes and community benefit agreements for women, people of color, and Boston residents in the building trades. As Boston expects billions of dollars in new construction, over 20 organizations have joined the coalition and are poised to change the face of the construction industry in Boston for years to come.

9. Economic Democracy: Working with Right to the City, BWA is advancing a new narrative to help ‘Take Back Boston’ and propel innovative policies that bring economic power into the hands of the 99%. BWA members have worked to popularize Participatory Budgeting, a process where residents can vote on the use of our tax dollars to ensure that public funds are spent to effectively benefit our neighborhoods. (

10. Criminal Justice Organizing: BWA members continued to organize against the criminal justice system and fight for Jobs Not Jails in our communities. BWA coordinated a 400+ person rally and lobby day against the 3-Strikes Law at the State House. BWA members also launched a campaign to add enforcement teeth to the City of Boston’s CORI Ordinance, which requires all city vendors to adopt CORI friendly hiring policies. And BWA members met with EPOCA members to plan a new prison reform campaign for 2013-14.  (

11. Community Building: BWA held its annual membership events, including a very successful Juneteenth Cook-Out at Franklin Park, and our Annual Holiday Party and Gift Drive, where we gave out over 80 presents to the children of our members!

12. Leadership Transition: After almost 8 years, BWA’s founding executive director Aaron Tanaka transitioned out of his staff position. The BWA board hired Chuck Wynder as the new director of the organization. BWA recognized Aaron’s investment, vision and skill in helping to build BWA as a powerful member-led organization. BWA welcomed Chuck as an exciting and experienced leader to help move the organization into its next phase of growth and impact. BWA celebrated this change, and our members, board and staff at our annual Celebration & Fundraiser! (

As a grassroots organization, we thank the hundreds of BWA members and allies who have volunteered their time, money and energy to build our movement. We ask for your ongoing support as we approach a pivotal year of economic justice organizing. With our many partners across the city and state, we look forward to growing a more powerful movement for social and economic justice in 2013!

- Consider making a year end donation to support our critical work:

- Join Boston Workers Alliance on Facebook:

BWA Staff: Chuck Wynder, Hakim Cunningham, Mirembe Asamoah, Danielle Williams, Prenell Sanders, Sunni Ali, Samantha Akwei
BWA Board: Suezanne Bruce, Al Copeland, Angela Yarde, Timothy Hall, Terri Hinton, Winston Jankee, Tracy Parks, Joel Pierre

BWA Celebration & Fundraiser

We thank our supporters for joining the BWA in our Annual Celebration & Fundraiser on November 9, 2012!

We celebrated our accomplishments and our members, recognized our founding director Aaron Tanaka, and welcomed Chuck Wynder as our new executive director and member of the BWA family!


CORI Friendly Employer List

This CORI Friendly Employers List is adapted from the website:

BWA has added links to business websites to make it easier for job seekers to apply to these businesses.  BWA, however, does not claim responsibility for the employers listed by’s Ex-Offender Jobs List.  (more…)

BWA Community Celebration & Fundraiser

Friday, November 9, 2012
6:00pm until 10:00pm (program starts at 7pm)

SEIU 1199 Event Hall, 150 Mt. Vernon St., Dorchester MA 02125
BWA is pleased to announce our 2012 Celebration and Fundraiser

Details and purchase tickets online:
Facebook Invite:

Come celebrate the courageous members, staff, board and allies of the Boston Workers Alliance who give their time and energy to fight for good jobs, a fair criminal justice system, and a green and healthy future for our communities. This event will recognize outgoing executive director for his 7.5 years of service and welcome new leadership to our community.

*BWA Celebration Flyer 11-9-12 (download here)*

The evening will include:

- Heavy hors d’oeuvres from a local caterer
- Awards and recognitions of our leaders and allies
- Live music, dj, dancing
- Silent auction, raffle, door prizes
- Community building, networking and celebration!

Suggested donation is $25. No / low income is $15.

Organizational Partners are encouraged to Sponsor our event with an Advertisement and purchase discounted group tickets:

Please join us!

BWA Accomplishments

2005 - Founded by Chuck Turner’s D7 Roundtable
2005 - Helped Pass City of Boston CORI Ordinance
2006 - Trained 1st Class of CORI Advocates
2008 - Helped Pass Green Jobs Act for Green Jobs Training
2008 - Started Large Scale Voter Engagement Drive
2009 - Opened Worker Center Office in Grove Hall
2009 - Started Roxbury Green Power Cooperative
2009 - Started Community Garden Project
2010 - Helped Pass Historic Statewide CORI Reforms
2010 - Opened Boston Staffing Alliance, temp agency
2011 - Helped Win Funding for Home Weatherization Jobs & Services in Boston
2011 - Helped Lead 3,000+ in Downtown March for Economic Justice
2012 - Helped 300+ People Seal CORIs Under New Law
2012 - Helped Launch New Coalition for Fair Construction Jobs

Check out BOSTON WORKERS ALLIANCE - Boston Workers Alliance Annual Celebration & Fundraiser

I want you to take a look at: BOSTON WORKERS ALLIANCE - Boston Workers Alliance Annual Celebration & Fundraiser 

New CORI Laws and Regulations

See a 1 hour tutorial that explains the rules and regulations relating to the new CORI system “iCORI” and the requirements for hiring managers under the new CORI reform laws.

BWA Worker Center and CORI Clinic



BWA’s Worker Center is open from 10-2pm Mon-Thursday to the general public.  BWA’s Worker Center provides resources and referrals for your job search needs.  BWA’s has public computers available for members who need a comfortable office environment to search for work.


Worker Center Services:

  •  1-on-1 intake to identify needs and provide services or referrals
  • resume and cover letter support
  • referrals for computer classes, professional clothing, fuel assistance, mental health services etc.
  • access to computer station, fax, printer and phone
  • access to BWA’s Jobs Binder with online openings and job fairs
  • earn BWA’s Work Ready Certificate to add to your resume and be entered into the Boston Staffing Alliance placement database


BWA’s CORI Clinic is one of Boston’s central resource for CORI issues. BWA’s non-judgmental staff helps you understand your rights and navigate the process for sealing eligible cases.  BWA supports the right to work.


CORI Clinic Services:

  • assistance in obtaining a copy of your CORI
  • help in reading and identifying cases that you can seal and determine the amount of time needed to seal certain records
  • advice and access to the paperwork for sealing eligible criminal records
  • referrals to legal assistance on CORI issues (Greater Boston Legal Services)
For more info call (617) 606 3580 or email [email protected]
*BWA Worker Center and CORI Clinic are for BWA Members.  New Member Orientations are every Friday at 11am at our office 411 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester MA 

BWA Urban Agriculture Project

The BWA urban agriculture project has kicked off to a wonderful start. We maintain luscious plots in the newly renovated Nightingale Community Garden located on Park St. in the Codman Square area of Dorchester Center. This beautiful garden has a tool shed, 5 compost bins and Sun Shade with benches. With financial support from Green For All, we will be hosting a series of classes in the neighborhood to grown our own food and advocate for more urban agriculture.  Come join us this growing season and earn your BWA green thumb.

Cooperative Economic Development

BWA’s Cooperative Economic Development program works to incubate a new, community controlled economy that can meet our own needs while creating good jobs for our residents.  BWA provides training and support for members to learn about worker-owned cooperatives and “green jobs” in order to build new businesses that model a just and sustainable economy.

Urban Agriculture and Community Gardening

BWA runs an Urban Agriculture project where members learn to develop their green thumb and grow organic and healthy food for our community.  BWA is working with City Growers and BNAN to help turn this program into a for-profit cooperative business that sells healthy produce to our community.  (read more…)

Boston Recycling Cooperative

BWA has partnered with MassCOSH to form a new recycling company that is based in
Roxbury/Dorchester and owned and operated by Black and Latino workers from our two organizations.  This multi-racial, multi-lingual start up project is an innovative demonstration of cooperative development in the green energy sector.  The Boston Recycling Cooperative is an expansion of BWA’s Roxbury Green Power that collects and recycles waste vegetable oil for use as a green alternative to diesel fuel.  Members are engaged in a 4 month participatory business planning process and the BRC will launch in spring of 2013.  Services will include waste vegetable oil collection, metals recycling and organic waste pick up and composting.