Campaign to Protect Chinatown


Boston Chinatown is both a residential, working class neighborhood and the social, cultural, political, and economic center of the broader Chinese community of New England.

Chinatown’s land base has eroded for 50 years, housing is overcrowded, traffic is gridlocked, and its future is threatened by overdevelopment and gentrification. But in the struggle to preserve and expand Chinatown, the community is divided in its interests.

To ensure Chinatown’s future as the social, political, economic, and cultural center for the Chinese community, the Campaign to Protect Chinatown is focused on stabilizing the working class residential core of Chinatown as the neighborhood grows and diversifies. We seek to strengthen the voice of ordinary Chinatown residents in order to unite and lead the broader community in determining Chinatown’s future.

  • Tenant organizing to keep people in their homes and community.
  • Working for community-driven planning and development.
  • Coalition-building for policies that stabilize working class neighborhoods and reclaim our right to the city.

Recently, we helped bring citywide attention to the “affordability gap” in affordable housing and retarget the Inclusionary Zoning program to serve Boston residents.  We worked with tenants in ten Chinatown developments, totaling 700 units, to help them stay in their homes and improve their quality of life.

We helped to establish Chinatown’s first resident association, which went on to win city government recognition as an advisory “neighborhood council” and increased affordable housing concessions through high-profile organizing campaigns.

In 2001, our youth program started the campaign to restore the Boston Chinatown Branch Library, which was destroyed in 1956 during the process of constructing Interstate 93. CPA has continued to support the Friends of the Chinatown Library’s efforts for a library. Please read an Op-Ed written by Suzanne Lee, Friends of Chinatown Library member and Honorary Chair of CPA: Chinatown Looking at the Future of Libraries

CPA and ACDC provide core staffing to Chinatown Master Plan 2010, an effort to unify residents and stakeholders to implement community development priorities.

We work to:

  • preserve the working class, family neighborhood
  • unite residents and ordinary community members around a vision for Chinatown’s future
  • build residents’ grassroots organizing capacity and political mechanisms to change the community’s balance of power
  • develop new community leadership which stands for the interests of the majority
  • organize for greater community control of development and for Chinatown’s growth
  • educate and organize residents for a healthy urban environment