Joe Moretti, a Jamaica resident for the past four years and poster with the Clean Up Jamaica Queens Now community blog, has been documenting local eyesores for years and said his neighborhood has simply been forgotten.
“Does it look any better? I would say the problem is the same,” Moretti said, looking back to years of advocacy for cleaner streets from the group.
Moretti said all he can notice is the trash building up throughout his neighborhood and he doesn’t plan to stop until it is addressed and the problem is solved.
“Some areas have gotten cleaner, but some have gotten worse and others haven’t been addressed,” he noted.
Moretti said Jamaica politicians must consider cleanup programs like the Doe Fund, “a no-brainer” that dozens of other council members have invited to their districts thanks to new funding in the city budget to address issues of cleanliness.
Moretti called on the office of Councilman I. Daneek Miller to do the same or find other ways to address the issue.
“I think there are several people in the community who are very fed up with what’s going on,” he said. “We are reminded of this issue because they’re seeing that very little is getting done about it.”
Miller responded that while his office is not planning on implementing the Doe Fund, he has made significant investments in cleanup services in Jamaica. The councilman noted that his office has dedicated $20,000 to the Wildcat Service Corporation directly from his discretionary funding, along with $30,000 secured from a City Council initiative to be used for mobile cleanup crews to provide additional, “cleaning services, improvement and beautification throughout the district.”
“We are working with our partners in government, at the City Council and with Sanitation to reduce the amount of garbage that comes through Community Board 12,” Miller said. “Discussions have taken place regarding the maintenance of public facilities, issues surrounding diesel fuels in the area, and holistically cleaning up our community.”
Miller added that nearly $25,000 has also been set aside for extra pickup from the Department of Sanitation, along with an additional $10,900 for new litter baskets, totaling over $85,000 towards cleanup projects in the district.
A representative from Miller’s office added that the councilman has also been working with local youth in the area to host cleanups in the community, which has already led to events in August and September.
Today Miller plans on holding more events and encourages his constituents to get in contact to stay involved.
“We appreciate anyone who wants to come and join a cleanup with the office and other volunteers,” he added. “We do them regularly and all you need to do is call in to sign up.”