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Know Your Rights
Source: Queens Courier
Subject: Housing & Environmental Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Ferreras Funds Clean-Up

Famous for connecting many of Queens’ diverse ethnic communities, Roosevelt Avenue has also built up a reputation for being dirty.

On a typical weekend, garbage overflows from garbage cans, apartment solicitations litter the lampposts and newspaper boxes become depositories for bottles. The summer heat adds another complication – smell. For this reason, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras gave the Jackson Heights organization Make the Road New York $19,000 to organize several weekends of street clean-ups of the famed thoroughfare.

“When the community sees people like us cleaning, they’ll think twice before taping something up or throwing out garbage,” said Ferreras. “We appreciate cleanliness.”

On the first clean-up – purposefully planned for Saturday, May 1, International Worker’s Day and recently associated with the fight for immigrant rights – about 50 community residents put on gloves, grabbed garbage bags and, with their brooms and dustpans, swept their way up Roosevelt Avenue from Junction Boulevard to 110th Street, cleaning up.

Inside Five Star Auto two men worked on the motor of a used car and one shared that he liked the street cleaning but he was more concerned about the graffiti because “it looks bad.”

Ferreras said that she was organizing a graffiti removal too.

Daisy Muñoz also joined the cleaners on their way from Jackson Heights up to a Corona corner and with a razor scrapped paper and tape from the grey steel posts.

“We want to demonstrate to the President that we Hispanics care about our neighborhood,” said Muñoz, an immigrant from Colombian, now resident of East Elmhurst, who understood the layered symbolism for the day’s activities. “I’m out adding my little grain of salt.”