2018-05-02 / Front Page

Borough President Katz Announces Jamaica Together Cleanup Effort

Yvonne Reddick, District Manager, Queens Community Board #12; Teresa Cunningham, Community Affairs, Department of Sanitation; Henry Buhl, ACE Founder & Board Chair; Tameka Pierre-Louis, Co-Chair, Jamaica NOW Leadership Council; Borough President Melinda Katz; Jamal Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Adrienne Adams; Akshar Patel representing Councilmember I. Daneek Miller, and  Bryan D. White, Executive Director of the Thomas White Jr. Foundation.


 Yvonne Reddick, District Manager, Queens Community Board #12; Teresa Cunningham, Community Affairs, Department of Sanitation; Henry Buhl, ACE Founder & Board Chair; Tameka Pierre-Louis, Co-Chair, Jamaica NOW Leadership Council; Borough President Melinda Katz; Jamal Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Adrienne Adams; Akshar Patel representing Councilmember I. Daneek Miller, and Bryan D. White, Executive Director of the Thomas White Jr. Foundation. As part of a the continuing revitalization of Jamaica that has been spurred by the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, Borough President Katz today announced a coordinated effort with the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE), Councilmember I. Daneek Miller, Councilmember Adrienne Adams, the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council, the New York City Department of Sanitation, the Thomas White Jr. Foundation and Queens Community Board 12 in sponsoring a neighborhood cleanup program in Jamaica.

“Jamaica Together: A Neighborhood Cleaning Effort” is a six-month pilot program that will provide weekday cleanup services along Guy R. Brewer Boulevard from Tuskegee Airmen Way to 109th Avenue in Jamaica. The services will be provided by workers paid by ACE, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide recovering homeless individuals with the skills, support services and motivation they need to obtain and sustain employment and economic independence.

The pilot program began today and will continue through October 30, 2018.Tyru Cloyd, ACE worker; Jamal Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Adrienne Adams; James Martin, Executive Director of ACE; Henry Buhl, Founder and Board Chair of ACE; Borough President Melinda Katz; Lawrence Levan, ACE worker; Steve Martin, Senior Crew Supervisor for ACE, and Akshar Patel representing  Councilmember I. Daneek Miller.Tyru Cloyd, ACE worker; Jamal Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for Councilmember Adrienne Adams; James Martin, Executive Director of ACE; Henry Buhl, Founder and Board Chair of ACE; Borough President Melinda Katz; Lawrence Levan, ACE worker; Steve Martin, Senior Crew Supervisor for ACE, and Akshar Patel representing Councilmember I. Daneek Miller.

“Jamaica is one of our borough’s core neighborhoods and it is critically important that we do all we can to make it a fantastic place to live, work and visit,” said Borough President Katz. “The ‘Jamaica Together’ neighborhood cleaning program will contribute greatly to that effort by devoting a dedicated team of workers to cleaning and sprucing up the busy Guy R. Brewer Boulevard corridor. This program is just one part of our overall effort to revitalize Jamaica and maximize its potential as a residential and commercial hub.”

The Jamaica Together cleaning program will operate weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with two full-time cleaning workers assigned to the corridor for each daily shift. The workers will focus on the cleaning of sidewalks and tree pits and the removal of unwanted graffiti from walls and public areas.

A roving supervisor from ACE will visit the corridor regularly to oversee cleaning operations.

During the length of the pilot program, these cleaning services will be provided to the community free of charge by ACE in furtherance of its effort to create job opportunities for individuals in need of workforce training.

Additional support for the program is being provided by the New York City Department of Sanitation, which will make extra visits to the neighborhood to pick up the trash collected by the ACE workers.

The Thomas White Jr. Foundation, a social services organization that was founded by the late Councilmember Thomas White Jr. as the J-CAP Foundation and was later renamed in his honor, is one of the co-sponsors of the program. The foundation’s headquarters at 162-04 Tuskegee Airmen Way will be used to store the program’s cleaning supplies.

The program is also co-sponsored by the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council, a group of community leaders charged with implementing the Jamaica NOW Action Plan, which was developed by Borough President Katz and the de Blasio administration. Unveiled in 2015, the Jamaica NOW Action Plan outlines 26 strategic actions that will aid in the revitalization of Jamaica and foster its growth into a thriving residential and commercial neighborhood. The Plan is now being implemented thanks to the commitment of $153 million in public funding.

Our state government has also recognized Jamaica’s potential for growth by awarding the neighborhood an additional $10 million grant as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI). The DRI aims to transform Jamaica and nine other neighborhoods across the state into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise their families. The $10 million grant is helping to fund seven different projects that will help catalyze development in downtown Jamaica.

 

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