QUEENS, NY – 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.
“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.
“Thank you so much to ACE for providing these cleaning services and for doing so much to provide job training, work experience and support to individuals in need,” said Borough President KATZ. “Because of ACE’s generosity, everyone who lives in or visits Jamaica will benefit from cleaner streets and sidewalks, while ACE’s workers will benefit from getting job training and experience that will help them secure permanent jobs and build new and better lives. Thank you also to Councilmembers I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams for their support for this program and thanks to all of the other co-sponsors who are helping to make it possible.”
The section of Guy R. Brewer Boulevard being served by the program forms part of the border between the City Council districts of Councilmembers Miller and Adams.
“I am pleased to welcome the ‘Jamaica Together’ program to the district as a means of promoting community pride and collaboration towards a worthy effort,” said Councilmember MILLER. “My constituents have responded favorably to these cleaning programs, and I am grateful to Borough President Katz, ACE, the Thomas White Jr. Foundation, the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council and all of the partners who made this service possible.”
“Clean streets and sidewalks are part of building welcoming, vibrant communities. Business districts and the residents of Jamaica deserve no less,” said Councilmember ADAMS. “As Jamaica continues to undergo a transformation, our streets provide the first impressions of our city. ACE will clean the Guy R. Brewer Boulevard corridor and improve quality of life, which is a priority for me. I commend this initiative and am proud to partner with Borough President Melinda Katz on this vital project.”
“The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) is proud to support ‘Jamaica Together: A Neighborhood Cleaning Effort,’ said JAMES MARTIN, Executive Director of ACE. “For more than 25 years, ACE has been helping New Yorkers with employment barriers get back into the workforce and on a path to self-sufficiency. We look forward to helping make Guy R. Brewer Boulevard clean and beautiful for residents and visitors alike, while we continue to provide life changing employment opportunities for New Yorkers in need. It is an honor and a privilege to be invited into this community and we look forward to getting to work!”
“We’re proud to partner with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz on the Jamaica Together pilot program,” said Sanitation Commissioner KATHRYN GARCIA. “This additional cleaning service will help add vibrancy to this important business district, and, best of all, keep the neighborhood of Jamaica beautiful.”
“We are proud to provide assistance in this initiative to keep the Gateway of Jamaica clean,” said BRYAN D. WHITE, Executive Director of the Thomas White Jr. Foundation and son of the late Councilmember Thomas White Jr. “The collaboration with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmembers Adams and Miller, ACE and the other co-sponsors proves how much can be accomplished by working together.”
“This project represents one of the many initiatives supported by the Jamaica NOW Leadership Council to help transform street corridors throughout our community to help business owners generate more business and evoke a greater sense of pride among all of Jamaica’s residents,” said TAMEKA PIERRE-LOUIS, Co-Chair, Jamaica NOW Leadership Council. “This project is not only about community building. It is an effort to show our neighbors citywide that you don’t have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one.”
“I would like to thank Borough President Katz and all of the Jamaica Together cleaning effort’s co-sponsors for including the Guy R Brewer Boulevard corridor from Tuskegee Airmen Way to 109th Avenue as part of the continuing revitalization of Jamaica,” said YVONNE REDDICK, District Manager, Community Board 12.
Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz