The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman William Colton and Councilman Mark Treyger:
On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Assemblyman William Colton partnered with Councilman Mark Treyger to sponsor a neighborhood clean-up event, in response to concerns about cleanliness in the community. The event will kick-off the ongoing “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” campaign for the 2014 season.
The campaign, which was launched in August 2011 by Assemblyman Colton, has become tremendously popular with neighborhood residents and businesses, as well as with local youth who continue to participate in the clean -up events.
Volunteers, who are local youth from neighborhood schools and organizations, have signed up to clean a large stretch of 86th Street from 25th Avenue to 16th Avenue, and 18th Avenue from Benson Avenue to 82nd Street, as well as the streets surrounding Bensonhurst Park. In addition to cleaning up, participants also passed out flyers and spoke to residents and businesses about sanitation rules and guidelines to encourage them to “do their part” and help keep the neighborhood clean.
This clean-up event will mark the first effort of the year for the ongoing “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” campaign, after the last event was held this past November. Previously Colton has hosted clean-up events with Councilman Vincent Gentile and Councilman David Greenfield in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In addition, this Saturday’s clean-up event will also be the thirteenth initiative for the campaign since it began over three years ago.
Assisting Assemblyman Colton in organizing this effort and recruiting volunteers are several community leaders, including co-founder and head organizer Priscilla Consolo.
Assemblyman Colton stated, “This campaign is about much more than just physically cleaning up our streets and parks. By volunteering in this event, our youth are being excellent examples for the rest of the community to follow. However, this isn’t enough. Not only do we want to inspire people, but we want to educate them as well. Thus, we are spreading awareness about the importance of keeping our neighborhood clean. We pass out flyers containing sanitation rules and guidelines to residents and businesses in different languages to reach people of all cultures.” Colton then added, “Our goal is to motivate others in our neighborhood to do their part in making sure our community is clean. This is an ongoing community effort and we need everyone to help.”
Priscilla Consolo, who founded the “Speak-Up & Clean -Up” campaign in 2011 with Assemblyman Colton, asserted, “Our young volunteers are simply amazing. Time after time again, they participate in our events. Their commitment to this campaign and its greater cause is truly extraordinary and something unlike I’ve ever witnessed before. What started out as one event has grown into a local movement. The credit goes to all our youth volunteers for all their dedication and hard work.”
Councilman Mark Treyger, who has played an integral role in organizing and leading the “Speak-Up & Clean -Up” campaign, said “One of the best civics lessons we can provide our youth is the chance to roll up their sleeves and give back to their community. Having clean, welcoming streets makes a huge difference for our businesses and residents who take pride in their community and deserve a great quality of life. I am always proud to partner with local schools, organizations and Assembly Member Colton’s office to help make our neighborhood such a great place.”
The list of volunteers include: members of District 9 High School Key Club, students from New Utrecht High School, members from Our Lady of Grace Teen Group, students from Midwood High School’s Key Club, students from Brooklyn Technical High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club, students from Edward R. Murrow’s Key Club, members from Bensonhurst Cluster Youth Ministry, students from Madison High School’s Key Club, members from Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School’s Key Club, members from John Dewey High School’s Key Club, among others.
Additionally, the Department of Sanitation supplied the groups with tools, gloves, and trash bags to assist them in the clean -up effort. All volunteers received community service hours and were treated with free refreshments in appreciation of their hard work.