Chinatown Street Sweepers Get Boost from Rep. Nydia Velazquez

Posted on: September 14th, 2020 at 5:10 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

With street sweepers at a near standstill citywide these days, a group of volunteers continues to keep Chinatown clean. On their own dime.

As previously reported, Chinatown activist Karlin Chan organized a weekly weekend gathering to remove litter and literally scrub down the grimy streets with brooms. Wiping away the garbage truck slime and greasy restaurant refuse to make outside dining more palatable for patrons.

We checked in with Chan about the endeavor, and he says it’s been a great success.

“I’ve been averaging a dozen volunteers each sweep,” he tells us. “We’re volunteers with pride in our community and want to create a clean welcoming atmosphere for locals and visitors alike. Who wants to eat outside near stagnant water, garbage and smelly streets?”

Rep. Velazquez scrubbing the streets, Photo: Karlin Chan

The months-long effort – which began in early July in response to the cutback of the city service to once per week – attracted US Representative Nydia Velazquez for a photo op this past Saturday. Throwing her support behind the ragtag crew to promote the passage of the Heroes Act in Congress.

“This is an example of why the Senate must pass the #HeroesAct and provide badly needed funding to states and cities for basic sanitation services!” she stated in a tweet.

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