Senator Jeff Klein helped make the parade route along Morris Park Avenue for Sunday’s Columbus Day spectacular much cleaner through a massive graffiti clean up.
Klein gathered with local officials and community leaders on Friday, October 10 outside of the Rite Aid on the corner of Morris Park and Fowler avenues to clean up the back of the store which had been tagged, as part of a removal campaign in anticipation of the parade on Sunday, October 12.
Additionally, Klein presented a $200,000 check to the Doe Fund for the continuation of graffiti removal services for the 34th Senate District through the Ready, Willing, & Able program, and also announced the continuation of CitySolve’s graffiti clean-up initiatives, through 2009.
“I work hard to ensure that our tax dollars are used to improve our communities,” said Klein. “These programs prevent this great neighborhood and my entire Senate district from succumbing to overwhelming graffiti, especially in advance of this wonderful parade.”
Klein was joined by Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association; John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11, Israel Gil, Issac Bowen and a cleaning crew from the Doe Fund; Bruce Pinkney from the Citysolve graffiti cleaning program; local merchants and other members of the MPCA.
“Ready, Willing & Able is thrilled to help Senator Klein achieve his goal of making his district a cleaner and more inviting place for all who live and work there,” said Doe Fund founder and president George McDonald. “At the same time, we are providing and opportunity for formerly homeless ‘men in blue’ to rebuild their lives. They have truly become assets to the neighborhoods in which they work.”
Klein was the first elected official in the area to have a graffiti removal program, and his partnership with the Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing, & Able goes back more than 10 years. Recently, Assemblyman Carl Heastie also began using Ready, Willing & Able to clean storefronts along White Plains Road in his north Bronx district.
“The Columbus Day Parade is a special event, and this zone cleaning will make it even better,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the MPCA. “These programs sponsored by Senator Klein make our neighborhood a nicer place to live.”
D’Angleo said that the workers in the program really come to care about the areas they are cleaning.
“Graffiti is a major problem in the Bronx, and this program has been incredibly successful in fighting it,” Fratta said. “I’d like to thank Senator Klein for sponsoring these programs.”
Klein encourages any owner of residential property with graffiti issues to contact his office, which coordinated over 190 clean-ups of private residences, in addition to zone cleaning of shopping districts in Morris Park, Pelham Bay, and Throggs Neck. His staff can be reached at (718) 822-2049, and would be happy to assist you.