Constantinides, Gianaris, Simotas, Community Groups Join Street Cleaning Event

New York State Assemblymember Aravella Simotas at the press conference announcing her legislation for tax relief for small businesses hurt by the MTA subway station closures. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

ASTORIA – On September 16 at noon, Old Astoria Neighborhood Association (OANA), the Family Church, Astoria Houses Residents Association, New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York State Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas are joining forces to clean up the neighborhood. Participants will meet at Family Church, 26-13 18th Street in Astoria, at noon for lunch and instructions. Lunch is donated by Latino Employee Resource Network.

OANA President Richard Khuzami said of the event, “This is the only way, after 4 years of trying to reason with Sanitation, that the needs of Old Astoria can be met. Nothing reflects the quality of a neighborhood more than cleanliness!”

“I’m excited to work with OANA, the Family Church, Astoria Houses Residents Association, and our local partners to ensure our neighborhood stays clean,” said Council Member Constantinides, District 22. “A clean street can do wonders for the overall health of a community, which is why we sometimes must step up to make that happen.”
“Currently the Sanitation Department will not clean streets unless residents accept 4 times per week. (Twice on each side),” Khuzami noted, adding that “we are not asking that Sanitation clean every street. We feel that this is up to the residents of each street. But what we are asking is that the default be 2 times per week (Once on each side). This gives residents an incentive to ask for street cleaning!”

“Another added benefit to street cleaning is that we will stop the parking of cars for extended periods of time. Residents lose precious parking spots! We should not be the long-term parking lot for NYC,” Khuzami said.
He also shared the schedule for the event which follows:

Noon: Meet for lunch and instructions at Family Church, Lunch donated by Latino Employee Resource Network.
1:30 PM: Start Cleanup! Everyone will be assigned different streets.
3:30 PM: Meet at Family Church to discuss results, next steps, and media outreach.