SF to hold citywide cleanup event days before hosting major climate change summit

Mayor London Breed joined Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru on the steps of City Hall Thursday to call on residents to participate in a citywide cleanup event Saturday.

The organized cleanup comes at a time when San Francisco’s dirty streets have gained national media attention, most recently in the Washington Post. But it also comes just days before San Francisco hosts a major three-day climate summit with state, local and environmental leaders from around the world, starting Wednesday.

Saturday’s “Love Our City” clean up event is organized by Public Works with the support of Breed. Residents are asked to show up at 40 sites around the city to obtain brooms and trash bags as well as learn how to safely clean up the litter found.

“We are asking everybody who lives and works and comes to San Francisco to just come out and give our a city a little bit of love, just come out and just clean the front of your property,” Nuru said.

He also said the event is meant to raise people’s awareness to better clean up The City. “Everyday of the year, we want people to just try and do their best. We need to keep the momentum going,” Nuru said.

The cleanup event begins at 9 am and lasts until noon. Breed will participate in the event along with Nuru, starting in the Tenderloin.

“We have to take responsibility for our community,” Breed said. “This is our city and part of making sure that people say good things about it when they come to visit is making sure that we do our part.”

All 11 supervisors are participating in the event as well.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin emphasized the need for residents to remain active in litter clean up.

“Pick up those little pieces of paper, not just on Saturday morning but all the time, and we will make this city shine,” Peskin said.

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman underscored how San Francisco is facing a difficult moment in addressing street cleanliness, but predicted The City is on track to address the problem with added investments and attention.

“The reality of this moment in San Francisco is that there are incredible challenges in keeping our streets and public spaces clean and beautiful,” Mandelman said. “There are so many poor folks, so many mentally ill and drug addicted folks living in our public spaces. It creates huge challenges for city staff and for our neighborhoods.” He added, “We are going to get through this difficult moment.”

South Beach resident Alice Rogers was on hand to support the event. “Five minutes from each of us and we can bring the city back to cleanliness and we can let Public Works do the other heavy lifting,” Rogers said.

Joshua Sabatini
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Joshua Sabatini

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