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2012 Neighborhood Improvement Program Buffalo University District
Mayor Brown Kicked Off The 2012 Neighborhood Improvement Program In Buffalo’s University District
Contact: Lorey Schultz
Due to the mild weather, Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced an early start to the 2012 Clean Sweep initiative. Over the next six months, the Save Our Streets Task Force plans to conduct 25 ‘Clean Sweeps’ throughout the City of Buffalo, the most ‘Clean Sweeps’ scheduled in a single year to date.
“The Clean Sweep program works to mitigate some of the challenges that city residents currently face and also helps to improve the overall quality of life in Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “We’ve made it a priority to address blight and quality of life issues in each City Council district at least twice this season. I look forward to beginning another year of Clean Sweeps for the benefit of our residents and their neighborhoods.”
This year’s first ‘sweep’ took place Wednesday morning on Minnesota Avenue in the University District, an area that Mayor Brown’s administration, along with M&T Bank, has been working hard to transform. Since 2006, the city’s invested more than $3.5 million to improve educational outcomes for children living and attending school in this Buffalo Promise Neighborhood.
More than 100 participants, representing 25 agencies and law enforcement organizations, took part in today’s ‘sweep’. Some of the highlights included: the removal of 2.9 tons of debris, 3 abandoned houses boarded up, 20 vacant lots cleared of debris and mowed.
“The Task Force aims to empower residents in our community by ridding residential properties of blight, drug activity and other neighborhood issues, resulting in many positive changes for the city,” said Oswaldo Mestre, Director of Citizen Services.
“I am proud of the collaboration between so many community partners and commend the efforts of the Clean Sweeps participants. We are all extremely dedicated to this cause,” said Nicole Drye, Save Our Streets Task Force Coordinator. “We provide residents with the proper resources to make strides towards improvement from their current conditions.”
The Save Our Streets Clean Sweeps are made possible because of collaboration between City, County, State and Federal partners. The Save Our Streets Task Force is part of the Division of Citizen Services, and is comprised of various law enforcement and government agencies: the City of Buffalo’s Law Department, Buffalo Police Department, Erie County District Attorney’s Office, NYS Attorney General’s Office, NYS Parole Division, US Marshal’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
The Clean Sweeps program began during the time of Mayor Brown’s predecessor, Mayor Anthony Masiello. Since taking office, Mayor Brown has expanded the scope and impact of the Save Our Streets Task Force, resulting in 125 neighborhood clean sweeps since 2006.
Mayor Brown supplemented the program with additional components including: Buffalo Employment and Training Center, NYS Health Insurance Enrollment, WNY Homeless Coalition, Kaleida Health, Back to Basic Outreach Ministries, and Youth and Substance Abuse Services. Financial Sponsors include Hamburg Overhead Doors, HSBC Bank, and University at Buffalo Pediatric Dentistry – Smile Team.
The level of cooperation and collaboration, along with the dedication and commitment of all the Task Force participants resulted in a national honor when the program was named to American City & County® magazine’s list of the 2007 “America’s Crown Communities.”