The Optimum Street Clean-up Makes Big Impact on Brooklyn!


On July 10th, 2010 in direct response to the high amounts of litter in the community resulting in pricey sanitation fines for small businesses and suffering property values, The Optimum Institute of Economic Empowerment (“OIEE”) decided to take a stand against filthy streets by organizing a full day to pick up trash. It is common to see those charged with a crime to have to pay a penalty of community service that you will see out removing litter from the streets; however, Optimum organized a group of over 50 volunteers who were willing to congregate and do the same simply for the love of their community!   
Optimum Volunteers Clean Up BrooklynFrom 8:00am to 12:00pm, volunteers for the OIEE filled multiple bags of trash as they walked down Fulton Street in Brooklyn, New York.  They began on the corner Ralph Avenue and Fulton Street, and walked three miles in the hot sun to their final check point of Lafayette Street and Fulton.  Prominent members of the community who joined the effort were Phillip Kellogg – FAB Alliance Director, Mike Rafferty – Bedford Stuyvesant BID President, Paul Cain – Hip Hop Artist, and many members of the Brooklyn community. 
Phillip Kellogg, FAB Alliance Director stated, “It was encouraging to see so many people out who were so concerned about what I am fighting everyday…litter. Hopefully this will help to make my job easier as more people become more aware of the problems caused by litter in the streets.”
Ryan Mack, President of The Optimum Institute of Economic Empowerment stated the following as he finished walking three miles of litter removal, “I can honestly say that while I have always known that litter was destructive, I now have a new outlook on each piece of paper that I see on the street in my community because I helped to keep it clean…we all took ownership of this issue of litter in our streets. If more people would take the time to participate in events such as this there is no doubt that more people would join in the fight. We didn’t organize this event to take the place of those organizations whose job it is to keep the streets clean, we set out to prove a point that there are many people in the community who are willing to take a stand against filthy streets and today we were successful.”
Kareem Hertzog, Event Organizer and Executive Director of The Optimum Institute of Economic Empowerment stated, “This was a great day for the community. You saw over 50 professionals who could have been doing any number of things differently on a Saturday come out to pick off trash from the streets and say NO MORE to litter, NO MORE to a lack of pride in their neighborhood, and NO MORE to the mentality of letting someone else do the fighting that should be done by ourselves. We made an impact today…we made a difference today…let’s keep this going through tomorrow and beyond!”


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