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Queens Chronicle

New group does clean sweep at Merrick, 109

York College graduate kicks off the South East Queens Clean Up Group

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu Aug 28, 2014.

Though he is still just 22, Christopher Peguero of St. Albans has been building a resume of community service projects.

And with litter and dumped trash creating eyesores in many communities in Southeast Queens, forming the South East Queens Clean Up Group probably just came naturally to him.

The group of volunteers, armed with rakes, brooms and large garbage bags, took to the sidewalks at 109th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard on Saturday morning.

Peguero, a recent graduate from York College, got involved in his neighborhood by attending his local community board meeting; he made this decision because people expressed so much strife towards the issue.

“I believe we should keep elected officials accountable but still do something in the meantime,” said Peguero.

He also believes that trash is one of the main issues that affect South Jamaica. He contacted another community advocate, Joe Moretti, the founder of Clean Up Jamaica, who put him in touch with others interested in the project.

Peguero is not a newbie when it comes to community service. He was a part of the Latin Caucus at York College, where he volunteered at various soup kitchens, toy drives, and a hat and scarf drive.

“I like doing stuff like this because it is tangible and people get to see the results,” said Peguero.

On Saturday residents Pamela Hazel, Allen Smalls, Paula Hopkins and others came out to improve the look of their community by sweeping the block.

Also on hand was Munir Avery, a candidate in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary for the 14th State Senate District.

Saturday’s main target was a sidewalk filled with trash, mixed in with dried up leaves. The leaves came from trees within grass-filled abandoned park that has broken benches and a rusty old slide.

Moretti and Hazel have been critical of what they see as a lack of action by elected officials who represent the area.

“We are community orphans because we are abandoned by our local leaders,” said Hazel. They have said they have had difficulty getting the cooperation of the Department of Sanitation.

Avery participated because, he said, he wants to “make southeast Queens a beautiful place to live and work.”

“My goal as senator is to give the community more opportunity to come together and help each other,” said Avery.

Smalls, a resident of the block for 12 years, said participating in the cleanup made him feel good.

“You wouldn’t want to live in a sloppy area,” he said.

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1 comment:

  • CleanUpJamaicaQueens posted at 7:45 pm on Thu, Aug 21, 2014.

    CleanUpJamaicaQueens Posts: 121

    Bravo to young adult, Christopher Peguero, a resident of Jamaica, who like others is fed up with seeing his community turned into a garbage dump while our useless elected leaders, like Comrie, Smith, Cook, Miller, Wills, stand by, twiddling their thumbs, ignoring the issue, taking no action what-so-ever, in other words showing no leadership to a major quality of life issue that has been going on for years. But unlike most people who just complain, Christopher, took the bull by the horns and is doing something.

    This young man could very well be the future of Jamaica and one day might even become a leader to replace so many of the useless one who have been riding the coattails of tax payers while accomplishing very little, making excuses and worst, creating a toxic air of corruption all throughout Jamaica politics.

    I have a feeling this is only the beginning for Christopher and other young people in the community who are fed up with corrupt and useless leaders who are just standing by watching the Jamaica community going down the tubes day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Now is the time for other young people to join forces with Christopher to take pride in their community and DO SOMETHING, because our current leaders (including many church leaders) have proven what a worthless track record they have.

    Also kudos to Senate candidate Munir Avery for showing up and lending a hand, unlike his opponents, Smith and Comrie, who only show up for something useless like a street naming ceremony or some ribbon cutting event while cameras are blazing. Both Christopher and Munir are the breath of fresh air that this community needs to help bring some dignity to a community that unfortunately lost it decades ago due to continual poor leadership, but to hear Comrie in the NY1 debate, he is "The Fixer" and has a proven track record. In your own mind Comrie, not in the real world of Jamaica,

    So Clean Up Jamaica Queens welcomes Christopher Peguero and the South East Clean Up Group and supports Munir Avery for Senator.