Clean Cleveland Initiative begins

Clean Cleveland Initiative on city's east side
Clean Cleveland Initiative on city's east side
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

It is certainly an ambitious program, and the Clean Cleveland Initiative has kicked off for the seventh straight year.

There is an overwhelming amount of work to be done, cleaning up the trash, cutting down grass and weeds on overgrown vacant lots, and the city kicked off the program on E. 54th street in Slavic Village.  Five city departments are involved in the process of trying to bring a better quality of life to city residents.

"We are spending our resources and energy to help those who have stuck it out, through the good times and bad times, who continue to invest and really are a stable part of streets like this in our neighborhoods," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

Graffiti will be cleaned, potholes filled, streets cleaned, all to make the neighborhood a bit more livable.

Carl Fortson has lived on E. 54th for 12 years and when the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit, several homes on the street went into foreclosure, became vacant and then the trash piled up.

"There was only one empty house on this street, the economy got bad, and over the last twelve years, we are just trying to hold on," he said.

Fortson was encouraged, somewhat, by the clean up effort, even more so when he heard that two vacant houses on the street were coming down. He believes the vacant homes bring many problems including crime and a convenient place to dump garbage.

The Clean Cleveland Initiative, the city believes,  is at least one step to better neighborhoods.

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