PUBLIC HEARING: REVERSE SANITATION BUDGET CUTS
As you know, one major mission of the Old Astoria Neighborhood Association is to advocate for quality of life issues. We have used advocacy, both written and physical, to meet goals. One of our most successful was to get the city to begin street cleaning in Old Astoria a few years ago. This was complete with a 90-person street cleaning effort with the family Church which got our advocacy over the top.
However, because of budget cuts to DSNY (sanitation), these victories are threatened.
We have decided to join forces with Kate Peterson and Proud Astorian, and ask for these cuts to be reversed.
There is an upcoming budget hearing, and we hope everyone can participate, either during the event or by submitting testimony
Many of you in the Old Astoria Neighborhood have voiced concern about the growing amount of trash and litter on our streets. In July of last year, the Department of Sanitation underwent over $106 million in budget cuts. Astoria has since seen the effects of these cuts, including overflowing litter baskets, an increase in litter on our sidewalks and streets, illegal dumping, and most recently, an impact on snow removal services. After the recent set of snowstorms, some Astorians’ waited almost 2 weeks for regular garbage service to resume.
Our local neighbor, Kate Peterson, started organizing volunteer cleanups last year to call attention to the overflowing public litter baskets in her neighborhood. Many other Astorians felt the same concern, and since then over 250 of them have joined a Proud Astorian cleanup. They have now held 70 group cleanups since last summer. OANA was the first to sponsor a Proud Astorian cleanup of multiple waterfront parks last year.
A major opportunity to share feedback and make our voices heard, will take place on Thursday, March 4. Beginning at 2pm, the City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste will meet for a preliminary budget hearing for the upcoming fiscal year. A public comment section will start at 4pm. Members of the public are encouraged to share their concerns about the current state of sanitation in NYC by registering to testify via zoom or phone no later than 2pm on Wed, 3/3. They can also submit written testimony up until 72 hours after the hearing. A key note: written testimony can include photos!
Pictures will definitely help illustrate the situation, but also encourages people to share:
- How any increase in trash and litter has affected your quality of life
- What kinds of situations you encounter on a daily or weekly basis
- If you have reported these conditions and if you have seen any response or change?
- If sanitation issues have impacted your ability to run your business or earn a living or decision on where to reside
If you need help formatting your testimony into a pdf for submission or need any other guidance about what to include, Kate or one of the other Proud Astorian volunteers say they are happy to help. You can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have other questions on testimony, you can write to email@example.com
Photo: Courtesy of Proud Astorian