I held a small gathering of like-minded folks last Wednesday to discuss Operation Face-Lift 2012/ Skid Row. At this meeting were some of the original Community Organizers of Operation Face-Lift 2008 (like OG Man & Coach Ron). This meeting allowed some of us new to the neighborhood, as well as some new AND old “friends of Skid Row” to get acquainted. All in all, some good synergy seems to be getting going with this 2012 movement.
One of the things discussed was a website for Operation Face-Lift. This site will act as a centralized place for information on upcoming cleaning and beautification events. Also discussed were health precautions to take when cleaning the streets of Skid Row- such as the necessity of wearing heavy-duty gloves and the importance of scrubbing up afterwards with soap and water to prevent communicable diseases, such as Staph- which is a constant concern in the area.
There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle in how we, as a newly invigorated group can work together to promote: clean, safe and healthy streets for Skid Row. It all starts with organization. Some positive developments coming out of City government appear to be assisting our efforts. Already, Street Services have been stepping-up to clean San Julian & 6th streets recently. With the trash-can emptying already being done by the Fashion district BID– the very “heart” of Skid Row is looking noticeably cleaner and feeling much safer that even just a couple of months ago.
We will remain focused on basic sanitation issues. Also, things like getting our storm drains grated, getting our rat infestation under control and making sure our streets lights are all functioning are important too. Many of us are also interested in promoting more murals, planting more trees and getting some benches for our public sidewalks to make life more comfortable for the large elderly and disabled population which call this place home. There is so much more that it will take to make this community whole- but we all feel committed to its revitalization and grateful for the help already coming our way.
*A special thank you to Bobby Buck for letting me use some of his photos for this posting.