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Issue Date: Downtown Digs 2008

Cleaning Up Downtown

Katie Kuehn
If you like being able to walk down Euclid Avenue without gum sticking to your shoe, thank a Clean Ambassador.
In an effort to improve the sanitation and safety for all those who live, work and visit Cleveland, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance established a Clean and Safe Program. Since the spring of 2006, smiling faces in bright yellow and blue uniforms can be seen throughout the 28-block special improvement district from West 10th Street to East 18th Street.
“Cleveland has always been a clean and safe place, but we wanted to increase the perception of the environment,” says Joe Marinucci, president of the DCA. “If people see [workers] picking up garbage [they] feel better about their environment.”
Marinucci assures that different parts of Cleveland have different challenges, and the program has made adjustments to keep up with the evolving nature of the city. For example, due to the influx of dog-walkers, plastic bag dispensers have been installed to aid in the owners’ cleanup.
The DCA modeled the program after ones in Columbus and Cincinnati, but the Cleveland program is unique because off-duty police officers work with the ambassadors to deter criminal activity.

“Our goal at the end of the day is to improve the pedestrian environment and increase the investment in downtown,” says Marinucci.

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