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Constantinides Pledges $299,000 to Clean Up Astoria and Jackson Heights Streets

Council Member Constantinides speaks to ACE workers | Council Member Costa Constantinides Office

Aug. 29, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Costa Constantinides has pledged $299,000 to keep the streets of Jackson Heights and Astoria clean over the next year, he announced today.

The money will fund a number of organizations that will sweep the sidewalks, empty garbage cans, remove graffiti from walls and enhance natural plantings along the streets.

“Litter and graffiti shouldn’t plague our streets on a daily basis,” Constantinides said. “Thanks to the Cleaner NYC initiative, we’ve been able to bring more cleanup resources to western Queens to keep our streets livable. These investments will continue our mission of keeping our communities clean for all.”

The biggest payout went to the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) which got more than $225,000 for sidewalk sweeping throughout Astoria.

“Councilman Constantinides and his team are true community advocates, dedicated to the flourishing of District 22,” said James Martin, Executive Director of ACE. “These allocations for community beautification are significant investments to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe for residents, businesses and visitors.”

ACE is based in western Queens and helps recovering homeless men and women by providing employment and support services. Workers currently sweep parts of 30th Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, Shore Boulevard, and Hoyt Avenue North and will continue to do so as a result of the funds.

Council Member Constantinides with members of ACE | Council Member Costa Constantinides Office

“Through this initiative, the Council Member has also opened up meaningful employment opportunities for men and women who are overcoming histories of homelessness, incarceration and substance use disorder,” Martin said.

Another $35,000 went to the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition for continued neighborhood beautification efforts. It previously beautified 30th Avenue following an 8-month subway shutdown that left surrounding businesses to languish with past funding.

The Queens Economic Development Corporation received $20,000 once again for continued graffiti removal and the Department of Sanitation received another $10,000 for extra garbage pickups near Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street.

Lastly, Constantinides allocated $9,000-plus to the Jackson Heights Beautification Group to support its work in the area, advocating for a greener, more sustainable and healthier neighborhood for more than 30 years. It organizes gardening events on Saturdays throughout the year to enhance areas surrounding the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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13 Comments

Andy Ray

Costanides is a great guy & has always been community-minded. Get involved as he welcomes all input. Yes, he is a politician; realize that he has strong alliances and he can get things done!

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D G

Hold commercial properties accountable for their own blight in Astoria. Astoria Blvd and 42cd street to Steinway have auto stations that flood the sidewalks with illegally parked cars so they can rent spaces within their own property. They don’t clean, shovel snow, and it is obvious they pay off traffic cops from giving tickets. You can have car wrecks and boats in the city street for months and not receive one ticket. Leaking oil in the street and left there. Parking spots taken, and traffic cops do nothing. Taxpayer money to clean streets but these properties make Astoria look like a dumping ground.

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Cliff S

Ultimately, it is up to the people to keep our communities clean. There is no excuse for littering. Recently, I saw someone use a straw and simply let the wrapping go on the ground, despite a garbage can being 30 feet away. Of course, I have seen this countless times over the years, but it still makes me shake my head.
Also, garbage cans should not be overflowing at 7 A.M. from people and businesses using city garbage cans for their personal use. It is unsightly and the overflow winds up on the streets and in the gutters.
Everyone needs to take pride in their surroundings and not be reliant on city, state and federal agencies.

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Anonymous

no need for BIDs if the councilmember can directly fund community groups and organizations

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Pat Macnamara

moderator must love clueless Costa-censoring my posts. Costa is a clown and ignores the filth for years until now. Disgraceful. Vote this bum out already

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Gina

Don’t believe it. Still waiting to see participatory budget money. All for hype. They fill the media with all this wonderful behavior and no one ever asks to see the path of the money. When did it come? Was it used accordingly? As media you should follow up and put more pressure on local politicians. Don’t write a story once and then move on.

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Deborah Alexander

We need trash cans in North-Western Astoria! Not a *single one* between 21st and 31st Sts, north of the RFK.

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I thought America was already great

It’s a shame you don’t have pride in your country.

> helps recovering homeless men and women by providing employment and support services

Does that sound like the right to you? lmao

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21st-31st ave

Please, please put more trees along 21st street and clean up all the trash around there. There are so many empty lots in the area it’s crazy, it’s a prime target for illegal dumping.

Create some more community gardens as well. Encourage the development of a 21st street Business Improvement District to get more small businesses to open up. There are so many new buildings opening up retail spaces with no prospective tenants. Not trying to gentrify the area, but tired of seeing it so dirty and without facilite a more interactive community.

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