Dozens of students from the Corona Arts & Sciences Academy (CASA) joined Councilman Francisco Moya Friday, March 25, to remove graffiti off the walls and clean up the streets along 44th Avenue, while making a call to action to the community to help care for the neighborhood and to report incidents they see in an effort to stop individuals from trashing the district.
Moya discussed the more than $900,000 in funding he secured and allocated for services and programs to support cleanups and the beautification of schools, parks and streets in Corona and East Elmhurst.
This includes cleanup services provided by the Long Island City-based Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE), added service hours across the district by NYC Sanitation and after-school programs with organizations like Publicolor.
“The students from Corona Arts & Sciences Academy have dedicated time and effort to beautify their neighborhood and we cannot allow these bad actors to have free rein to destroy our home,” Moya said. “It was inspiring to me to kick off the weekend with such passionate students, families and neighbors and work with incredible partners such as Publicolor, ACE and NYC Sanitation to show the care and love we have for our community.”
As part of CASA’s Publicolor after-school program, funded by Moya, students painted the walls along the Long Island Rail Road that runs alongside the school with “vivacious colors” in an effort to beautify their neighborhood. The Corona-based Publicolor is an educational youth development organization that empowers students facing immense life challenges for academic and career success.
“Today was beyond inspiring,” said Irma Nepomuceno, director of school and community relations at Publicolor. “We believe in the power of taking ownership and creating a sense of community. That is exactly what we saw this afternoon. We are so grateful for the continued support of Council member Moya.”
In representing some of the neighborhoods most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Moya has invested in resources that address quality-of-life issues and support beautifying efforts including allocating $472,000, the most in Queens and among the highest in the five boroughs, dedicated to NYC Sanitation services to tackle garbage issues and illegal dumping across his district.
“We cleaned up the streets; we restored the beautiful work the students did originally; and most importantly we sent a message that together we are stronger and can work to have the neighborhoods we deserve,” Moya said. “I am so grateful for all who came out and I will continue to fight to improve the quality of life in my district.”