Volunteers Clean Up the Streets for National Day of Service

Family.jpgA family scours Valencia Street for trash as part of the National Day of Service

In honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday, groups around the country are heeding President-elect Obama’s call for a National Day of Service.  

In San Francisco, A Good Idea volunteers combed the Mission, Civic Center, and Downtown with garbage bags and latex gloves, picking up trash and spreading good cheer.  It was amazing how much trash sanitation vehicles had missed along Valencia Street and the difference that 70 volunteers could make sweeping down both curbs, their shirts encouraging onlookers to "Be the Change."

Jared_Paul.jpgJared Paul, Founder of A Good Idea

"We’ve focused on food and housing for the homeless, but we had never done anything for the environment," said Jared Paul, founder of A Good Idea.  "We thought this would be a good way to get people involved on the street without them having to spend much money.  It’s really nice to be a part of National Service Day and know this is going on all over the country."


If you saw similar street cleaning or community improvement projects today in San Francisco, please send us your pictures or accounts of actions.  Happy Day of Service!

Photos: Matthew Roth

  • We took a stroll down the sunny avenue this noontime, lunching at the Burger Joint as this photo was taken. The canyonization of this charming and warm stretch of Valencia is well underway, what with four 55′ condo projects in various stages of construction at 19th/Valencia (notice for CU, parking) two on the west side of Val one in site prep, another has a concrete pedestal, and at SW corner of Val and 18th in site prep.

    Volunteering is great, but people should volunteer to do things that others are not paid to do.

    A “good idea” would be for the mayor to get the DPW, what the fifth largest City department by budget, to get those people who we’re paying to, uh, do their job and keep our city clean freeing volunteers to help out on other unmet needs.

    The east side of the city generates almost all sales tax revenues and with higher residential and business turnover than the west side, more property taxes, yet when it comes time for non-poverty service delivery, all we get from the DPW is volunteers and trucks that sleep six. I’ve got photos from 2 yr ago of a DPW naptime.


  • We had dozens of volunteers come out to work in Bayview today. We got lots of work done in our various community gardens in the neighborhood; we also socialized and dedicated a new mural by the Bridgeview Garden.

    Here is a link to some photos from today:


A handful of the 80 or so volunteers who spent MLK day cleaning and beautifying Oakland. Photo: Streetsblog

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