CALEXICO, Calif. – On Saturday morning about 50 people could be seen cleaning up downtown Calexico. Among them were Calexico High School and Aurora Continuation School students, some homeless people, and State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia.
“Volunteered to team up with them and we had a very successful two hour cleanup that was focused on downtown Calexico,” Garcia said.
He said a clean downtown is important for good business. Garcia said, “Making sure that the downtown is looking spic-span and hopefully attracting some good commerce to the area,”
Garcia believes the appearance of neglect is bad for sales. “If you see a broken window in a neighborhood it’s prone to attract other type of problems. And in this case you could probably relate that same thought,” Garcia said.
Aurora Continuation School student Daniel Gutierrez said having a clean area is about respect. “When people see a dirty community or whatnot, they don’t pretty much care about the community as much,” Gutierrez said.
Jose Estrada, who’s been homeless for eight years and gets free meals from the brown bag coalition, said it’s his way of paying back a little. “It is my responsibility to help the city,” Estrada said.
Garcia said Calexico downtown has a special meaning for him. “As a kid, I remember walking those streets with my parents who – from Mexicali – and it’s a special place not only for the folks that live here but for many of us,” Garcia said.
Cleaning up the Calexico downtown area only took about two hours but Garcia said he hopes showing that the community does care for the area has a lasting impact.