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Berkeley Expands Downtown Ambassador Program

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Constitution Plaza (City of Berkeley)

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BERKELEY (KCBS) – More hospitality ambassadors will be greeting shoppers downtown and patrolling for litter and graffiti as part of an on-going effort to boost business in the area, according to the Berkeley Downtown Business Association.

Eleven more ambassadors will don the bright green shirts, and yellow cap and jacket that have been the face of a friendlier downtown. The area was spruced up in January with new planters, new paint on light poles and hydrants, and a deep cleaning of the sidewalks.

“The idea is now that people will come and stay and enjoy all the amenities,” said John Caner, executive director of the business association.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Besides picking up trash, hospitality ambassadors give directions and offer help, visit with shopkeepers and report issues like graffiti.

“Half of them are primarily cleaning ambassadors. Half of them are primarily hospitality, but they’re all cross-trained,” Caner said, with the goal of making the downtown experience more pleasant.

A majority of the nearly 200 property owners in the area last year approved new taxes to pay for the clean-up, and to expand the number of ambassadors from five to 16.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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