SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — More than 600 volunteers joined San Francisco’s mayor in an effort to help clean up the city’s streets Wednesday morning.
Organizers hope the effort will start a cultural change.
Anyone who has been to San Francisco recently knows how dirty the streets can be, littered with everything from garbage to drug needles to human waste.
Famous Wayne runs a shoe shine stand on Market Street. He said the effort was overdue.
“It’s about time they keep it clean,” said Wayne. “We got problems here. We got homeless people here. We got to see all this.”
Hundreds of volunteers turned out for the inaugural “Love Our City” hospitality and tourism cleanup day.
Tourism is a $10 million industry for the city. Recently, San Francisco has gotten some bad press for the state of its streets.
When asked if such an event would put a dent in the huge problem, San Francisco Mayor London Breed replied, “I think that the huge problem we have is not just about people cleaning up the streets; it’s about making sure that people don’t litter or don’t dirty the streets in the first place. It’s behavior. And sadly, it’s the people living on the streets.”
Fernando Pujals cleans the streets every day as a worker for the Tenderloin Community Benefit District. He was thankful for the help.
“It’s not really going to be about how many pounds of trash they pick up, how many poles they paint,” said Pujals. “It’s really about getting to know neighbors and being out there and showing that this is a cared for place.”
Wayne said tries to care for the area around his business.
“I got to worry about Famous Wayne, you know?” he explained. “I’m one of the best shine men in the world and I like what I do.”
Clean-up organizers hope the spirit they’re spreading with the event sticks.
Wednesday’s event was sponsored by the Hotel Council of San Francisco and San Francisco Travel. If you see a mess on city streets that needs to be cleaned, you can call to report it at 3-1-1.