By the Erik Bottcher for City Council Campaign
My German Uncle Max would sit in the best chair on a Sunday afternoon, with a quart bottle of Schaefer beer, and talk and talk. On several occasions he commented on how clean German streets were compared to those in New York and made me, at a very young age, conscious of clean streets. Later, when I traveled to Paris, London, and Athens I noted that the richer the country, the more careless and profuse the street waste (impoverished Athens, when I last saw it, was mostly fine dust).
I had been noticing a steady increase in outrageous cluttering here in New York and would occasionally wonder, “what must the tourists think?” But we become insensitive to the clutter we live with (take my desk for example) and move on to real problems, like the high cost of a subway ride (it use to be a nickel).
To my great surprise, however, young Erik Bottcher is not only aware of our increasing displays of street waste, he even knows how it happened (a huge cut in the budget of the NYC Department of Sanitation); and now he is offering that if we vote to make him our city councilman he will solve the problem.
The more accurately we can state a problem, the closer we are to solving it.
– George Capsis
Erik Bottcher, candidate for City Council District 3 (the West Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) announced a comprehensive plan to address the unsatisfactory sanitation conditions in our neighborhoods and enhance environmental sustainability. Informed by his years of experience in city and state government, and best practices around the world, Bottcher’s “Clean District 3” platform contains measures ranging from an increase in basic services to innovative ideas that could reshape the future of sanitation in New York City. Investment in sanitation is necessary if the city is to attract businesses, residents and tourists again after the COVID-19 crisis.
“Picking up the trash and keeping our neighborhoods clean is one of the fundamental responsibilities of city government,” said Erik Bottcher. “If New York City is going to recover economically from this crisis, we need to put our best foot forward to the world, and that includes having clean streets. Overflowing corner wastebaskets represent a failure of government services. It’s time to rethink our approach to sanitation and provide the deserved resources. I’m excited to make this vision a reality as a future member of the New York City Council.”
Bottcher’s plan was also hailed as sensible and likely to succeed by Judith Enck, former Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator and president of Beyond Plastics, and by John Mudd, president of the Midtown South Community Council.
Erik’s “Clean District 3” platform calls for a significant reinvestment in sanitation services, including corner basket service, street sweeping, and the creation of borough-wide DSNY “strike teams” that will respond to 311 calls in real time. The platform outlines a return to more frequent alternate side parking to allow for increased street cleaning, recommends smaller street sweepers to clean bike lanes more efficiently, and embraces new models of curbside trash collection that get trash piles off of sidewalks and into well-designed trash corrals. Erik will sponsor legislation to better regulate corner newspaper boxes, which are often poorly maintained eyesores, and supports the installation of a pneumatic tube underneath the High Line that could transfer garbage to a centralized collection location, thus reducing truck traffic on our streets. Erik will also push for the creation of a Chelsea Business Improvement District (BID) and a northward expansion of the HY/HK BID (Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen Business Improvement District).
Bottcher announced these plans along with the endorsement by the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, IBT Local 831, which represents all of New York City’s sanitation workers. This adds to the current list of organizations and elected officials that have endorsed Bottcher including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, US Rep. Ritchie Torres, former City Councilmember Ronnie Elridge, the United Federation of Teachers, TenantsPAC, LGBTQ Victory Fund, the Freelancers Union, the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Village Independent Democrats, and Downtown Independent Democrats.
To read the whole sanitation plan please visit Erik’s website at ErikBottcher.com and go to the issues page, or directly visit ErikBottcher.com/sanitationplan.