Recently, the Upper West Side seems to have trash, rats, and dog waste like never before. These are not minor annoyances - they’re real health and safety concerns and they degrade our quality of life.
Over nearly three decades of community activism, Mel has taken these issues head-on, and worked successfully with Community Board 7, city agencies, and residents to create cleaning and prevention programs building by building and block by block.
- RATS: Protect our children and pets. Rats in playgrounds are unacceptable. The Upper West Side should be immediately included in the city program to take on the rat epidemic. We need to use dry ice to kill rats in their burrows, recycle food scraps and work with businesses to eliminate rat-friendly conditions, introduce more organic recycling with a signal system for immediate pickup, shift pickup times to prioritize high-trash areas, and expand education programs and data tracking to target trouble spots.
- TRASH: Clean up the trash. Consolidate news boxes and street clutter. Implement solar compactors and enforce litter and cleanup violations.
- HOMELESSNESS: Get people the housing they need. Invest in permanent and supportive housing, not dangerous shelters.
- DOG POOP: Keep dog waste off the block. Establish free baggie stations for owners and ticket offenders.
- TRAFFIC: Finally enforce traffic laws. The laws are on the books. Let's actually use them.
- CONSTRUCTION: Limit the noise. Enforce residential work hours. Take down the scaffolding.