Restoring the Health and Safety Program

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Barrios Bellos is a clean up program restoring the health and safety of Hispanic neighborhoods. David Adame, Chief Financial Officer for Chicanos Por La Causa, and Rob Ginis, General Manager of Avondale Toyota, discuss their organizations’ involvement in the program.

Jose Cardenas: Barrios Bellos beautiful neighborhoods is a clean-up program restoring the health and safety program of Hispanic neighborhoods. Here with me to talk about the program and how it works is David Adame, chief financial officer for Chicanos Por La Causa, also here is Rob Ginis, general manager of the Avondale Toyota. He is here on behalf of the valley Toyota dealers association. Both organizations are partners of the Barrios Bellos Program program. As I understand it, the program began as a proposal from your group's association.

Rob Ginis: That is correct. In 2007 we made contact with Chicanos Por La Causa, and wanted to get involved in the community and help revitalize the neighborhoods that we serve. And we've been doing this since then. Now over five years, and it has very much touched the community really brought some beautification to the neighborhoods. And we're extremely proud to be part of this, and to assist in helping the community.

Jose Cardenas: David, as I understand it, while CPLC and the dealers association, Toyota dealers association, are the partners to make this happen, have you a lot of other participants.

David Adame: Absolutely. The major coordination of many partners, public and private, in this case last Saturday when we worked in the cash neighborhood we had the city of Phoenix which was in full force, their parks department, their public works department, and other neighborhood departments that helped support the effort. We also had Maricopa County out there, with the animals control to make sure we had control of any loose animals that could be a danger to any of the participants. City of Phoenix police department was a major force out there, which was great because they gave a nice educational overview how to avoid any hazardous materials that could be dangerous to any of the participants. Especially the youth that were out there. And then one of the ones that was most appealing to me and heartwarming to me was the cash elementary school which we approached about involving the students on a project for them, and they were out in full force and it was great to see the young kids excited about doing something positive for the neighborhood and their school.

Jose Cardenas: And Rob, you have members of the valley Toyota dealers association out there doing work themselves.

Rob Ginis: We did. We had volunteers from each of the valley nine Toyota dealers that participated as well. We had a very strong showing, probably over 50 members that joined in and helped in the neighborhood. So we were extremely proud of the turnout, and really proud of the results.

Jose Cardenas: As we can see on camera you've got people not just picking up trash but also painting walls.

Rob Ginis: That is correct. We had a graffiti clean-up, paint from the local areas that was donated and we had the walls, the alleys, and made sure that the graffiti that was there was displaced.

Jose Cardenas: How often is this done?

Rob Ginis: We do this annually. This is something that we're committed to doing, and we've already looked into future locations for next year. And also looking back at the areas that we've already have worked at and seen how our progress is working there.

Jose Cardenas: Give us a sense, perhaps using the most recent effort, of the size and scope of the operation.

David Adame: Sure. In this case you talk about a 10-square-mile area, you're talking about 500-plus volunteers, probably talking about 50,000 pounds of trash that is taken out of the area. And again, that's why I said it was a major undertaking that we had another partner, southwest valley rigging that brought major tractors out to help get the stuff out of the alley and put that out there. But it is a major undertaking, so we have to feed the folk, coordinate the tools, coordinate the area the people will focus on. Then again make sure it's safe for everybody. But again, at the end of the day you have a bunch of smiling folks, family members, youth, one thing that was very exciting to see that we had the local brownie troop out there helping plant some of the new trees and the chivalry that was donated by some of the other partners so it's a major undertaking. Over the last five years the total amount of tons of trash has been 150,000, over 1500 volunteers over the last 5 years, and it's continued to get better every year. We just love the support from the valley dealerships.

Jose Cardenas: A lot of in kind contributions, but also cash.

David Adame: Absolutely. They're very generous with us. They provide $15,000 for this effort to help pay for the costs of putting this together, feeding the folks, of getting the equipment out there, and it doesn't include the volunteer work and the other donations we get from some of the other partners like chase and century link and APS, SRP. An additional 15,000 comes from the various partners that donate their time, and equipment, and other services that they bring to the event.

Jose Cardenas: So Rob, David, it's a grand effort. Congratulations on what you've done so far. Best wishes in the future. And thanks for joining us on "Horizonte" this evening. That's our show for tonight. From all of us here at "Horizonte," I'm Jose Cardenas. Have a good evening.

David Adame:Chief Financial Officer, Chicanos Por La Causa; Rob Ginis:General Manager, Avondale Toyota;

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