Our local team keeps the streets of City Heights clean and safe, promoting economic growth in the community

Graffiti removal, power washing, and street sweeping are just a few of the many services provided through the City Heights Business Association’s Clean & Safe Program that contribute to creating a welcoming environment for residents, visitors, and businesses in City Heights. Like the program’s title implies, its goal is to help keep City Heights streets clean and safe so that property and business owners can focus on running their businesses and safely serving residents and visitors in the community.

Clean and Safe graffiti removal
Our Clean & Safe team removes graffiti from the business district every week.

The Clean & Safe Program operates within the City Heights Maintenance Assessment District, which includes University Avenue from Interstate 805 to 50th street and segments of 37th Street, Central Avenue, 43rd Street, and Fairmount Avenue. In addition to maintaining the streets, the program is responsible for larger safety and beautification projects in the community, including collaborating with SDG&E’s Dusk to Dawn Program to install additional street lights in areas with documented criminal activity or safety concerns, and sponsoring landscaping and planter installations along University Avenue. 

From pilot program to community asset

Clean and Safe Program staff cleaning the sidewalk
Using our newly purchased sidewalk vacuum to remove litter and debris.

Beginning as a pilot program with one staff member and contracted maintenance service providers, the Clean & Safe Program has evolved to become an entirely in-house operation and an indispensable component of the CHBA. Today, the Clean & Safe team is composed of three full-time and eight part-time employees, all of whom are residents of City Heights and are committed to making the community a cleaner and safer place to walk, shop, and live. 

With a full team of employees, the Clean & Safe Program has been able to expand their regular cleaning and maintenance schedule and respond more quickly to maintenance requests from residents and business owners. This has been especially important over the last several months as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the capacity of some city services to respond to issues. 

A typical workday for the Clean & Safe staff balances regular street cleaning and maintenance with responding to the more urgent needs and concerns of residents and businesses along University Avenue. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays the crew cleans up all bus stops at the intersection of University and Fairmount avenues, empties trash cans, does graffiti abatement, and addresses cleaning issues throughout the district requiring immediate attention. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the staff prioritizes sidewalk sweeping throughout the entire district, and responds to reports made by business/property owners about areas in need of attention.

We recently caught up with the program’s three full-time staff members to get to know them better and talk with them about their work in the community. 

6376c35b92e92e2c98d81acdfc9c573dJose Cervantes: Clean & Safe Program Coordinator

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and have been a City Heights resident since 2003. I have worked with several different organizations serving the Mid-City area community, and currently coordinate the CHBA Clean & Safe Program. 

What do you find most rewarding about your work, and what is most challenging?
Most rewarding is serving the same neighborhood in which I live. Most challenging is the lack of mental health services for transient and and homeless individuals in the area.

What do you love about City Heights?
Its diversity in all aspects of the spectrum. Living in a place with such a diverse population has allowed me not only to learn a little more about each culture represented in this community, but also to enjoy the flavors of their fantastic cuisines. 

What do you envision for the future of City Heights and the future of the Clean & Safe Program?
To continue growing as a vibrant community where people from all walks of life are welcome. As per the Clean & Safe Program, expanding its service hours and increasing the number of staff members will allow us to better serve the business community. 

What message do you have for people outside of the City Heights community who might be thinking about visiting/exploring the area for the first time?
First time visitors, I recommend visiting local, independent restaurants to enjoy authentic dishes from many parts of the world prepared with their original recipes and ingredients. After the pandemic is over, look for a calendar of cultural festivals in City Heights which will allow for a more in-depth experience of its cultural diversity and identity.

Gaspar DominguezGaspar Dominguez: Clean & Safe Maintenance Worker

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Los Angeles, CA, and raised in San Diego, Tijuana, and Arvin, CA. I’ve been working for the CHBA for about a year. 

What do you find most rewarding about your work, and what is most challenging?
The most rewarding part is seeing the street clean after a hard day of work. Most challenging is the debris and trash left on the sidewalk. 

What do you love about City Heights?
Its diversity of people and the people I work for. 

Andres MadrigalAndres Madrigal: Clean & Safe Maintenance Worker 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am Cuban. I have lived in City Heights for 26 years, and have worked for the Clean & Safe Program for a year. 

What do you love about City Heights?
I love the schools, the programs that exist for the residents, the security, and the progress that has been happening. 

What do you envision for the future of City Heights and the future of the Clean & Safe Program?
The vision I have for the future is more lighting in the alleys, help for the homeless population, and creation of programs for people to help keep the city clean. 

Have a maintenance request?

Submit your request online here.

Want to learn more?

Visit our Clean and Safe Program page to learn more about the services we provide.