During one visit to the Echo Park library, Jose Sigala and his twin daughters found so much trash outside the Temple street branch that they began sweeping and cleaning up the trash on their own. City budget cuts had forced the libraries to cut maintenance to a minimum, Sigala learned. “The library looked awful given the location, food vendors and people littering, said Sigala, President of the Echo Park neighborhood council. Now, the Echo Park and Edendale branch libraries look cleaner after the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council began helping pay for a weekly clean up at both locations. On Tuesday night, the Board of Governors of the Echo Park council will vote to approve $600 to continue the Echo Park branch library clean up through the end of June.
The Echo Park council has teamed up with Chrysalis, a nonprofit group dedicated to finding jobs for the homeless, to help clean up the Echo Park and Edendale branches. Once a week, a Chrysalis worker spends fours at each library cleaning up the parking lot and perimeter of the of the Echo Park and Edendale branch library. “Their primary focus is maintaining the exterior of the library. If they finish and have some time left on the shift they can help out inside as instructed by the library staff,” said Sigala, who is running to replace Eric Garcetti as councilman of the 13th district.
The council has already allocated $4,400 for the program but the funds for the Echo Park branch run out this month. The additional $600 would pay for cleaning the remainder of the fiscal year, which finishes at the end of June.
The Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. Click here for an agenda.