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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Community Partner Spotlight: Sidney Flores

Last week Moises and I met with Sidney Flores, a community activist in the Bronx with whom we work on numerous community service projects. Mr. Flores was kind enough to let us interview him about his work with Bronx Community Solutions, and post it here.  We are grateful to have partners like him!


Sidney Flores, Community Activist

I work at Bronx Lebanon hospital doing painting and other work, but my real title is Community Activist. I volunteer with quality of life, focusing on the areas covered by community boards 4 and 5, Yankee Stadium to Fordham Road. I drive around in my own vehicle, take notice quality of life issues and report them to 311 and the community boards. I notice instances of illegal dumping and bring them to the attention of sanitation. I also put up signs telling people that the area is being watched, and that illegal dumping or tagging is a crime. I think it’s really helped; some of those areas look a lot better.
I came to know Bronx Community Solutions through Moises, who was introduced to me through someone at the local precinct. He and I have a great relationship. I see places that are in need of being cleaned up and I call Moises. He then brings the crew and helps with graffiti and picking up garbage in the areas that I’ve identified. I’ll also show up and help out, I give the crew bottles of water and supplies when I’m able. 
I drive around as a lookout and check out the areas that we’ve painted or cleaned, to see how they’re doing. A lot of the areas look so much better. If they’ve gotten messed up again, I call Bronx Community Solutions and let them know. I’m their eyes out in the community!  Bronx Community Solutions always responds, and they’re able to get things done faster than anyone else out there.
I’m very happy Bronx Community Solutions is here. They make a big difference in the community. I notice the graffiti situation is much better. When I drive around and do the lookout after we’ve painted, I see that a lot of the areas we’ve worked on are still looking clean and that makes me happy.
I live near a tunnel on Selwyn Ave, and it was just a mess. There were rats and garbage everywhere, and prostitution and drug activity were constant problems. Bronx Community Solutions brought their crew along with some help from the local precinct, they put up a mural in the playground and cleaned the whole place up. Now, the area is just transformed. No one was representing the area the way it should have been, I’m so glad you guys came along.
I couldn’t do it without Bronx Community Solutions. I feel that if we all just got off our butts and did more work out there in the community, our neighborhoods could actually be beautiful.  You guys are making it happen, and I’m so glad you’re helping to make changes in my community.
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The New York Times ran a great article about Sidney Flores last year, check it out here: Bronx Neighborhood Has Unofficial Mayor

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