Sister cities join forces for citywide Earth Day Cleanup

Photo by Chris Sykes
East Orange Mayor Ted Green, second from left, stands with Orange Code Enforcement Director and 2017 2nd Ward City Council candidate Khalfani Alleyne, center, and other volunteers from the sister cities and elsewhere on Saturday, April 21, during the city’s Earth Day Citywide Cleanup.

EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ — East Orange Mayor Ted Green is known for rolling up his sleeves to help toward his goal of “One city, one community with one goal and that’s progress,” and that’s what he did Saturday, April 21, in celebration of Earth Day.

Green and the East Orange City Council hosted an Earth Day Citywide Cleanup on Saturday, April 21, with help from more than 40 teams, including a group from Comcast Cares, Orange Code Enforcement Chief Inspector Khalfani Alleyne, and former Orange at large Councilman Elroy Corbitt. The groups gathered outside City Hall at 8:30 a.m. to pick up supplies and tools before heading out to various neighborhoods for the cleanup.

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, East Orange Democratic Committee and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones and other representatives, students, businesses and community groups also joined in the cleanup.

“Teams met at Hillcrest Terrace and Mountainview Avenue for a special tree-planting ceremony in honor of the late community icon Armelia Grooms at 2:30 p.m.,” said Green on Saturday, April 21. “Other cleanup locations included East Orange Campus High, 344 Prospect St.; Fellowship Civic Center, 1 Fellowship Circle; American Wear, North 18th Street; Sierra House, 85 North 14th St.; the East Orange Housing Authority, North Walnut and William streets; and the Newark border at Tremont and South Munn avenues.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, along the border East Orange shares with Orange, Alleyne and a group of volunteers, including 2018 East Ward City Council Candidate Dawan Alford, were also hard at work, matching the example Green and company had set.

“It was spearheaded by Mayor Green and me, being a part of the East Orange Democratic Committee and the East Orange political arena and also working for the city of Orange in the capacity that I do,” said Alleyne on Saturday, April 21. “I did provide about 15 volunteers from the Orange side and another 15 volunteers from the East Orange side from the 2nd Ward to help clean up alongside our borders — Hampton Terrace, Bourbon Street, Webster Place, Street, Oakwood Avenue, Elm Street, State Street, Hillyer Street. Those are the borders, which are the East Ward of Orange and the 2nd Ward of East Orange. We’ve never had that before, where both cities came together on the same day to do a cleanup at the same time in both the cities.”

It’s kept quiet, but Alleyne is known for “Snacksgiving” his delivery of free snacks to East Orange public school students last year, after he’d made an unsuccessful run to replace incumbent 2nd Ward Councilman Romal Bullock in the June 2017 Democratic Party primary election.

“Snacksgiving is just one initiative that we did for the kids, just stepping up when our East Orange School District didn’t have it, just filling that gap and making sure that we provide something that’s essential,” said Alleyne. “It might seem small to some, but it’s a huge thing, when we provide snacks for the kids, from the beginning of the school year throughout the end of the school year, for the entire 2nd Ward — every school, every preschool and kindergarten classroom throughout the 2nd Ward. It ended up being somewhere around 75,000 snacks.”