CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- Frank Moran the mayor of Camden has challenged residents and business owners to keep their community clean.
In an appeal made Tuesday in the 1500 block of the Mt Ephraim Avenue business corridor, Moran asked "Help us clean up our city. We can do this !"
Shortly after that appeal, Department of Public Works staffers moved to clean up debris-filled vacant lots and vacuum trash out of storm drains.
They also distributed a truckload of new bright green and blue trash and recycling cans to residents.
City officials say they are committed with trying to change the culture that has allowed much of Camden, including areas bordering Mt Ephraim Avenue to be overrun by trash.
Moran's message: everyone must do their part to reverse the damage.
He told Action News, "I am telling citizens who come to these corridors if you have a can in your hand don't throw it on the ground look for a trash can or recycling bin."
The thinking with less trash and debris, people will feel begin to feel pride in their neighborhoods.
Resident Shatoyah Best who was picking up trash and recycling can agreed with the mayor.
She told us, "It is actually happening right now. I am proud to say it right now I am glad to live in Camden."
Asked if she felt good about living in Camden, she replied, "I feel awesome."
Camden officials reached out to business owners who have weathered tough times. They thanked them and urged them to keep their properties clean and graffiti free.
Officials including the mayor also met the the owner of a newly opened laundromat.
Lorng Chhour is bullish on Camden. She stressed today's outreach and engagement with business owners while a good start needs to continue on a regular basis. She said "They need to be out here at night to see what is going on. You know, crime has been reduced but still it is very risky, very scary to do business here at night.
Crime is still a major concern for Camden residents despite improving crime statistics over the last several years. In 2018 violent crimes were down 18 percent.
Camden mayor to residents: 'Help us, we can do this'
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