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They have been called Downtown Long Beach’s beautifiers, groundskeepers, stewards – even litter removal engineers. Stakeholders refer to this crew as “unsung heroes” tackling less than glamorous tasks with determination while keeping our bustling Downtown looking attractive. And though they may go unnoticed by the casual visitor or conventioneer, Downtown regulars know them as “DLBA’s Clean Team” or even “Red Shirts”!

 

Clean Team porters go above and beyond the services provided by the City of Long Beach, working 365 days a year, starting off each morning before most businesses are open, walking as many as 3 miles throughout the day covering one of eight routes in the Downtown business district. The Clean Team also utilizes an All-Terrain Litter Vacuum five days a week along the curb line and pressure washes sidewalks, patios, and parklets on weekly and six-week rotations in premium and standard zones, respectively. The Porters are responsible for picking up trash, sweeping and removing debris from the sidewalk and curb, as well as removing graffiti and stickers, pulling weeds, and wiping down street furniture. At times, they are called upon to pick up debris from an overturned City trash receptacle, articles of clothing, and trash from an abandoned homeless encampment, or bulk items such as couch cushions, chairs, or even mattresses.

 

Over the past three months (January – March), the Clean Team removed as much as 12,000 pounds of litter and debris, cleaned 1,300 instances of graffiti or stickers, and spent as many as 1,500 hours pressure washing approximately 85 blocks in Downtown. Their visibility and welcoming attitude also inspire requests for directions and recommendations for local eateries.  Interestingly, despite that Downtown has seen fewer pedestrians while the Covid-19 health orders have been in place, litter and debris have increased, by 30% from a year ago, keeping these “essential workers” even busier than normal.

 

Most members of DLBA’s Clean Team have been on the job for five years or more, with some even nearing 10 years of service to the Downtown. Recently, we asked our Clean Team some “get to know you” questions and were greeted with an array of responses. Not surprisingly, pride in their work and regard for people in Downtown were most on their minds.

 

So make sure to stop and say “hello” the next time you see a member of DLBA’s amazing Clean Team taking care of business in Downtown!

 

DLBA’S CLEAN TEAM – 2021

 

Name: Virgil

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 3 years

What do you like to do outside of work? I like to read, watch movies, and bike around town.

What do you like most about this job? Helping the public.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “Thank you for your service!”

What’s special about the Downtown community? Meeting the tourists and the locals.

 

Name: Lilia

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 3 years

Do you have any immediate family? I have 2 sons and 1 daughter.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to go to church and I love to host gatherings for my family to keep us united.

What do you like most about this job? I love to do my job and for the guests in the city to see a clean space. It makes me feel great to provide that service.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? When business owners see how detailed I am about my job they offer me water, snacks, and candy to show appreciation for my work.

What’s special about the Downtown community? When I migrated, Long Beach was my first home and I feel like part of this community.

Name: Taylor

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 5 months

What do you like to do outside of work? I like to play video games, sleep, and build computers.

What’s special about the Downtown community? I like that it is inclusive of the various persons who live there.

 

 

Name: Hunter

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 7 months

What do you like to do outside of work? I hike, garden, and do volunteer work.

What do you like most about this job? I’m able to meet a lot of people I otherwise wouldn’t if I had an office job.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? I’m often told how clean we keep the city and thanked for doing a good job.

What’s special about the Downtown community? Long Beach feels like a small town with how many small businesses we have.

 

Name: Claudia

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 3 months

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to watch TV.

What do you like most about this job? The people I meet in Downtown and my coworkers.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? That I’m quick and my work is well done.

What’s special about the Downtown community? The locals are good and kind.

 

Name: Bertha

What do you like to do outside of work? I like to go to church.

What do you like most about this job? Meeting new people.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? That I do a good job.

What’s special about the Downtown community? The people are friendly.

 

Name: “Star”

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 2 years

What do you like most about this job? Being in the field.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “Good job, thank you for keeping Long Beach clean!” They’ve even offered me complimentary food and drinks.

What’s special about the Downtown community? Seeing the usual people. They’re always friendly.

 

Name: Gene

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 6 months

Do you have any immediate family? I have 1 son.

What do you like to do outside of work? I read, go for walks, and visit with my family and friends.

What do you like most about this job? Keeping the street clean and safe.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “You do very good work cleaning, thank you for your service, glad you’re here!”

What’s special about the Downtown community? The warm & friendly people.

Name: Salvador

What do you like to do outside of work? I love to cook and eat.

What do you like most about this job? I enjoy cleaning.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “Thank you for your good work!”

What’s special about the Downtown community? The city and the people that live here.

 

Name: David

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 3 months

What do you like to do outside of work? I love fishing and relaxing with family.

What do you like most about this job? The people I encounter.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “You are doing a great job!”

What’s special about the Downtown community? The locals and my coworkers are great.

Name: Gregory

How long have you been on the Clean Team? 11 years

What do you like to do outside of work? Relax!

What do you like most about this job? There’s always something to do so I stay busy.

What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received at work? “You’re a great worker!”

What’s special about the Downtown community? It’s a good place to live.