Neighborhood Caretakers

About a week ago, as I was campaigning in the East End. I talked with a citizen who was concerned about the conditions of our neighborhoods. Though she noted that - in her view - the homeowners were responsible for how their properties looked, she was hopeful that more could be done to make the streets, sidewalks, and everything else you see more pleasing to the eye. I agree with her. We owe it to ourselves, as good citizens, to take action to improve the conditions of the environment in which we live.

After our conversation was over, I looked around. One of the things I saw was a tree which had fallen over. The mess it had made of the sidewalk and in the yard it had fallen in was hard to ignore. That was when I started to think of a solution to problems like this. In reality, not everyone has the time required to invest in keeping our streets looking presentable, but there are some of us with plenty of time. What if we could incentivize street clean-up with some type of local tax credit? For instance, and this is just an idea, offering anywhere between 10 to even 50 dollars (depending on the neighborhood's size, as well as other factors influencing the task's difficulty) as a credit on one's taxes for each time they step up and work to keep a neighborhood clean.

How would we trust that they were doing the work? Well, my suggestion is that each participant applying for the credit have the signature of three citizens - from separate addresses - living in the neighborhood confirming that the applicant did the work. Tell me. What are your thoughts?


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