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Nov 05

Make a Difference: Join the Blight Abatement Advisory Committee

Posted on November 5, 2020 at 5:06 PM by Thomas Reeves

One of the most pressing concerns our residents have is the presence of blight, which encompasses everything from abandoned vehicles and tagging to unmaintained property and illegal littering and dumping.

It’s no wonder why: Cases for abandoned vehicles, tagging, and trash and debris on public and private spaces have tripled the amount from previous years in the 11 months of 2020. Additionally, the City receives a monthly average of 300 reports of blight related issues such as abandoned vehicles, tagging, and trash and debris. 

Blight is a serious issue, and we are putting additional efforts into combating it, beginning with a new committee dedicated to abating blight in our city.

“This committee will both give neighborhoods a louder voice and better connect volunteer organizations and businesses with public services to partner on solutions for abating blight in Modesto,” Scotty Douglass, Deputy City Manager said.

There have been a number of initiatives in recent decades that worked to curb blight—both in specific neighborhoods and city-wide—but they faded away due to a slow decline of participation. The Blight Abatement Advisory Committee, expected to be comprised of good neighbors, business representatives, and non-profit leaders, will provide guidance and possible solutions to staff and the City Council.

In order to ensure lasting success, the Committee will be affiliated with Keep America Beautiful, an organization with extensive experience in beautifying communities around the nation. They will provide the members of the Committee with training, resources, program ideas and grant opportunities.

The Committee’s main tasks will be to brainstorm solutions to blight, accept feedback from projects, give program improvement recommendations to City Council and identify potential funding opportunities. Their first task will be to create a name and tagline for the City’s Blight Abatement initiative in order to more easily market the program to the community.

Those interested in applying for the committee should have experience volunteering and giving back to the community in addition to a passion for exploring innovative ways to cure blight. The committee will meet once a month to discuss updates and evaluate ways to increase community resources with other members and staff. Applications are being accepted now and the official deadline is rolling.

The creation of the Committee itself will have no fiscal impact, as another one of its goals is to connect local non-profits and people with projects in the community so that events like Love Modesto happen more often.

We expect the Blight Abatement Advisory Committee to make lasting change for the better in our community. Modesto is proud to have residents who care deeply about their community and envision ways to improve it. We know this committee will put every effort into making Modesto a city free of blight.