One Common Priority: A Clean Jerusalem

One Common Priority: A Clean Jerusalem

“Our standards of what is and isn’t a clean city have gotten confused,”  Said our Tal Kligman in this Hebrew article, published on the popular Ynet web site. She continued, “when residents from other cities visit me and say, ‘See how dirty it is here,’ I don’t see it. For me, it’s considered clean. But the truth is that the ground beneath the garbage can on the street isn’t supposed to be black. We, residents of this city, want a clean city.”

'Garbage Tour' in central Jerusalem

‘Garbage Tour’ in central Jerusalem

As we’ve noted herehere, here and here, the Little Prince – Cleaning Up Jerusalem Together is using trash to bring people together.  Orthodox, secular and Haredi Jews, Christians and Muslim Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians – all wish to see a clean Jerusalem and all are struggling with the current reality. The Little Prince seeks to empower residents from all sectors to work together and within their own communities to make Jerusalem a clean city.  The goal is to build broad networks on the grassroots as well as professional and political levels that can solve problems on both a one-time and system-wide basis.

Concentrating on different areas in central Jerusalem

Concentrating on different areas in central Jerusalem

Over the past year and a half the Little Prince – Jews and Arabs from across the ethnic and political spectrum – has been working to raise awareness about the need for a clean Jerusalem.  They have even succeeded in making the subject one of the main issues discussed in the upcoming Jerusalem mayoral elections.

Discussing issues of sanitation and a clean city

Discussing issues of sanitation and a clean city

Last Saturday night, 15.9.18, we held a ‘Garbage Tour’ of central Jerusalem for activists and for mayoral candidates. Nearly all the candidates or their representatives took part. All promised to take steps to improve the situation. Residents who led the tour stressed a number of crucial points, including: changing the definition of what is considered clean, taking responsibility for a clean city, expanding infrastructure, increasing enforcement, changing the organizational culture with regards to having a clean city, and changing the city’s image. In addition to the ynet article, the tour was also covered on the Hebrew-language Kipa web page, which targets the Orthodox public.

All mayoral candidates signed the Clean City Platform

All mayoral candidates signed the Clean City Platform

In addition to the Garbage Tour we, together with our partner activists in action, have written a Clean City Platform, which summarizes the main points needed to improve cleanliness in the city, and all of the mayoral candidates have signed! The Platform holds the mayor responsible for sanitation in the city, through the allocation of resources, through supervision and enforcement, through education and awareness raising for all residents of the city. The Platform raises the standards for accepted levels of sanitation and cleanliness in the city. Here’s a few pictures of candidates signing the Platform:

Minister of the Environment and Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage, Ze'ev Elkin

Minister of the Environment and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage, Ze’ev Elkin

We also have a picture of former Deputy Mayor Ofer Berkovitz signing:

Ofer Berkovitz signing the Clean City Platform

Ofer Berkovitz signing the Clean City Platform

And a local Haredi weekly newspaper did an article on Haredi mayoral candidate Yossi Deutsch as he signed the Platform:

Yossi Deutsch signing Platform

Yossi Deutsch signing Platform

Here’s the Hebrew Facebook post from the Little Prince Facebook group:

Many thanks to the Jerusalem Foundation for its ongoing support of our effective activism programs!

 

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