Boyle Heights

Trash Dumped Outside of Boyle Heights City Hall Building in Protest

Residents in Boyle Heights left trash in front of the city hall building in protest of the trash left in a nearby park.

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Community activists from the First Blocks of Whittier Boulevard Committee left trash in front of the Boyle Heights City Hall building after they say the waste was gathering for months in a park.

The group says they've been complaining about the trash in Hollenbeck Park for months and last week they were told by the city that the park would finally be cleaned up by Saturday.

"This disaster has been sitting out there for two months and it was told to me that it was picked up and it wasn't picked up," said Veta Gashgai, a member of the First Blocks of Whittier Boulevard Committee.

But according to these community members, the park wasn't completely cleaned up.

They shared a video with NBC4 of the group picking up trash at the park on Sunday and then leaving it in front of the Boyle Heights City Hall.

The city hall building also houses embattled Councilmember Kevin de León's office.

"We are shaming everyone that saying they are doing something and made our point bringing our trash here," said Jacobo Estrada, a member of the First Blocks of Whittier Boulevard Committee.

The group says it has done 34 cleanups of Boyle Heights.

"Diapers, needles, all kinds of trash you don't want to see," said Jose Rodriguez, a Boyle Heights community member.

Rodriguez has been at almost every cleanup.

"No one else is doing it and we need to show the people we care about our community," Rodriguez.

The group says they're tired of doing the work the city should be doing.

"We are not getting paid nothing for this, no we are not," Rodriguez said.

Councilmember De León's office told NBC4 the city removed several tons of trash from Hollenbeck Park last week and says "The Councilmember has also committed more than $1.65 million in discretionary spending for supplemental crews in Boyle Heights alone."

The Councilmember says what the group did on Sunday was illegal.

He posted on his Instagram page asking for information on the people behind the trash dump.

First Blocks of Whittier Blvd. says they made the Councilmember aware they put the trash in front of city hall and say they stand behind their action.

"The trash was at Hollenbeck Park at least two months sitting there and here it got picked up less than 24 hours," Estrada said.

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