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Army officers join ‘The Great Pave’ effort to clean Fruitvale streets

About 30 uniformed Army officers will soon be joining with Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo in his longstanding effort to clean the streets in his district in the city’s Fruitvale District.

Gallo announced the collaborative effort on Thursday when he joined Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Transportation Director Ryan Russo in launching a three-year, $100 million street repaving effort called “The Great Pave” on Thursday that focuses on local neighborhood streets and historically underserved neighborhoods.

Gallo said the Army officers will join him and other volunteers when they clean up the streets on Saturdays and Sundays.

Gallo said he thinks the presence of officers in uniform “will paint a different view” and show the residents in his district that authorities care about making it look better.

He said if neighborhood residents are convinced that government officials are paying attention to the area they will be less likely to allow problems such as homelessness, illegal dumping and sideshows to exist. Gallo said sideshows are continuing to plague his district, with sideshows even tearing up streets that have recently been paved. He said the sideshows often occur in the late night and early evening hours on Fruitvale Avenue, Foothill Boulevard, International Boulevard and 42nd Avenue.

Gallo added that some people do donuts in their cars when they return to their homes at night.

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