Alley near 23rd Street spruced up as part of revitalization

By Mike Kinney

Community members banded together on Saturday to clean up a long-blighted alley that runs parallel to 23rd Street in Richmond.

Dozens of residents helped round up litter in the alley between 22nd and 23rd streets and Grant and Burbeck avenues. The event was organized by community advocate Cesar Zepeda in partnership with Urban Transformation and Calle 23. It aims for a community-driven revitalization of the square block area surrounding the alley.

“This alleyway here was one of the number one complaints in the community,” Zepeda said. “A lot of people live here and they use this alleyway to exit and enter homes on a daily basis. This alley has seen a lot of prostitution, crime, littering….We want to clean it up.”

The greater project — called Project Xochitl, which means flower in Aztec — will include revitalizing a one-block radius in the area that includes Portumex, which received a new mural this week as part of the Bay Area Mural Festival.

Project organizers are working with Richmond-based Laner Electric Co. to install lighting in the alleyway to make it safe, Zepeda said. Also, the Richmond Rotary is contributing funds for trees and other greenery in the immediate area.

For more on the revitalization, visit our more comprehensive story on the plans from last week.