Volunteers beautify 23rd Street to celebrate Cesar Chavez Day

Volunteers improve 23rd St. on Cesar Chavez Day
About 100 community members helped beautify a stretch of 23rd Street in Richmond in celebration of Cezar Chavez Day on Saturday, March 30, 2019. (All photos by Rafael Lima)

By Rafael Lima

In celebration of Cesar Chavez Day, an area of 23rd Street received some love and attention from about 100 community volunteers on Saturday.

The residents lent assistance to a long-running project to beautify the area near Portumex Restaurant.

Urban Transformation has partnered with local community leaders to launch grassroots efforts to improve the immediate area. The ongoing Xochitl project aims to serve as a catalyst for a planned transformation of the entire merchant’s corridor, which suffers from criminal activity, particularly human trafficking.

See our comprehensive profile on the effort to reinvent 23rd Street here.

Saturday’s work involved building a temporary parklet near Portumex, planting trees, adding trash cans and further beautifying a nearby ally with colorful paint.

The work was done as part of a Cesar Chavez Day of Service, which celebrates the birth and legacy of the civil rights and labor movement activist.

“What a better way to remember him than to give back,” said community advocate Cesar Zepeda.

The event was made possible with help from the Richmond Rotary Club, California Releaf, the City of Richmond and AT&T.

“This is to demonstrate how you can improve a commercial destination and make it more pedestrian friendly and inviting to shoppers on 23rd Street,” said Darlene Rios Drapkin of Urban Transformation.

Drapkin said the efforts help build community and inspire local residents and merchants to take part in the transformation.