Conservative Activist Returns to Clean Baltimore Streets With 130 Volunteers

September 9, 2019 Updated: September 9, 2019

Conservative activist Scott Presler delivered on his promise to return to Baltimore to help clean up litter from the streets of a city that has long struggled with sanitation.

Some 130 volunteers signed up to help Presler on Sept. 9 in West Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

“We made a promise to come back, so we are,” Presler told The Epoch Times.

He said he personally made the promise to return to an 81-year-old local woman named Louise.

“I just dropped off Louise’s thank you card & she was sitting on her stoop,” he said in a Sept. 9 morning tweet. “Louise told me that her grandchildren go to one of the Baltimore schools that closed early [because] it doesn’t have AC. On a serious note: Why do illegal aliens get our $, but we don’t have AC for schools?”

Presler already cleaned up some 12 tons of trash from West Baltimore with the help of about 200 volunteers on Aug. 5. He said in a prior interview that he’d like to make it a monthly occasion.

The city has struggled with trash in its streets for years, and its shrinking population has left more than 16,000 uninhabitable empty houses. Many of the homes are in an unsafe condition—the city owns many of them, but only comes once a year to clean up the alleys, Presler was told.

The idea to organize a cleanup came to Presler after President Donald Trump recently chided Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) for squalid conditions in the congressman’s district, which includes downtown and West Baltimore.

“I’m so tired of people saying, ‘We should do this, we should do that.’ … I was just like, ‘I’ve had it. I’m going to go to Baltimore, even if it’s just me on a street corner picking up trash,’” Presler said in a prior interview.

Presler put out a notice to his more than 300,000 followers on Twitter, and by the next morning had almost 100 volunteers signed up. The majority of the participants were conservatives and Trump supporters—those being most of Presler’s followers, he said.

The effort has caught the attention of some local and right-leaning media. Also, the White House’s official Twitter account thanked the volunteers in an Aug. 6 post, sharing one of Presler’s images, which shows an alley before and after the cleanup.

The Baltimore Sun published an editorial questioning the motives of Presler. In response, he invited the Sun’s staff to come help with the second cleanup. He said he hasn’t heard back.

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