Contest Will Encourage Boro Students to Help Keep Their Neighborhoods Clean

Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced the launch of the “Respect Our Block” Poster Contest. The contest will be open to elementary, middle and high school students across the borough, and will invite individual students or groups of students to create a poster urging their neighbors to “Respect Our Block.”

“Warmer weather is coming soon, and we want to make sure our streets and our parks are clean so that we can all enjoy the outdoors. This poster contest will help Bronx students display their own community spirit, and I hope that students from every corner of the borough participate in this contest and help keep their neighborhood clean,” said Borough President Diaz.

The “Respect Our Block” contest, which is part of the borough’s ongoing centennial celebrations, is being launched in response to concerns and complaints raised by Bronxites to the Borough President’s Office regarding litter, pet waste and other issues that can make a neighborhood look unappealing. Through this contest, Borough President Diaz hopes to engage the children of The Bronx and use their energy to make our streets cleaner and increase pride in The Bronx.

“It is never too early to get our youth involved in their communities. Through this contest, we can help instill a strong love for The Bronx in our students while making our communities nicer. We encourage students and teachers alike to get involved, and tell the world to ‘Respect Our Block!’” said Borough President Diaz.

“This contest will not only emphasize the importance of respecting our borough and neighborhoods, but it will also plant a positive sense of civic responsibility in our young Bronxites and provide a significant service by reminding people to help prevent the many quality of life issues that flare up in the warmer months. I want to thank Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for creating this contest, and I look forward to seeing what our many talented students in The Bronx come up with,” said Council Member James Vacca.

“The ‘Respect our Block’ contest is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to demonstrate their creativity while highlighting their neighborhoods. I can’t think of a better way to continue the renaissance than encouraging Bronx pride in our borough’s kids,” said Council Member Annabel Palma.

“We have a strong sense of pride here in The Bronx and I encourage students from all corners of the borough to show off their pride by entering the ‘Respect Our Block’ poster contest.  I applaud Borough President Diaz for creating this initiative and I am looking forward to seeing all of the students inspiring work,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.

“I commend the Borough President for his innovative approach to youth engagement through the ‘Respect Our Block’ Poster Contest. It’s my hope that these kinds of creative initiatives will better enable us to cultivate among Bronx youth a long term commitment to the responsible stewardship of the borough,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

“The ‘Respect Our Block’ poster contest is a wonderful way to engage our youth to improve the quality of life for Bronx residents,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “I applaud Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for launching an initiative that instills a great sense of pride within our communities. I look forward to seeing the winning designs this spring!”

“Our community is our home.  When we teach our children to respect each other and our communities, we are investing in them as the caretakers of our future. They are tomorrow’s leaders so we must start engaging them today. I applaud Borough President Diaz for launching this contest. He is an outstanding leader who brings us together in a way that makes us all proud Bronxites,” said Rep. Eliot Engel.

“The Bronx is home to a diverse range of cultures, traditions and ways of life, that together make this borough a place I’m proud to call home. In order for us to keep the Bronx beautiful though, everyone must pitch in. That’s why the launch of Bronx Borough President Diaz’s ‘Respect Our Block’ poster contest is so important. It provides a fun way to raise awareness surrounding the importance of keeping our communities clean, while inspiring our next generation to take pride in our borough. I encourage students across The Bronx to take part,” said State Senator Jeff Klein.

“Young people are the future of our borough, and this contest is a great way to get them involved in the civic life of The Bronx. I encourage all the schools in my district to participate in Borough President Diaz’s contest, and I cannot wait to see all the great posters the children of this borough produce,” said State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz.

“The ‘Respect Our Block’ Poster Contest is a wonderful way to encourage our borough’s students to express their Bronx pride,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.  “This contest is a great way to have our kids partake in the borough’s centennial celebrations and is sure to inspire and energize all Bronxites.”

“The ‘Respect Our Block’ contest is a great way for our youth to get more involved in the preservation and beautification of their communities. This poster contest will help galvanize a new generation of outstanding citizens by giving them the opportunity to have their voices heard through their wonderful works of art.  I applaud Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr for engaging our youth in such a positive and constructive manner,” said Senator Jose M. Serrano.

“It is important to instill pride in our borough and our neighborhood at an early age. Keeping our streets clean and our neighborhoods beautiful is key to making our young people feel that they have a stake in their community. We should encourage our neighbors, particularly young people, to get involved in improving the Bronx. I hope all schools will be part of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s ‘Respect Our Block’ contest,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“As the Redevelopment of the Bronx continues, we must ensure that all quality of life and environmental needs are also addressed. The ‘Respect Our Block’ project is a great way to engage our youth, learn of their invaluable ideas and promote a cleaner and healthier environment. I commend the Bronx Borough President for this effort and look forward to promoting it throughout the community,” said Assembly Member Marcos Crespo.

“We often overlook the impact our surroundings have on our state of mind. A dirty neighborhood with trash everywhere isn’t a neighborhood someone will respect and treat well. This poster project teaches our children about the importance of taking care of the area they live in and I am excited to see the work they come up with,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda

“I am proud to join Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on this great initiative that helps get young men and women involved in beautifying and respecting the community that we live in,” said Assembly Member Victor Pichardo. “The Bronx is home to some of the best neighborhoods in New York City and it up to our youth to make sure that it continues to be that way.”

“I applaud the efforts by our Borough President to encourage Bronxites to promote opportunities to enhance the beauty of our beloved borough through the launch of ‘Respect Our Block’ Poster Contest.  This is a thoughtful approach to allow our future leaders, our youth, of the Bronx to use their creative skills to raise the pride and spirit of our residents,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson

“As district manager for Bronx Community Board #3, which services the communities of Morrisania, Melrose, Claremont, Crotona Park East, Bathgate and Woodstock in the Bronx, I applaud Bronx Borough President Diaz in his effort to raise the consciousness of adults and youth between the ages of 6 to 18, about becoming ‘stakeholders’ and ‘guardians’ for ensuring the cleanliness of their immediate living environments; from streets and sidewalks to parks and recreational facilities.  It is my hope that the ‘Respect Our Block’ Initiative of Bronx Borough President Diaz, will serve to remind our youth and adults, that the care and cleanliness they provide for their living environments, is a “reflection” of themselves and what they aspire to become,” said John Dudley, District Manager for Bronx Community Board #3.

“It is our hope that this initiative will foster a moral discernment not only within our youth but all community residents and encourage an action towards personal responsibility.”  Jose Rodriguez, District Manager of Bronx Community Board #4.

“As the Chair of Community Board 7 and past teacher, I know that our youth care about the blocks they live on and would enjoy such an opportunity to artistically express their desire for all Bronxites to take pride in, love and cherish the communities they live in,” said Adaline Walker Santiago, Chairperson of Bronx Community Board #7.

The contest will begin today, and is open to all public, private, charter and parochial Bronx schools. All entries are due to the Office of the Bronx Borough President by Friday, April 11. Contest winners will be hosted at a press conference with Borough President Diaz in the spring. For more information about the contest, visit