Ald. Ashanti Hamilton camping out in front of trash strewn neighborhood

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee's First District Alderman Ashanti Hamilton is camping out in the Garden Homes neighborhood, protesting the city's inability to pick up garbage in front of homes.

He showed CBS 58 a full dumpster that was empty earlier Thursday, Sept. 9, filled after neighbors started cleaning up the trash spread throughout the street.

He said he's heard enough excuses.

"Many neighbors who have been living in this neighborhood have been complaining for a long time, many efforts have come out of this neighborhood, and I think it's time we keep our promise," said Alderman Hamilton.

He said he's staying put until somebody cleans up the trash. He said the dumping is so bad, a body was found under one pile of garbage.

"We would come as the city and remove a body from this trash heap and leave a trash heap sitting here," said Hamilton.

He said the city owns the properties and is supposed to keep up with maintenance. He said the city points the blame at a contractor and the contractor points right back.

"We can do a much better job at putting the residents at what the center of a solution should look like," said Hamilton.

Martha Freeman has lived and run a business in the neighborhood for decades. She said the street has turned into the worst hotel.

"They cook here, they sleep here, they get high here, they use the bathroom here, this is just like their house, that's what I think caused it to get worse," said Freeman.

She said the neighbors feel abandoned and only seen as a dumping ground.

"Yes, and after a while, you just accept it, this is the way it is, or this is the way it's going to be," said Freeman.

Hamilton said he'll camp there until the debris piles and tires get removed.

He said picking up garbage is a basic city service.

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