The Committee for Downtown Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Committee for Downtown Yakima

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YAKIMA -- How a city looks says a lot to visitors and even the community. If you have visited downtown Yakima recently, you may have noticed cleaner streets and sidewalks.  The people responsible for that are work with the Committee for Downtown Yakima.

Sean Hawkins took the Executive Director job with the committee earlier this year. He had a vision to improve the image of the city.

Everyday workers with the committee check the streets and buildings to make sure everything looks clean. That includes removing graffiti the morning after it happens. According to one crew, when they first hit the streets in the summer, they were washing off 10 to 15 graffiti tags a day. With the quick removal, they feel the taggers have moved elsewhere. One or two removals a week is the norm now.

Sean says, "We're starting to see other people just randomly walking down the streets, not walking past trash, but picking it up. They are taking pride in their community."

That's what business ownern Nina Ummel saw in Yakima when she decided to open up a spa downtown.

"It took awhile. I looked around and I wasn't really sure about it. It took three months to really talk with people, get around the community to determine, this did start to feel right." Said Nina Ummell.

The committee plans to bring horse and carriage rides this holiday season and this summer, they want to have outdoor live music on a weekly basis.