Neighborhoods now have access to graffiti removal equipment, resources

First District Councilman Scott Wagner, chair of the Gateway Crimes Task Force, says the city’s new graffiti abatement program will rely on neighborhoods and the city working together.

“Nothing tears down a neighborhood like graffiti,” Sixth District Councilman John Sharp told a press conference today. In the past, the city has had a program to help deal with graffiti, and various Midtown neighborhoods have had their own graffiti-removal strategies. A new program will now allow neighborhoods and the city to team up to tackle the big job. “We think a lot of people want to help,” Sharp

Neighborhoods can now borrow one of ten power washers, get chemicals and paint for removal and get training under the new Graffiti Abatement Program.

says. “We think this will be effective in reclaiming neighborhoods.”

Councilman Scott Wagner says graffiti is considered a “gateway” crime, one of those “small crimes that have a way of getting bigger.”  Wagner told the audience that neighborhoods will now have the tools to remove graffiti quickly and prevent it from recurring. The graffiti abatement program includes the following elements:

  • Free five-gallon buckets of white, brown or gray paint for neighborhood organizations
  • Loanable graffiti removal equipment for recognized neighborhood groups, such as ten power washing machines and chemicals
  • Training on graffiti removal
  • Information brochures

More information

The city is also contracting with organizations to remove graffiti in various public and private areas. As the program progresses, Wagner says the Municipal Art Commission will develop a program that allows graffiti artists and neighborhoods to work together to create murals. The program is funded by a $100,000 community development block grant and a $10,000 donation from the LISC, a local nonprofit community development corporation.