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Community Graffiti Abatement Forum Spells Out "The Writing On The Wall"
March 3, 2003

City enlists help from community, business and youth to stop proliferation of graffiti

Richmond City officials invite business owners and residents to participate in a community forum about how the City plans to solve the problem of graffiti vandalism.  The forum will be held on Monday, March 10, 2003, at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 2600 Barrett Avenue, Third Floor.

Representatives from the City's Community Affairs Division and Police Department, as well as the local business community and school leadership programs will make presentations and offer comments on the impact of graffiti on the City and what methods of abatement will be utilized to address the issue. 

"The writing is on the wall," says City Manager Isiah Turner. "I am putting taggers on notice that graffiti will not be tolerated and those responsible for committing it, removing it and preventing it will be held accountable."

The City Manager says ridding the City of graffiti will be fully enforced according to the Richmond Municipal Code.  The RMC allows the City to hold parents or guardians liable for graffiti related damages caused by under age taggers up to $2,000, plus the cost of removal, and reimbursement of a reward fund that authorizes the City Manager to pay $200 to people who provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals.

The graffiti abatement program will also include community outreach, and police enforcement through prevention, education and environmental design, which refers to such things as planting shrubbery and foliage to block or cover walls to prevent vandals from accessing structures to deface with graffiti.  Community Affairs and police will also encourage property owners to take responsibility for removing and preventing graffiti vandalism, which is also spelled out in the RMC.

The forum will also provide information to citizens on how they can help the City stop graffiti by doing such things as reporting vandals, and educating friends and neighbors about the negative impacts of graffiti, which include lowering property values, hampering economic development opportunities, and eroding a sense of pride among residents.

Turner says graffiti affects everyone and it will take a cooperative effort by the entire community to stop it.  For more information, please call (510) 621-1230.