Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Department of Neighborhood Empowerment Congress

I attended the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) Congress of Neighborhoods, the annual gathering of Neighborhood Councils and community advocates. Residents from across the city gathered to discuss problems and solutions that face every community, from homelessness to historic preservation.

One issue that affects all Angelenos is graffiti. Tagging blights neighborhoods and intimidates neighbors. My office has worked to reduce graffiti by over 50% in the district over the last two years - and we've done it with a community-based solution. UNTAG, or Uniting Neighborhoods To Abolish Graffiti, has created a network of block captains responsible for reporting graffiti in a specific area. They report any and all tagging in their designated areas to the city, and it gets painted out quickly. UNTAG combines community organizing with technology and swift government response. It'll soon be available outside of CD13 - if you live anywhere in the city and you'd like to sign up as a block captain, contact my office.