Thursday, July 26, 2007

UNTAG: Success, Part III

Painting out graffiti
Originally uploaded by CD-13
When we launched UNTAG (Uniting Neighborhoods to Abolish Graffiti) in 2004, my office set the ambitious goal of slashing graffiti in half in Council District 13 in two years. Last year, we met and passed that goal, with a reported 55% drop in graffiti in the area. Using an ever-expanding network of block captains, rapid-fire paint out crews, and a strong partnership with the police department, the communities of CD13 claimed a victory against visual blight and improved the quality of life in their neighborhood and beyond.

One year later, my staff and I once again drove the district and counted every tag in CD13. At the end of the day we reported a whopping 68% drop in graffiti from 2004, from a high of 20,763 tags in the first year to a new record of 6,677 tags this year. We've intensified our efforts, quickening the pace of paint outs, growing our army of block captains, and working with the police to respond to incidents of graffiti in high-tagging areas.

This year' s success was topped off when the Dodgers Dream Foundation donated $15,000 to the Central City Action Committee (CCAC), one of our paint out crews, allowing CCAC to buy a new equipment truck. CCAC employs youth to paint out graffiti, pick up trash, and beautify the community from which they come.