Saturday, February 12, 2011

Graffiti Busters - Community Action

 Graffiti Removal Action & Training

When:  12:00 Noon - 2:00 pm, Tomorrow, Sunday 2/13/2011
Where: Meet-up at "Gas USA" 3101 Scranton
What you need: 
  1. Energetic attitude (we'll provide the coffee!); 
  2. Comfortable layered work clothes;
  3. Supplies - we'll have what we need but you can also bring the following if you have it; safety glasses, work gloves, rags/cotton cloth, fine steel wool; acitone; paint scraper. 
Due to the high volume of graffiti tags over the last six-weeks and the difficulty of the weather (below freezing temps) we'll be taking a few hours tomorrow to try to remove as much graffiti in the neighborhoods of Tremont, Clark Fulton, Stockyards and Brooklyn Centre as we can.  The temperature is predicted to reach the high 30's tomorrow. 

Although locations have been reported to the City's Public Works Department, there is a long list for removal throughout the city and the below freezing temperatures have limited the City's ability to get the work done.   Over the last few weeks some of our block club leaders and members have expressed an interest in rolling up there sleeves and helping out, therefore the action planned for tomorrow.

We'll be fortunate to have our very own graffiti removal expert - Anthony Petti from the old Brooklyn neighborhood assisting us.  Anthony has been volunteering his services to several of our neighborhoods over the last few years and he'll help us out tomorrow by providing some hand-on training and of course removal and paint-overs.

Please RSVP by email or phone and feel free to join-in at anytime during the two hours planned (call me on my cell and we can direct you).  If we get enough folks to participate we'll plan on breaking up into groups and covering s much as we can during the two hours.  If you cannot make it tomorrow but are interested in receiving training and would like to participate in the future, please let us know and we'll add you to the "Graffiti Removal Team".

* UPDATE - 2/13/2011
Below are examples of the work done today as well as how it was done.  Even the worst case, as in the first storefront, only took about 15 minutes to complete.  The paint-over examples are temporary until the temperatures are higher and the owners of the buildings can re-paint properly.  Tags removed from metal surfaces can be done so with acetone or a few other types of products most of the time.

Thanks! to Anthony Petti for sharing his experience and lending a hand along with Eric Lutzo.  Thanks also to Jack and Ron Amburgey and their Name Brand Paint and Hardware Closeouts store for donating paint and supplies.  Their store is located at 4199 Pearl Road and features 5-gallon and 1-gallon name brand paints for as low as $39 and $2.  If you have a chance to purchase any product, please be sure to thank them.

Storefront, Scranton Road.  Paint-over, 1) spray paint partial cover over tags, 2) finished off with latex and roller.  Time, 15 min.
Utility box, Pearl Road.  Removal, using acetone and a scrunge/cotton cloth.  Time 10-min.
Storefront, Scranton Road.  Paint-over, 1) spray paint partial cover over tags, 2) finished off with latex and roller.  Time, 10 min.
Gas pump, Scranton Road.  Removal, using acetone and a scrunge/cotton cloth.  Time less than 5-min.


We'll continue to work with the City's Public Works Department's Graffiti Removal program as well as  assisting business and commercial property owners and ensuring they are more responsive in removing graffiti.

But, the work done today clearly shows that removing and painting over tags is an easy process that can be done quickly.  There are discussions to plan additional clean-ups like today.  Volunteers are welcome to contact the local development corporations or my office to sign-up to be notified of the next scheduled date.  A date in April is also being planned and more information for that will be forthcoming.  

There is no one easy solution to this problem and the multiple efforts and enforcements will all be needed to be able to more quickly eliminate graffiti, which is proved in discouraging taggers.

A word about the taggers -- In reviewing the over 70 tags we've inventoried over the past 6-weeks, it is clear that only three or four individuals are responsible for the majority of graffiti.  And, in working with the 2nd District Police, there is no evidence that the majority of the graffiti was the work of any gangs.  We are also aware that the graffiti being reported in Ward 17 in and around Lorain Ave. and W. 117th Street was done by several of the same taggers that have vandalized Ward 14.

We have photographed and are inventorying the images of the tags.  We'll be sharing that information and ask that residents and business persons help in being vigilant in reporting graffiti as well as taking measures to quickly eliminate it.  The information needed to report graffiti is listed below.  We would also ask to please call our office at this time as well so we can assist with tracking until we can collectively catch-up once the weather is nicer.
  • On City-owned buildings: 216.420.8200 - Weekdays 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.
  • On other structures: 216.664.2510 - Weekdays 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Cleveland City Council, Ward 14, 216.664.4238.
Also see:
By, Rachel Dissell, The Plain Dealer, Sunday, February 13, 2011

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