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Garris

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We will have a representative from the Mayor's office at the Greater City: Exchange on Tuesday to speak about the Graffiti Initiative and discuss ways that the community can help to improve it.

If I didn't mention it here before, we will also have members of the WBNA discussing some of their work. If you live in another part of the city, or even if you live on the West Side and are interested in the WBNAs work, this is a great opportunity to hear about it.

And even with all of that, there will be plenty of time to meet and mingle and enjoy drinks and tater tots (yes, MoJoe's has tots!).

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Just to remind everyone about tonight!

We will have a representative from the Mayor's office at the Greater City: Exchange on Tuesday to speak about the Graffiti Initiative and discuss ways that the community can help to improve it.

If I didn't mention it here before, we will also have members of the WBNA discussing some of their work. If you live in another part of the city, or even if you live on the West Side and are interested in the WBNAs work, this is a great opportunity to hear about it.

And even with all of that, there will be plenty of time to meet and mingle and enjoy drinks and tater tots (yes, MoJoe's has tots!).

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Sorry I had to duck out of the meeting early to get to class; when I left, we hadn't yet heard from the City's graffiti program. So the question is: what did I miss?

More importantly, was there any discussion about the next steps that we need to take on this issue?

I enjoyed meeting everyone and look forward to working on this.

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The Graffiti Taskforce started last May and had a very successful summer and fall as they ramped up and increased public awareness. They are getting ready to announce several $500 rewards for information that lead to the apprehension of an offender.

Due to their equipment not being able to work in temps below freezing, they've lost some ground over the winter, especially in notorious hot spots such as Waterplace. The question was asked about investing in equipment that can work during the winter months. The equipment they have is the result of one of the only affordable bids they received on purchasing equipment. They do want to get equipment that can work during the winter.

In addition to the Taskforce, the Parks Department has their own graffiti removal program and the Downtown Improvement District has a graffiti removal program Downtown.

The plan for the spring and the summer is to catch up on the complaints that have piled up during the winter. Also, they will be launching 10 community watch programs. Community leaders will watch for an report graffiti and clean up days will be organized with those groups.

The Providence Police have been able to head off several gang related crimes due to their ability to read the messages left through tagging between gang members.

The focus right now is on public property, the Taskforce does not need to obtain permission to clean public property and they have had a lot of problems with explicit graffiti on/near schools (some of my photos from Waterplace last year will attest to that). As reports come in, notices will be issued to private property owners that they have 10 days to clean the graffiti on their property or the city will do it (and charge them) for them. I neglected to ask if there were any other fees or fines for failure to comply or what the fee was to have the city remove the graffiti.

Many (most?) of the offenders caught thus far are minors. Cases involving minors are handled through the Family Court. The city wants the punishment to be community service including graffiti removal, but they need to work with the court to get them to issue that as a sentence. In some cases offenders have priors which mean they will be facing jail time.

I'm trying to remember what else, as I think about more I'll post more.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Graffiti Taskforce started last May and had a very successful summer and fall as they ramped up and increased public awareness. They are getting ready to announce several $500 rewards for information that lead to the apprehension of an offender.

Due to their equipment not being able to work in temps below freezing, they've lost some ground over the winter, especially in notorious hot spots such as Waterplace. The question was asked about investing in equipment that can work during the winter months. The equipment they have is the result of one of the only affordable bids they received on purchasing equipment. They do want to get equipment that can work during the winter.

In addition to the Taskforce, the Parks Department has their own graffiti removal program and the Downtown Improvement District has a graffiti removal program Downtown.

The plan for the spring and the summer is to catch up on the complaints that have piled up during the winter. Also, they will be launching 10 community watch programs. Community leaders will watch for an report graffiti and clean up days will be organized with those groups.

The Providence Police have been able to head off several gang related crimes due to their ability to read the messages left through tagging between gang members.

The focus right now is on public property, the Taskforce does not need to obtain permission to clean public property and they have had a lot of problems with explicit graffiti on/near schools (some of my photos from Waterplace last year will attest to that). As reports come in, notices will be issued to private property owners that they have 10 days to clean the graffiti on their property or the city will do it (and charge them) for them. I neglected to ask if there were any other fees or fines for failure to comply or what the fee was to have the city remove the graffiti.

Many (most?) of the offenders caught thus far are minors. Cases involving minors are handled through the Family Court. The city wants the punishment to be community service including graffiti removal, but they need to work with the court to get them to issue that as a sentence. In some cases offenders have priors which mean they will be facing jail time.

I'm trying to remember what else, as I think about more I'll post more.

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Let's hope this initiative gets going soon. The graffiti on the new I-195 construction near Fox Point has gotten out of control. The concrere abutments from the new bridge to India Point Park are now almost completely covered in graffiti. It's a shame that all the money that went into moving the highway is being defaced by vandals.
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Is there anything in place to nudge property owners into cleaning up after one of these 30-second hit-and-run tag jobs? I see the 10 day rule proposition above, but what can be done now? There's a white building on the other side of the street near my house which was tagged about a week and a half ago, and it bothers me. And BTW its definitely not art, its vandalism - and I know the difference.

If it doesn't bother everyone else who owns a house on this street, it should. I've witnessed roughly $50,000 worth of home improvement-related investment in the properties (8-10 houses) adjacent to mine in the last 2 years, including the multi-family home which was used as a "canvass." One reckless act with a $3 can of paint is enough to overshadow all these good things. A friend of mine who had never been to the neighborhood before stopped by my house last week. Her first question after taking a look out the window was: "Is this a rough neighborhood?!" I think this mess and all of them should be cleaned up immediately - to send a message to the taggers that Providence doesn't tolerate this.

If it was up to me I would pick up a can of Krylon white, walk over there and paint over it right now. But I obviously don't have any right to do that, and (presumably) neither does the city since no codes have been violated. So now what?!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to invite everyone to the College Hill Neighborhood Association's annual meeting tomorrow, May 14th at 7:30 PM at the Moses Brown School (Dwarnes Student Center). There will be a presentation on a new community-based anti-graffiti initiative that we would like to implement, based on "best practices" that have been effective in other cities. This is not just a College Hill effort. The idea is to empower residents and businesses throughout the city to become more actively involved in improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Your ideas and feedback would be much appreciated and welcomed. I look forward to working with anyone (individuals or groups) who would like to become actively involved this important quality of life issue. Hope to see you there!

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The Providence Police Department's efforts to crackdown on graffiti vandalism with assistance from the local community are beginning to pay off. Check it out:

Press release from the Mayor's office

In a related effort to address the need for more rapid graffiti abatement, the Providence Police Department (District 9) is working with residents to conduct a graffiti clean up campaign. Those who are interested in assisting this effort can PM me or contact PPD District 9. We would like to eventually expand this to a citywide, community based Adopt-a-Block program.

I'm hopeful that the UP community, which advocates the idea of urban living with a high quality of life, will take an interest in this cause. All of us can point out Providence's shortcomings regarding so many quality of life issues. Here's an opportunity to get involved and really make a difference. We need your help.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Some of us from GC:PVD are getting together to discuss our initiative on graffiti next week. We'll have more to talk about soon. There is a clean up scheduled for July 14th on the East Side sponsored by the College Hill Neighborhood Association and District 9 Police. I'll post more about that soon.

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Some of us from GC:PVD are getting together to discuss our initiative on graffiti next week. We'll have more to talk about soon. There is a clean up scheduled for July 14th on the East Side sponsored by the College Hill Neighborhood Association and District 9 Police. I'll post more about that soon.
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