Proposed graffiti ordinance seeks harsher punishment for vandalism

By Charles Berkowitz in Oakland North, November 12, 2012 11:53 am This month, the city council’s Public Works Committee will consider a new graffiti ordinance, which aims to bolster Oakland’s current vandalism laws by inflicting harsher penalties on offenders and offering support for property owners frequently targeted by graffiti writers. The “Graffiti Enforcement Program” proposed by City Attorney Barbara Parker and District 3 representative Nancy Nadel, would enhance a section of the city’s municipal code which presently only addresses graffiti…

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Going After Graffiti

Originally published in the East Bay Express, November 21, 2012 A new law proposed by Oakland’s city attorney would impose fines on both taggers and property owners. By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor With graffiti becoming an increasingly serious problem in large areas of Oakland, the Oakland City Attorney’s Office is proposing a new city ordinance that would impose financial penalties on persons convicted of applying graffiti to property within the city and on property owners who fail to remove graffiti in…

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Oakland Council Passes Graffiti Ordinance

Originally printed in the East Bay Express, December 19, 2012 With a coalition of San Pablo Avenue business owners urging approval and graffiti artist advocates asking for a delay while a better law is crafted, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance Tuesday night to enhance penalties for persons who tag properties in Oakland and for property owners who fail to remove them on a timely basis. The new ordinance was developed in the office of outgoing West…

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Oakland City Council Moves Forward with Anti-Graffiti Ordinance

Originally written in the East Bay Express, December 11, 2012 With Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf declaring that, “I really get pissed off when people trash my city” and a visibly angry council President Larry Reid inviting fellow committee members to “come out to my district and talk to my constituents” if they failed to take quick action against graffiti, the council’s Public Works Committee sent a modified anti-graffiti ordinance today to the full council for consideration. After the City…

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Oakland Community Art Coalition Scores Major Victory Against “Comprehensive Anti-Graffiti Ordinance”

What’s in a name? For the Oakland Community Art Coalition, everything.  After issuing recommendations to Councilpersons Nancy Nadel and Libby Schaaf and speaking before the Public Works Committee on two occasions, advocating in favor of modifications to a proposed “Comprehensive Anti-Graffiti Ordinance,” the committee recommended adoption of several of the Coalition’s suggestions following a December 12 hearing. The recommendations included removing the word “graffiti” from the ordinance – a major point of contention for the Coalition, who argued that the…

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CRP Statement on Oakland’s Proposed Anti-Graffiti Ordinance

On November 2—just four days before the election—City Attorney Barbara Parker and Councilmember Nancy Nadel released a proposed amendment to Oakland’s municipal code which targeted graffiti vandals. Under the proposed ordinance— whose impetus reportedly came as a result of “Occupy”-style protests—graffiti would be classified a “public nuisance” and offenders charged with misdemeanors, rather than citations. The ordinance also calls for increased penalties—including fines as high as $750 per infraction—makes parents liable for damages caused by underage offenders, requires business and…

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Mural Spawns Community Garden in Avondale

This is EXACTLY what the Community Rejuvenation Project dreams about when we envision the impact that we want to have in the community. This is why we have partnered with so many amazing food justice organizations such as People’s Grocery, Ashland Cherryland Garden and Arts Network, Phat Beets, and Urban Tilth. We have the straightforward belief that if you paint art and plant food, good things will happen. We were so honored and excited to paint in numerous gardens and…

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How do we Rectify Abatement Incompetence?

Despite the massive amounts of money poured into the graffiti abatement industry and public works agencies, abatement workers still appear to have serious challenges differentiating between legal (and historic) murals and illegal vandalism. The workers in Nogales recently painted out a 16-year-old mural by well-known local artist Alberto Morackis. Abatement, like many city jobs, takes workers all over the city, yet the buffers still managed to be unaware of that they were painting over a landmark in their community. This brings…

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Nova Scotia Discovers the Solution!

Halifax property owners have discovered a solution for their vandalism problems. Instead of chasing away the youth at night, they are encouraging higher quality works on their space during the day. What they have discovered is that most young writers simply want to express themselves. Given legitimate forums and encouragement, they focus on developing themselves and their style and they create masterpieces. According to the youth, blank walls are a target. But high quality murals and masterpieces invoke respect. Its…

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Gardena and the Inflatable Felony

This is the first of a three part series by the Community Rejuvenation Project on the perpetual criminalization of aerosol culture, the abatement industry and the politics of incarceration. We begin with the problematic issue of “charge stacking,” which occurs when a prosecutor increases the severity of a charge or adds additional charges to an arrest to add leverage when making a plea agreement. This phenomenon was documented in Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow in relation to the drug…

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