Defacing America

Alice Street Mural Project Report-Back

  After a little more than a week of painting the wall at 14th and Alice, CRP is pleased to report the wall is nearing completion. This project has been a real eye-opener; the level of interaction we’ve had with the community has been unprecedented. It’s not an exaggeration to say the mural has started to become a magnet for community-building, even before it’s completed. The project started with covering the entire wall—covered with unsightly and highly unartistic graffiti tags–with…

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It’s Time to Rethink Graffiti Abatement Strategies

The answer to the graffiti problem isn’t throwing money down the abatement black hole or instituting stricter zero-tolerance policies. Any viable solution must revolve around the creation of sound, forward-thinking policy which avoids knee-jerk reactionism and repeating mistakes which have been made in the past. San Jose’s example shows that permanent reductions in graffiti vandalism through zero tolerance measures aren’t sustainable, and that with current abatement strategies, sometimes you get less than you pay for.

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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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