Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fighting Graffiti on the L.A. River

On Thursday I joined Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Koontz from the Army Corps of Engineers on the Los Angeles River (near the Sixth Street Bridge) to remove gang graffiti from 100 miles of the flood control channel. We were also there to thank Sheriff’s Deputies for their work, which led to the arrests of some of the alleged taggers responsible for what many consider the largest tag in the U.S. The City of Los Angeles spends more than $10 million a year battling graffiti and I’m working on several solutions, including SB138, my plan authored with State Senator Carol Liu to raise the tax on spray paint cans and felt-tip markers to increase local graffiti funding; a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency data-base to better track repeat offenders.

On a different perspective, beautifying the community has always been top priority of mine. With the help and recommendations of the residents, last year, the "Art Heals" mural in Ramona Gardens was completed. We made sure that this mural paid homage to our history. The City of Los Angeles has a great tradition of public street art, and preserving the many murals throughout my district and the city requires that we take pride in maintaining them free of vandalism.