Los Angeles, California: With municipal budgets already strained, the City of Los Angeles spends millions of tax-payer dollars every year to clean up graffiti.
The specific numbers are hard to pin down, but over 30,000 graffiti reports are received by the LA Office of Community Beautification per month.
LA County reportedly spent $30 million dollars abating graffiti in 2007.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Felony and misdeameanor charges have been filed against five graffiti taggers in Salt Lake City, aged 20 to 23. These taggers have cost the city thousands of dollars in graffiti abatement costs. Some large scale roof graffiti cost and graffiti on historic buildings exceeded $25k.
A determined effort by the police department and gang unit lead to the arrest of the taggers. Many others are being pursued. In the meantime, the arrests and charges should make taggers think twice before tagging again.
In Port Angeles, Washington, Richard Schneider, after retiring from the National Park Service, decided to take matters into his own hands. He has removed over 70 graffiti tags over the past few months. He is highly motivated to improve this city and community by eliminating graffiti blight. He attempts to remove graffiti tags as quickly as possible to discourage them from reoccurring. By removing the tags quickly, the hope is that the taggers move on to areas less visible to the community or stop all together.
Gang graffiti tagging in public spaces is problematic enough, but the spray painting of "ISIS" on a river back in Pueblo, Colorado powerfully shifts the conversation to a political one. What is the message trying to be communicated by these taggers promoting a group that actively engages in beheading Americans, selling captured girls into slavery, and a wide variety of gruesome and barbaric acts? If they were caught tagging in the areas controlled by ISIS, my guess is that their punishment would be both severe and barbaric.
An elementary school in Albuquerque, New Mexico was the target of a graffiti attack over night. The extensive black spray paint graffiti covered multiple walls and is expected to cost the School District thousands of dollars to clean up.
With school budgets stretched thin, the dollars spent to remove graffiti are reallocated from another priorities. Perhaps a vacant building or some other blighted structure is fair game for graffiti, but tagging on schools, or for that matter, churches, parks, and community centers is vandalism. No matter how good the "street art" is, the costs for removal is real and drain funds away from much needed improvements and maintenance.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island - After a rash of recent graffiti tagging that has blighted buildings in the industrial districts and other neighborhoods, the City's Department of Public Works devised a multi-pronged strategy to identify, track and map graffiti incidents.
According to detective Edward Berube, "if it’s not removed quickly, it sends a message that it can fester … . The objective is identifying new graffiti, quickly removing it and using the documentation”
More at ProvidenceJournal.Com
Flagstaff, Arizona - The City of Flagstaff Arizona is fed up with graffiti tagging. Without a city funded graffiti abatement program, the City is organizing volunteers to help remove graffiti. A small core of dedicated volunteers is already making an impact and more volunteers are applying daily.
"We'll try to keep this going for years by using volunteers instead of the spotty coverage we've done using dedicated groups. "We're purposely going slow. We're not trying to sign up 700 volunteers in one week. We're looking to grow responsibly, said Code Compliance Officer Tom Boughner
More at AZDailySun.com
Colorado Springs, Colorado - A rash of vulgar graffiti tagging in Colorado Springs has gottent worse as the weather has gotten warmer.
"The way we count graffiti is every tag would be $54.11," explained Mark Davis with the Graffiti Removal Team, pointing towards graffiti on a wall. "So if we were to cover that up, sandblast it off is how we would do it, $54.11 and we probably did 50 of them today."
More at KOAA.com
Chicag, Illinois - Five additional graffiti abatement officers were hired by the City of Chicago's Graffiti Blasters to combat graffiti. An additional 7,400 tags have been removed since the hiring of the new crew. Graffiti Blaster was started in 1993 by Mayor Daley to address the graffiti problem.
More at ABC7 News Chicago
Tucson, Arizona - Mario Figueroa is a man on a mission. This 62-year old spends his time cleaning up graffiti from his Tucson neighborhood. The City of Tucson spends approximately $750,000 abating graffiti.
Tucson Officer Stephanie Brown estimates that most of the taggers are 14 or 15 years old. Spray paint is readily available depite a Tucson city ordinance which prohibits spray paint to minors,
According to Tucson City Spokesman Michael Graham says, "When you're spending three-quarters of a million dollars to eradicate graffiti, I'd say we have a pretty big problem out there."
"That's money that, from the general fund, that could have been used to improve city parks, or other city infrastructure. instead, that's going for graffiti abatement."
More at News 4 Tucson
From Clean City Innovation Graffiti Watch