Mayor Newsom announces $475,000
for graffiti abatement
Citywide anti-graffiti campaign launched
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
July 13, 2006
San Francisco - Mayor Newsom announced today that nearly
half a million dollars has been newly earmarked to aid the citys
efforts ton eradicate graffiti. The funding will foster a historic
interagency collaboration between the Pubic Utilities Commission,
Municipal Transportation Authority, and the Department of Public
Currently, several city departments respond to graffiti removal
and abatement. At the Mayors behest, the City conducted
a thorough analysis in order to streamline these inefficiencies.
As a part of the Mayors Cleaning Initiative for 2006, graffiti
abatement will become centralized through DPW. The new streamlined
system will help the City abate graffiti on public property more
quickly, and will help improve city workers efficiency and
accountability. SFPUC and MTA have committed $475,000 to the new
effort, while DPW will provide the abatement services.
This partnership will foster a greater coordinated effort
between the three agencies and will afford a more centralized
and efficient response to ridding the citys public areas
of unsightly graffiti and tagging, said Mayor Newsom. Graffiti
is an unattractive blemish on our city that affects the quality
of life, economic development, social fabric, and environmental
health of San Francisco, continued the Mayor.
The level of graffiti vandalism has reached new levels in San
Francisco. DPW alone received nearly 20,000 calls last year complaining
about graffiti. Vandals travel from all over the Bay Area and
even from around the world to leave their mark in the city. A
2001 Civil Grand Jury estimated that graffiti cost SF taxpayers
in excess of $22 million annually. Today, that cost is estimated
to be much higher.
To truly make an impact on graffiti in San Francisco, our
programs must engage the private sector, as well as other government
agencies. DPW will work hard to reach out and communicate with
property owners who are impacted by this crime, said Fred
Abadi, Public Works Director. By working together, we can
prevent this activity that really degrades the quality of life
in our City, he added.
"This new City partnership will help make sure our facilities
and streetlights are kept free of graffiti and still allow our
staff to focus on doing what they do best -- delivering reliable
water, wastewater and municipal power services," said SFPUC
Assistant General Manager for Business Services Scott MacDonald.
The MTA is thoroughly committed to eradicating graffiti
and I applaud the Mayor's commitment to create a citywide team
effort, said Nate Ford, Director of MTA.
"I welcome any and all substantive efforts that help us
turn around this frustrating and costly graffiti problem,
noted District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
In addition to the newly earmarked funds and public service campaign
announced today, Mayor Newsom has established several anti-graffiti
initiatives including the launch of a city-wide Anti-Graffiti
The mayors new Street Cleaning Initiative for 2006-07 includes
a pro-active graffiti abatement program, where DPW
works with private companies and private property owners to clean
up graffiti quickly on 100 heavily-used and visible blocks in
the City. In addition, DPW is leading the effort to improve the
response of all private companies and state and federal agencies
with structures in the right of way to secure their commitment
to a quick turnaround. The Mayors Office has funded a public
information officer to focus on educating private property owners
about anti-graffiti strategies, as part of the Mayors cleaning
initiative. Also, DPW continues to implement the Graffiti Ordinance,
which requires property owners to abate graffiti on their own
property. Currently, there is a 66% response rate once property
owners receive a notice from DPW..
The Mayor today also launched a new Anti -Graffiti Campaign as
part of his graffiti abatement program. BBDO West, a national
advertising agency, approached the City with a pro-bono advertising
campaign to try to help in the war against graffiti. The company
developed the Anti-Graffiti Campaign as a gift to the City. The
goals of the campaign are to: (1) Make people see
graffiti again. Graffiti is not part of our urban culture, but
a blight on our quality of life; (2) Graffiti: it looks just as
bad on the inside of your house as the outside; and (3) If you
let graffiti linger in your neighborhood, it will spread. The
purpose of the campaign is to be provocative and get the publics
attention to call in to report graffiti, abate it quickly and
volunteer for Graffiti Watch, a volunteer anti-graffiti program.
Washington Mutual and Clean City donated printing and CBS Outdoor
and JC Decaux volunteered ad space for the campaign.
As a member of the San Francisco business community, we
welcome the opportunity to work with public service groups to
help tackle issues that affect our city, said Peter Sherman,
EVP, Managing Director, BBDO West. In this instance we're
addressing graffiti. To raise awareness of this problem, we developed
an out-of-home campaign that places this vandalism in our own
homes in order to communicate that the outdoors is everyone's
personal space and should no longer be ignored.
For more information regarding the Mayors Graffiti Abatement
Program or to report the occurrence of graffiti, please call DPWs