In the 1st Ward, we have designed a strategy unique to the ward for combating illegal graffiti.
Our primary mission is to increase graffiti removal efficiency by reducing the quantity of tags as well as the delay until graffiti removal. This helps to minimize the negative impact graffiti has on neighborhoods in the ward. There are three primary methods our office employs:
- Work directly with property owners
Our staff has identified the most tagged buildings in the ward. For example, one building in the ward was tagged 38 times in the last two years. We would like to reduce these numbers to zero through the following strategies:
a) Rather than rely on Chicago’s Graffiti Blasters and wait days for removal, we empower property owners to remove graffiti by providing highly effective and safe supplies to remove the graffiti. Alderman Moreno pays for these supplies out of his own pocket.
b) Partner with the art community to have a mural/artwork painted on the surface. Empirical evidence has shown that taggers will not deface the work.
c) Encourage the property owner to explore the possibility of installing an anti-graffiti coating on porous (i.e. unpainted brick or wood) surfaces so that, if tagged, the graffiti can be easily removed.
When placing a graffiti removal request through 311 or our office, please be prepared to report the following items:
The surface, i.e. brick, concrete, etc.
The height of the graffiti from the ground
The exact address or location of graffiti
Our office works in conjunction with Clean City Innovation and the Wicker Park/Bucktown and West Town SSAs to plan and coordinate Graffiti Action Days in the 1st Ward. Volunteers meet on Saturday mornings and walk our arterial streets removing graffiti in teams. What graffiti cannot be removed is subsequently reported to the Graffiti Blasters.
Our next graffiti action day will be July 26th. We’ll meet at my office at 2058 N Western from 10:00 a.m. until noon. We’ll be cleaning up Western Ave. and Milwaukee Ave. All volunteers will be provided a lunch. Come help reclaim your neighborhood from vandals.
- You can Help with Graffiti Removal
Our office is always looking for volunteers to remove and report graffiti. I will provide SoSafe graffiti removal for the removal of graffiti from non-porous surfaces (metal), and ask that the volunteer report all other graffiti to my office.
Taking these steps will reduce the amount of tagging and the time it takes for a tag to be removed. If you are interested in participating or want to learn more, please contact Orlando.Moreno@cityofchicago.org in my office.