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“Councilmember Todd Introduces New Anti-Graffiti Legislation”

by Prince Of Petworth January 20, 2016 at 2:25 pm 13 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

From a press release:

“On Tuesday, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd introduced, along with Councilmember May, the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016.” The legislation would, in part, increase the fines for those who willfully place graffiti on a property without an owner’s consent to $2,500.

Since taking office, Councilmember Todd has committed to ensuring ‪Ward 4 remains a safe place for residents to work, live, and thrive. Additionally, the Councilmember has made the concerns and upward development of small and local businesses a top priority. Graffiti is prevalent throughout the District, and threatens both of these areas of focus – costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Today, Councilmember Todd has taken tangible steps towards deterring would-be bad actors in the community from participating in these widespread acts of vandalism.

“It is my hope that the bill I’m introducing today will ensure that we tackle a serious problem that takes away from the character of our neighborhoods, adversely affects our business corridors, and contributes to public safety concerns,” said Councilmember Todd Tuesday morning, “widespread graffiti in our neighborhoods and business corridors is driving down property values, contributing to public safety concerns, and costing taxpayers – this legislation is the step in the right direction we need.”

  • monkeyrotica

    So what was the fine before and was anyone paying it? Or is this like those tickets for distracted driving that nobody gets?

  • Philippe Lecheval

    MPD is NEVER going to go after taggers. So this fine is pointless.

  • Anonymous

    weak tea

  • Anon

    Wait, is this Todd’s response to all the violence in his district?
    This is really stupid – they’re not actually going to collect any of that money if they even catch the perps. (I can’t imagine DCPD is going to risk anything to run these guys down.)

  • wdc

    Hey, bro, let’s go tag some fences.
    Nah, man, the fine is like $2500. I don’t have that kind of cash. Let’s stay home and read Doctor Zhivago.
    Sure! The movie was sick.

  • textdoc

    Not sure that this will have any real effect, but it seems like a “can’t hurt, might help” kind of thing.

  • “Willfully place grafitti?” As opposed to what? Sleepwalker tagging?

  • Harvey

    Maybe we could focus on fixing roads in DC, then explore unsolicited art?

  • rockcreekrunner

    is this a step towards starting a broken windows type policing system? my understanding is a lot of the graffiti is gang-related, so if we can’t get them for that, at least we can get them for this.

  • Anonny

    While I’d like to see Todd do more to address violence in Ward 4, I guess this is a start. Its more leadership than I see from Nadeau. But seriously people, crime is off the chain!

  • Rita

    Like putting a bandaid on a broken leg. I’d love to see a cited source for the claims about graffiti driving down prices in ward 4 and placing people at risk. Maybe it’s the theft and robbery that is having that effect?

  • JPK

    What about enhanced fines for littering? I feel like the trash is ankle deep on the sidewalks in my part of Ward 4 lately.

  • On Capital Heels

    Graffiti is a huge problem in Ward 4, so I’m glad Todd is tackling this. That said, I don’t think the bill goes far enough in making a real dent in the problem. A few weeks ago, as I gazed out the window during my normal redline Metro commute, I grew frustrated with the sheer amount of tagging seen around Brookland-Catholic, Rhode Island-Brentwood, etc. I randomly just googled articles about how to prevent and punish graffiti, and I found a lot of legislation and best practices from other jurisdictions. This makes me think that Todd must do more than just increase the penalties for graffiti. We need other efforts — like aggressive police crackdown on Vandals, education to business owners about graffiti-resistant building materials and the importance of having graffiti removed within 24 hours, a public awareness campaign targeting schools and community organizations to discourage tagging and encourage reporting, a higher sales tax on graffiti related materials, garnishment of the tax returns of parents and guardians of minors who place graffiti, mandatory community service that requires vandals to help with the clean-up, hiring mural artists to paint over existing large graffiti projects, etc. it’s not clear to me that the bill or the original law includes these features. So I’d encourage the Council to give this more teeth if we want to make a real difference!


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