MENDOCINO SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY
JULY 22, 2015
VOLUNTEERS WANTED TO HELP SUPPRESS GANG GRAFFITI
Free paint and supplies are available to citizens who want to volunteer to help stop gang graffiti.
“The key to graffiti prevention is rapid response,” said Mike Sweeney of the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority. “If the gangsters’ scrawls don’t last, they won’t bother to make them.”
The Solid Waste Authority at 468-9710 responds whenever it learns of gang graffiti, but often there is a delay of days or weeks before that happens. “We need volunteers who care about the appearance of our communities to lend a hand so the gang graffiti can be erased the same day it appears,” said Sweeney.
The Solid Waste Authority will supply free paint and rollers upon request to any volunteer who is willing to take responsibility for graffiti abatement in their neighborhood.
Most gang graffiti appears on utility boxes, public spaces, or vacant buildings, and volunteers should feel free to paint it over immediately, said Sweeney. If graffiti appears on a store or other private property, permission should be requested from the owner before painting. If a property owner fails to respond, the Solid Waste Authority should be contacted because it has the power under County Code to take immediate summary abatement action.
The Solid Waste Authority has a special solvent that can remove graffiti without painting if the surface is smooth and impervious.
Gang graffiti is more than a problem of aesthetics. Police consider it a public safety threat because it encourages gang activity and gang rivalries. Mendocino County Code Section 8.200.030 states that no property owner “shall allow or permit any graffiti to remain on any permanent structure located on such property when the graffiti is visible from the street or other public or private property.”