The city’s defunding of an anti-graffiti program has led to a surge in graffiti in Brooklyn, worrying businesses owners already suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, Patch reports.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, along with community leaders and business owners, highlighted the issue this week by power-washing graffiti from the walls of Atlantic Avenue’s Auto Repair shop.
“When graffiti tags are spray painted onto public and private property it is not art — graffiti is vandalism and it’s against the law,” Adams said in a video campaign.
“It’s an affront to the community and those who worked so hard to beautify and improve their neighborhoods.”
He said there had been an increase in graffiti on storefronts, sidewalks, houses and even government buildings since the city defunded its anti-graffiti program in this year’s budget and 311 stopped taking graffiti complaints.
The Economic Development Corporation, which runs the Graffiti-Free program, did not return Patch’s request for comment on the suspension.
“Businesses like A1 Auto Repair Service, which are already suffering from the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, often have to go into their own pockets to clean graffiti off their façades,” Adams said.
“Every New Yorker can play a role in keeping their communities graffiti-free.”
Adams made a donation to DPH Property Maintenance Service and gave a $5,000 grant to the Flatbush Development Corporation to promote clean-up efforts.
He said local NYPD precincts needed to collaborate with the community to prevent vandalism and he called on the city to restore funding for the Graffiti-Free NYC program and increase support for groups leading community murals.
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