News

January 2017 - GRC Attends 85th Conference of Mayors

The US Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting was held in Washington, DC in January. The keynote speaker on the first day of the conference was President-elect Michael Pence who brought greetings from the President-elect and the Transition Team. Over 300 mayors from across the country attended. GRC is a member of the Business Council for the USCM.

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October 10, 2016 - GRC Supports Two Key Events for Latino Leaders

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) attended two key events across the country in support of Latino leaders to engage with city officials concerned with graffiti vandalism: The Second Annual Latino Caucus Foundation Gala in Chicago and the Latino Leaders Network Luncheon in Los Angeles. The Latino community across the country is hit hard by graffiti vandalism and would benefit from GRC’s positive, innovative anti-graffiti strategies.

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June 2016 - Graffiti Resource Council Sponsors Latino Leaders Network Event at 84th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) attended the 84th Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Indianapolis from June 24-27th. The conference, which was attended by 204 mayors and numerous city officials, members of the business community, and executive branch staff, gave the GRC a unique opportunity to meet with many mayors to discuss its programs.

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February 16, 2016 - Graffiti Resource Council Participates in Unveiling of Tucson Mural Project

On Feb. 5, members of the Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) participated in the official unveiling of the City of Tucson’s mural project, for which GRC provided a $5,000 grant to reduce graffiti. Last fall, GRC’s grant to the Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) was matched by the City of Tucson’s Environmental Services, which funded the painting of murals on five metal city dumpsters. Five Tucson artists designed and painted the murals on the waste containers to be provided to businesses in areas that have a high potential for tagging.

GRC hopes that the murals will help deter graffiti vandalism, and help beautify the city. The project has received strong support from Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, City Councilman Steve Kozachik, and City Councilman Karin Uhlich.

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January 27, 2016 - Graffiti Resource Council Attends 84th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) attended the 84rd Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on January 20-22nd. The conference was attended by 284 mayors and numerous city officials, members of the business community, and executive branch staff. The GRC heard from distinguished speakers such as First Lady Michelle Obama, Baltimore Mayor and USCM President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Jim Inhofe, Senators Ed Markey and Heidi Heitkamp, Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox, and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The GRC staff had the unique opportunity to meet with numerous mayors to discuss its programs, mission, and how it can assist cities in reducing graffiti vandalism.

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October 20-21, 2015 - GRC Attends 10th Annual TAGS Anti-Graffiti Conference

From October 20- 21, 2015, the GRC attended the 10th annual TAGS conference held in Ottawa, Canada. The TAGS conference is a two-day anti-graffiti conference for those affected by and working to prevent and eradicate graffiti vandalism. I. The conference is an opportunity for law enforcement to share investigative tools and techniques and for property owners to learn about successful preventative strategies. The GRC had a unique opportunity to interact with and learn from law enforcement and city officials who are deeply involved in solving graffiti problems. These lessons are helpful for adding to GRC’s resources and recommendations for communities seeking innovative solutions about graffiti vandalism.

Officers from around the world shared information on identifying and apprehending graffiti vandals. They shared information on common practices for vandals and discussed “graffiti tourism,” which is when graffiti vandals travel the world to deface cities they visit. Participants also presented on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED’s strategies included limiting access to specific areas through placement of shrubs and trees and good lighting so areas are visible at night.

Officers detailed a youth program that was started in Canada, the “Restart Program,” as well. This is a four-day restorative justice art program that works with graffiti vandals. They have three days in the classroom discussing legal versus illegal art, design a mural, and have a full day to work with mentors and neighborhood volunteers to create the mural. This has been an extremely successful program for several years.

Officials from many cities around Canada also gave presentations on how to create a successful, multi-faceted anti-graffiti program. Four keys to a successful program include: eradication (cleanup); education (presentations to community and working with youth); prevention (rapid removal, business owner awareness, CPTED and murals); and deterrence (ordinances-required cleanup within 14 days).

Other officials shared information on graffiti removal and strategies to eliminate graffiti too. These included using a preventative anti-graffiti coating on new buildings allowing for easy cleanup and “wraps” that are used on signal boxes that also allow for easy cleanup.

The Graffiti Resource Council Exhibits at National League of Cities’ 2015 Congress of Cities and Exposition

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) exhibited at the National League of Cities (NLC) 2015 Congress of Cities from November 4-7, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. The NLC conference is the largest gathering of local elected officials and staff in the country, and is designed to offer educational and networking opportunities to increase the effectiveness of local leaders. Over 4,000 officials attended this year’s Congress of Cities and dozens of exhibitors, entertainers and sponsors.GRC-photo-1

The conference included a keynote address from Vice President Joe Biden and sessions about various issues that cities face including public safety, economic development, education, environment and social justice. This is the second time GRC has exhibited at the NLC Congress of Cities. A majority of anti-graffiti policies and programs are formed by city and local governments, making the NLC an ideal venue for the GRC to meet policy makers. The GRC had the unique opportunity to exhibit and speak with dozens of mayors, city council members and staff about its mission and services it can offer cities facing graffiti vandalism.

The GRC is a nonprofit corporation whose primary goal is to prevent graffiti vandalism and provide creative solutions that promote graffiti-free communities. The GRC provides information, education, and legislative assistance to help communities develop effective policies and comprehensive programs that prevent graffiti vandalism. To fulfill its purpose, the Council will conduct research; gather and evaluate information; develop comprehensive strategies, policies, and programs; and provide implementation assistance designed to eliminate graffiti vandalism and promote positive, innovative anti-graffiti strategies for communities. The Council is funded by the aerosol coatings industry concerned about the negative impact of graffiti vandalism on America’s communities.

The GRC has been active in its advocacy and providing assistance and guidance to cities faced with graffiti vandalism, and the NLC conference is part of the Council’s outreach effort to cities. Earlier this year, the GRC attended the 83rd Annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) as well as the USCM Winter Meeting as Business Council Members, where staff got to meet with numerous mayors to discuss its programs (see article). Notably, the GRC presented to the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Task Force during the USCM’s Annual Meeting and participated in a panel discussion. The GRC discussed how its resources can help mayors address issues involving graffiti vandalism on vacant or abandoned properties.

Further, the GRC testified before Arizona lawmakers earlier this year against lock up and educated committee members about why more comprehensive approaches to addressing graffiti vandalism, such as education, law enforcement, community involvement and most importantly, swift abatement, are more effective at reducing graffiti. Additionally, the GRC has developed a poster contest for use in schools and community centers. The poster campaign seeks to educate the public on the difference between permitted street art and graffiti vandalism. This project is now a model for other cities to conduct similar poster contests to educate people about the harms of graffiti on the community. Most recently, the GRC provided a grant to the City of Tucson and the Tucson Arts Brigade (TAB) to do a mural project in an effort to reduce graffiti vandalism. Tucson has faced challenges with graffiti over the years, receiving about 650 graffiti complaints per month; in June 2015, the Tucson City Council doubled its money for graffiti abatement to $1.8 million. GRC identified Tucson as a city that could benefit from its assistance and provided a $5,000 grant to the city and the TAB to do a series of murals on trash dumpsters since those areas have often been tagged. The project is underway and is scheduled to unveil in January 2016. Mural programs in cities have been proven to reduce graffiti vandalism and at the same time beautify neighborhoods and bring members of the community together (see “Cities in Action - mural programs).

These are a few examples of how the GRC has made a positive impact on communities battling graffiti vandalism. The GRC is currently in contact with a number of other cities to work on creative solutions to their graffiti issues. For more information please visit www.anti-graffiti.org.

 

Paints and Coatings Companies Give Service to Revitalize Communities, including Reducing Graffiti, Coatings Tech, August 2015

Just as paints and coatings today do much more than protect and beautify the surfaces they cover, paint and coating manufacturers and their employees do more than make and sell paint. Through a wide array of different initiatives, events, and activities, they provide real support to local community and nationwide organizations in need. Below are highlighted a few of the recent programs completed by paint and coating manufacturers around the world. These examples are just a few representative selections of the many real contributions being made.

REVITALIZING COMMUNITIES

Many paint and coating manufacturers of all sizes invest in their local communities on a regular basis. In May 2015, PPG Industries announced that it was expanding its investment in global communities where the company operates with the launch of a 10-year, $10 million initiative called “Colorful Communities.” The program will focus on renewal projects that incorporate employee volunteerism opportunities and PPG paints, starting with an initial $50,000 grant to the Propel Schools Foundation to fund a renewal project and support the science program at Propel Schools’ eight elementary schools. Together with community partners and PPG employee volunteers, the program will support projects that transform community assets, such as creating bright murals for libraries, repainting hospital corridors with uplifting colors, and hiding graffiti on community buildings with a fresh coat of paint. PPG expects to complete more than 14 Colorful Communities projects this year around the world. The investment in the Colorful Communities program will be in addition to the company’s current community engagement efforts, which in 2014 totaled more than $5.7 million (from PPG and the PPG Industries Foundation) for hundreds of community organizations across 24 countries.

AkzoNobel continues to pursue its “Human Cities” initiative and global “Let’s Color” program. As one example, volunteers from AkzoNobel’s Vivechrom brand in Greece helped to restore the exterior façade of the historic National Technical University of Athens, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions. Residents of Hatay in Turkey also joined together with AkzoNobel volunteers to paint several buildings on Kırk Asırlık Türk Yurdu Street, the world’s first colonnaded street and the site of the world’s first street lighting, with paint donated by the company. AkzoNobel also launched two “Let’s Color” initiatives in Rio de Janeiro to help celebrate the city’s 450th anniversary. In Santa Marta, one of the city’s largest “favelas” (neighborhoods of urban poverty), the company recently unveiled a 15-meter mural created by famous Brazilian artist Paulo Consentino and local artist Swell. At the same time, the program’s ambassador—three-time French Open tennis champion Gustavo Kuerten—announced the #pintouRio450 campaign, inviting 450 local volunteers to paint as many houses as possible in their community by August 2015. AkzoNobel has been running “Tudo de cor para você” projects in Brazil since 2009 and has completed over 1,000 of them.

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June 20, 2015 - The Graffiti Resource Council Attends and Participates in Panel at the 83rd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) attended the 83rd Annual Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco, CA on June 19-22. The conference was attended by 277 mayors and numerous city officials, members of the business community, and executive branch staff. GRC staff had the unique opportunity to meet with numerous mayors to discuss its programs, and hear from distinguished speakers such as President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and leaders in companies such as Walmart, Salesforce, Airbnb, Kaiser Permanente, and Wells Fargo. Notably, the GRC spoke on a panel before the Vacant and Abandoned Properties Task Force on July 20. The GRC discussed how its resources can help mayors address issues involving graffiti vandalism on vacant or abandoned properties.

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April 20, 2015 - Successful “Convert a Can” Project Uses Art to Deter Graffiti Vandalism

Visitors of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, CA should expect to see refreshing new works of art, only in unexpected places: the forest’s trash cans. Last month, a group of over 40 volunteers as part of the “Convert a Can” project painted murals on a number of large trash cans in an effort to beautify the forest, increase the public’s usage of the cans for trash, and prevent graffiti vandalism. The project’s success has garnered national attention and worthy recognition as a creative, community-driven solution to the serious problems of litter and graffiti vandalism. Since the program’s inception, the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) has reported a substantial decrease in the number of graffiti incidents on the converted cans in the Angeles National Forest—normally, USFS has to repaint multiple cans every week that are tagged. Clearly, these “Convert a Can” volunteers are making a difference in deterring criminal activity, helping the environment, and making the national forest a better place for visitors to enjoy.

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February 23, 2015 - Graffiti Resource Council Testifies Against State-Wide Lock Up in Arizona

On Feb. 23, Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) staff testified before the Arizona State Legislature’s House Committee on County and Municipal Affairs during an informational hearing on lock-up and graffiti vandalism. This year Committee Chair, Rep. Doug Coleman (D-16), sponsored HB 2425 — a bill spurred by the City of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department’s efforts to reduce graffiti vandalism — which would create lock-up provisions for retailers who sell spray paint. The City of Phoenix has had a lock-up ordinance in effect since 2009 and has had an active Anti-Graffiti Task Force since 2011. A dozen other cities in Arizona have adopted lock-up ordinances or other restrictions on retailers such as customer registration, as well.

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January 24, 2015 - GRC Attends U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) participated in the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) 83rd Annual Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. from January 21- January 23, 2015 in Washington, D.C. ...

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August 5, 2014 - GRC Exhibits at NACO; NLC Next

Last month, the Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) exhibited at the National Association of Counties (NACO) Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, La. The NACO conference and upcoming National League of Cities’ fall conference and expo bring together municipal administrators and leaders—the target audience for the GRC and its mission.

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