Graffiti in Seattle, Washington, is as common as rain and dreary skies these days. Public and private property has been defaced all around the city, from shops to apartments to commercial cars to roads to bridges to street signs and recycling bins.
There is no holding back. Everything, including magazine racks, power poles, and even historic places, seemed to be fair game. Apparently, taggers don’t seem to discriminate.
Parents and other locals are now speaking out against the rise of graffiti in the area. Ari Hoffman, a Seattle resident and the father of three says that graffiti isn’t “some person writing ‘Jim was here.'”
If you’re going to use graffiti to define your territory, you’re going to utilize gangs or drug dealers or even individuals living on the street who are used for illegal activities,” Hoffman said. Ari Hoffman is the host of “The Ari Hoffman Show” on Seattle’s KVI AM 570 and a previous candidate for the Seattle City Council.
“Residents in Seattle who want to live quietly and politely with their neighbors feel they are being neglected by the city because it has opted to cease enforcing regulations, policies and laws”, Vassie Skoulis, a mother of two and a homeowner in the city recently stated. According to her, the responsibility for cleaning up trash and vandalism falls squarely on the shoulders of residents.
Additionally, residents must “pay for property damage caused by people who refuse to be a member of any community,” she said.
In the last several years, Christine Villani, a 30-year Seattle resident, has witnessed an uptick in graffiti. She says, “I find it discouraging, and I feel like I reside in a battle zone.” No one seems to care.
Find It Fix It App
A smartphone app called “Find It, Fix It” has been developed by Seattle in order to fight the city’s graffiti issue. In addition to reporting graffiti to the city, the app may also be used to report other concerns including abandoned cars and unlawful dumping. Needles and syringes are among the items thrown out at the landfill.
Since its first release in 2013, it seems that the demand for this app and a “Graffiti Report” phone line, which anybody in the community may contact, is stronger than ever. A public information officer for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) tells Fox News Digital that there has been an uptick in graffiti complaints since 2020.
SPU stands for the city’s municipal code and graffiti eradication initiatives, which are backed by the mayor’s office. It has been made quite evident that Mayor Harrell intends to combat graffiti. After being elected mayor in November 2021, Bruce Harrell began his duties in January.
Seattle had 16,625 graffiti complaints in 2021, according to SPU. When compared to the 13,000 complaints that were filed in 2019, this is a significant rise. A total of 500,791 square feet of graffiti were “abated” in 2021 by SPU’s Graffiti Rangers squad. According to Register, that’s around the size of 10 1/2 football fields.
iPhone users in Seattle’s tech-savvy neighborhood are being urged to contribute to the solution by installing the app they’ve just learned about. The application is available on the Google Play Store for Android users.
It’s as simple as taking a picture with your phone, filling out the necessary information, and pressing submit, according to the city’s website. In addition to using the “drag and drop” function on the map, you can also utilize your phone’s own technology to identify where you are located.
SPU Graffiti Rangers have been able to swiftly identify places with various graffiti that can subsequently be abated thanks to customer complaints submitted via the ‘Find It, Fix It’ app,” Register stated. With six SPU employees, the Graffiti Rangers squad in Seattle now covers the city’s areas of Freemont, Ballard, and the Central District, as well as Little Saigon.
Graffiti on public property is supposed to be removed within 10 business days – and hate graffiti is to be removed within 24 hours or less – according to the city of Seattle’s website.
Photo: “Seattle Graffiti” by cactusbones is licensed under CC BY 2.0