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SIX MONTHS INTO GRAFFITI REMOVAL PROGRAM, VANDALS STAYING AWAY

Cooperative Effort With Neighboring District Cleans Hundreds of Sites

HOUSTON, April  29, 2004 - Nothing frustrates graffiti painters more than having their work removed or covered. Since the introduction of the East Downtown Management District’s Graffiti Abatement Program, a total of 340 graffiti sites have been repaired.

District officials say that is the primary reason this type of vandalism appears to be on the wane in East Downtown Houston. Six months after launching its program in partnership with The Greater East End Management District, The East Downtown Management District says most graffiti vandals are fed up and have gone elsewhere.

“Removing graffiti quickly makes an enormous difference in how East Downtown is perceived,” said Louis Macey, Jr., chairman of the District’s Public Safety Committee. “This program has been a tremendous success in showing everyone who works, lives or visits here that this is a safe and friendly area.”

The most visible element of the program is the Graffiti Mobile - a van outfitted with equipment that color matches the paint or power washes off graffiti.


“Graffiti vandals hate us because we canvas the area looking for graffiti and restore buildings to their original color quickly,” said Martin Chavez, program coordinator in charge of the Graffiti Mobile. “Over the past six months, vandals have gotten the message that nobody will see their work, so most of them have moved to other areas.”

The 340 graffiti sites repaired in the East Downtown Management District during the first six months of the program included 199 businesses, 102 public sites, six railroad properties and 33 trash bins.

The East Downtown Management District has will continue the Graffiti Abatement Program for the next 12 months, agreeing to a contract of approximately $2,500 per month with the East End Management District. Any commercial property owner in the District can have graffiti removed at no additional cost by contacting Martin Chavez at 713-928-9916.

The East Downtown Management District was created in 1999 by the Texas Legislature to provide public services for business owners and residents east of Downtown Houston. Funded through an annual assessment of commercial property, the district is authorized to partner with other government agencies and raise revenue to administer public projects related to roadways, utilities, public spaces, and economic development.

For more information on the East Downtown Management District, visit www.eastdowntowndistrict.org.

Author: Dan Keeney
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