tv [untitled] March 16, 2013 10:30pm-11:00pm PDT
toxic products out there. i don't know if any of you have had ever deployed spray cans on walls and just stood there. how do you dispose of it? there are so many environmental issues it's unbelievable. and as communities, if you start targeting that, i think that there could be something done. it should be restricted product at the very he least. you know, the kid who use it get stoned off it. that's why they drink and that's why they smoke dope and stuff. the average one that you talk to says that that's a contributing factor to their addiction to their drugs. so, the product itself is awful product. that comes from a fine arts background. i don't use it any more because i don't feel good after i help the kids with murals. it's an awful, awful product. and i think that's what needs to switch. and i don't know if it's the source, like the selling source, if there could be like
some restrictions, but you guys are fantastic at bringing in laws. so, maybe you can create some kind of law. you're so good at that. you would be the country to start that, i would be quite certain. we have to go about 10 steps through parliament and it takes 20 years to change a law. i think you can do it overnight. [laughter] >> well, maybe. thank you. (applause) >> we have another answer. >> if i might very quickly. >> yes, of course. >> i have worked with aerosol with youth on murals as well as individual projects. i've also done collage. we've done paint pens. we have used a number of different things from silk screen t-shirts to making logos. my experience with these youth is you might engage them through graffiti. you don't have to use arrow zoll. it's expensive. it's anywhere from 8 to $14 a can wherever you get it.
and you also have to then worry about protecting the eyes, the hands and the proper respirator which could be 35 to $50 apiece per youth. so, to me it's a really expensive way to engage that graffiti side of the artistic or creative behavior. at the same time, montana wants their name out there. so, if you can't montana and say i'm getting 15 kids together to do graffiti art, can you give me some stuff? i need like a basic color palate. i don't see why they wouldn't give it to you whether your message is condoning graffiti or permitting it or not, you don't have to tell montana. so, if it is something you want to work with, i think you could get -- i think you could actually be quite successful getting quite a bit of paint and supplies. sea >> [speaker not understood]. >> certainly. certainly, and i feel the same
way about cigarettes. >> thank you. all right. gen, do you have another question? >> yes, this is actually for enforcement and abatement. i have two similar questions actually from the same city so i'm kind of going to blend them together. they're interested in restitution cost formula to charge individuals caught tagging the restitution labor, materials, equipment, costs. so, i don't know if that could be split between -- pointing at you. abatement and enforcement. >> i was going to point to dwight, but i guess i'll take it. >> or martin. >> just from my experience, you look at the amount that you've -- the amount of time that you've spent abating the problem. that starts with lugging paint over to the van, driving it to the site, putting on one coat, putting on a second coat, making sure it's not bleeding, possibly putting on a third coat making sure it's covered
up, reloading it and driving back. the cost of the supplies is minimal. the cost of the labor is where you justify the cost because you're looking at someone's hourly wage, time, plus the amount of time that they spent abating the problem. and that's what's going to stand up in court. that's the most. you don't want to overestimate obviously just to make an example of someone you want to be fair and equitable. and the hourly wage is the best way to do it because that's where the cost really comes into play. >> i could add to this a little bit from the historic cultural materials side of things. we have been involved before with the local arts commission on cost for repairing graffiti damages to, say, outdoor monuments. and there was quite a bit of surprise through the court systems of what the cost was. and the reason is because the qualifications of somebody working on historic or, you
know, listed registered properties or artwork can be higher than throwing paint in a van and getting, you know, it's just a different level of professionalism that's required sometimes for these more specific properties. so, i would take that into consideration, too, if you're addressing what the cost factors are. (applause) >> just out of curiosity, how many of your cities are charging restitution when vandals get caught? and how many are not? okay, all right. those of you that aren't really need to get on with it and get that formula figured out and start having that be part of the process when somebody gets caught. for those of you in california, i know some cities in the past have included law enforcement costs in their restitution and
they've gotten away with it for quite a while. just in the last couple months, a court judgment came out and said that if you're in california you cannot have law enforcement costs be part of your restitution package. so, just fyi. that's just a couple months old. i don't know about other states, i know that that's new for california. and we do have four or five examples of cities' restitution formulas. if anybody is interested they can see me afterwards and i can give you what other cities have used. >> awesome. are you all right? why don't you hold the mic until you don't need it any more. we have another question over here. >> this is for the san francisco crew. how important was your task force, elevate the issue of graffiti abatement in san francisco?
>> i think one of the main reasons why it was elevated is -- and it's been continued to be elevated. the current mayor was actually the director of public works and he saw that graffiti was a serious problem. and, so, it's become more and more prevalent and the board of supervisors has also taken it on. i think they also recognize that the graffiti brings blight to the neighborhood. and, so, it hasn't been hard to get the support. and just like we're all here, as you saw yesterday, the city leaders are all on board with this. so, that helps a lot. if you can get your city leaders to buy in that it's an actual problem, your chances of having either a good programs or increase in funding or the other things that you need, you stand a lot better chance. >> all right, thank you.
jen, do you want to go ahead? >> sure. this is an interesting question and i don't i understand it. so, i'm really hoping that the person that wrote it is in the audience and can elaborate. is the person from modesto here? okay. this is towards abatement. is there any conflict with permission regarding 146 00? is that a penal code? >> [speaker not understood]. 146 00 is the edmonton ordinance. >> oh, okay, okay. and the question is, is there any conflict with permission -- permission [speaker not understood] -- regarding that ordinance? so basically how the city of edmonton's graffiti ordinance reads is that the by law is not specific to graffiti. so, graffiti is not defined.
it doesn't say that it slashes or it doesn't describe it in that nature. and it doesn't speak to permission either. the by law is written such that it's under community standards 14600 with respect to community standards and buildings that are considered a nuisance. there's a specific statement in there, i don't have it in front of me unfortunately, with respect to graffiti. and, so, i guess the question, then, -- question is, do we ever have trouble with property owners saying, well, i want to have this piece of graffiti on our property and i don't feel it's a nuisance and i'm not going to remove it? and we haven't had any problems actually whatsoever with our graffiti by law being challenged. how the by law works is that our by law officers, any graffiti that comes up is at their discretion. so, whether they determine what is on the property is a nuisance and it allows us to keep our mural programs running. it allows us to look at
individual situations. early on we had one situation where there was a property owner dispute between two neighbors where one had painted a sunflower on her garage and the other neighbor didn't like it. and the officer clearly made the distinction it was put on with permission. so, permission is considered in the decision-making process, but it's not an overall factor. so, if the by law officer had determined that that was a nuisance, the property owner would have been forced to remove it, but in this situation made a determination that it wasn't a nuisance, that it was put on, it wasn't detracting from the neighborhood and it was allowed to remain. it gives the officers a lot of leeway. we are looking at what toronto is doing right now in terms of possibly coming up with a way of retroactively approving pieces of art that are on murals that at this point in time our by laws seem to be holding. >> if i could just add to that, actually, because our program
is similar [speaker not understood] when we started researching. this idea of graffiti-type murals that have permission like you were showing in your presentation, we don't have those in the city of vancouver. we don't allow that. so, all murals have to go through a permit system. so, any building that wants to put something up, they have to get like a permit from the city. and if the city finds something that they don't like and it doesn't have a permit, they'll take it down and charge them on their taxes. so, that's i think a very key component to any ordinance that would be enacted in the city that you want to control the image making. this is not the art historian. this is like a civic administrator or urban planner. you want to control the image making that's going on in your city because it's about your city, right? so, it's a very important part of the program. >> interesting. anybody else?
>> i totally agree with that. [speaker not understood] for years actually. >> the mic, have you stand up and you go next and we'll have you go. >> i totally agree with that. a lot of cities are very successful in california with having a mural ordinance or we have house of color for various parts of our city. my city unfortunately chose not to enact that. so, with the fact there are no ordinances against it, fall completely out of the purview of the police code enforcement to deal with it. and that's kind of what i was trying to get across when we were talking about permission if it doesn't violate a local ordinance or state ordinance or any other, you know, legal piece, then we don't have any purview to deal with it. so, yeah, that is certainly a great tool to have. every time i bring it up to my city, by the time we get the city attorney involved, arts board involved, everybody else involved, they decide it's too much work to do that and we'll just see what happens. >> one more.
let's hear from the san francisco arts commission. >> her statement frightens me. i'm an arts person. this is san francisco, we're in a unique situation in that we really do -- our whole city lich on creativity. and we like to encourage it and also manage it at the same time. the street smarts program that i manage which is funded by dpw is a public/private partnership. all public mural art or any sort of public art has to be funneled through our commission and we have to give permission to do that. but when you're dealing with a private property owner it's slightly different because they basically have -- they have ownership of their property and ownership of what goes on that property. but at the same time, if they do put something up like a sunflower or what have you and the neighborhood is against it, how do you manage that? because technically it's their right to put that up. so, in our program, because we did have an incident where there was a complaint from a
neighbor, we have encouraged the property boehner to take the rendering from the artist and share it with their neighborhood association and allow two weeks from any feedback. that being said, because it is private property, we can only encourage. so, we're still kind of working on that sort of nuance piece. but i think going to the extreme of making everything a process like public art would be really challenging in an environment like san francisco. so, i think every city is different. san francisco would be drastically affected if we adopted something that stringent. >> i just wanted to speak to -- a little bit to [speaker not understood] speaking about the vancouver program. and i do have some experience with that. ways also a coordinator of murals. and one of the benefits of having a process, whether that's a permit, whether there's a fee attached to that, whether there's a committee or if it simply goes through a
process where different departments of the city can have input. for example, in vancouver and really the vancouver graffiti management mural program is almost identical to what tyra is talking about doing here. it's similar to public art murals, but similar in scope. when we were doing our murals, almost 200 of them, there was no permit in place, but there was a selection process. and, so, if that was the heritage property, that had to go to heritage. and they had to decide whether or not that building had been painted and if a mural would go there. if so, did it work with the heritage esthetics, et cetera, et cetera. it also goes to the community group or the business group in that area. it goes through the graffiti department primarily because we do engage past graffiti vandals who are now legal and are doing artwork. so, in vancouver there is no active graffiti tag names, crew name used in our murals. we've come up with a fairly
loose guideline which is being defined by a new graffiti programmer, program coordinator david over there. and they're coming up with some parameters so that the city can work with people that come from graffiti so that there is still some incentive for them to become artistic, to go into doing murals and other art. use their style, use that medium that they enjoy. but if they were to use active graffiti tax or names, we know from our experience of having 200 murals in vancouver it's going to attract graffiti. it's very likely going to have a negative effect on the artwork itself. so, we are building parameters around that and trying to work with the subculture, trying to work with those artists, but also understand graffiti is graffiti. our by law in vancouver states that even if you give an artist permission to put up graffiti on your wall, it has to go. they don't permit graffiti on your walls. whether that's in a mural or whether that's just a tag on your wall. so, even if it is done with
permission, with consent, if somebody complains or if one of our by law officers come by, it has to go. and it's one of those very clear definitions of graffiti versus art and that's how vancouver has been doing it. i hope that helps a little bit. >> thank you. yeah, i think here in san francisco the difference between graffiti and art is the permission. i hope i appreciate our anonymously written questions. [laughter] >> all right. anybody else have an answer to that one? so, we'll move on to the next one. i'll take somebody from the audience and come back here. good, i'm seeing some hands go up. we'll go with you, if you want to stand up. >> my question is about liabilities. if you're doing something that the original tagger, the vandal, let's say, did, and now you're using volunteers to paint it out, what -- has
anybody considered the possibility if you don't have police accompaniment to the rehabilitation of that wall, that it's very possible that the person that tagged it is not going to want to see it painted out and might behave in an adversarial situation, perhaps danger? inclusive of the fact that on the other side of the coin is let's say you've got volunteers, you've got kids that work in on the wall. and a possibility of this hazardous material affecting them in some negative way so that later on down the road, those people who were doing a volunteer wonderful job are now going to be bringing you into court and saying, you organized this thing and you caused this cancer or whatever it might be. >> great question. and we look like we have a couple of people that would like to take an answer on that
one. >> when we do our graffiti wipe outs, we have it arranged so it's the nonprofit organization that is applying to us for permission to do it. they're responsible for getting volunteer waivers from all of the participants. our funding to provide them with the supplies and the support to do the wipe out is based on them following our guidelines which are all safety rules provided we don't allow them to use any chemical materials. they're only allowed to use paint. the volunteers must be 15 years of age. so, if they violate any of those criteria, then it's the volunteer organization that's basically not complied with our requirements. so, they have no issue basically with us. in terms of liability just to ensure that we don't have any problems with property owners in terms of painting, we ensure that we get $2 million of liability insurance. that blanketly coffers all of our volunteer program. that is a range to cover my program.
iest mate how many volunteers i'm going to have per year and basically buy an insurance policy to cover that as well. in terms of safety i think martin can speak more to the issue of, you know, going into areas where there could be problems. edmonton overall is pretty safe community. we haven't really had any experience with people sort of being there present when we're painting over it. so, i can't really speak to that in terms of issues. but the liability issue is pretty well covered. i have a guide that's available on my website that outlines all of our forms and criteria that they go through and the property owners are also required to sign off a form giving the volunteer agency permission to paint their building. so, we're distancing ourselves from that so we don't have a problem. >> before i became a consul ant i was with city of san jose antigraffiti for 10 year.
we ended up with over 3,400 graffiti volunteers. that's a big number. and the number of -- first of all, we did a good job training them and we made sure that if there were -- that they knew if there was anything out there, somebody watching them or a gang area, a gang tag, we didn't want them dealing with that. they he should call it into our staff and we'll take care of it for them. we had absolutely zero in 10 years issues with liability, none, not one. not only that's correct but we put every volunteer on our city's workers' compensation program, every single one. so, if there was a problem they were covered under the city's workers' comp program. and we had zero claims. and then we also inherited an antilitter program. we had over 14,000 antilitter volunteers. they weren't using the chemicals or anything like that, but we had same thing, no problems, no complaints, no liability issues at all. and we only gave solvent to
adults. we didn't give solvents to any minors. and we made sure that the solvents that we gave were going to be ones that, number one, could do the job, but -- number one, was safe if they got the right training and number two, could do the job that we needed to have done. it worked out great. so. >> [speaker not understood]. >> hold on a second. let me come over here so you can restate the first part of your question again if i could get you to stand up and we'll talk to the san francisco police department here. >> first part of my question was perhaps more urgent. we represent this table, and over here oakland california. and you're aware of the violent nature in that city. >> of course, yeah. >> what i'm concerned with is
you have do gooders and they're painting out something that the nortenas have painted and want to stay up there and they don't really observe nighttime hours versus daytime hours. so, how do we protect the possibility of some violence being put upon these people that are doing the good work? >> so, you're thinking more like the retaliation from taggers of the people that are abating the tagging. >> you just have to educate them. try to make them aware of what's gang graffiti and what's tagger graffiti. either way it's going to be dangerous. there is a lot of violence in the taggers. they get into fist fights. i've arrested tagers with knives and brass knuckles.
i've heard stories of guns being taken off tagers. it is a violent culture or has aspects of violent culture in it. you need to educate people on that. when you're going -- when you're painting over someone's graffiti, that could be seen as the ultimate disrespect. and you could be exposing yourself to a lot of danger. that's one of the reasons why we have officers going out with juveniles. now, the good thing about doing paint overs is it's not a signature. that's a blanket of paint covering graffiti. so, thor just going to know that i directed them to do that. and they can, they can address me if they have any problems with the fact that i told somebody to paint over them. you know, i'm not putting a tag there. it's city property. and as far as the type of paint we use, we don't use aerosol paint. we don't use solvents or thinners or anything like that. so, i'm not exposing the kids in my program to any dangerous chemicals or anything like that. but --
>> [speaker not understood]. >> but i am present and that is a big concern. and you have every right to be concerned about that, because you could cause a violent reaction. -- from the wrong person. i'm not saying that every person who is involved in graffiti vandalism is violent or is going to take disrespect to it. they know it's part of the game for the most part. but you could have a bad incident by painting over someone's graffiti. >> we're going to continue going back and forth. >> one other point. just two quick points with our program. you know, when we have a mural going up in a certain police district, we inform that police district that it's happening. sometimes an artist can be painting a mural and they can site them for vandalizing. we want them to know it's part of our program and also let the police precinct know it's happening so if the artist is
threatened in any way, there is some awareness they are in that environment, number one. number two, what we found are a lot of the artists in our program are of the street culture. so, they know when tags are just tagging and what's vandalism, gang related or more serious. we had one particular incident at 65 oak grover, a beautiful mural, and it was slightly obliterated. he went back and fixed it. and then they came back and completely obliterated it. and he told me he could not go back up there because the people that did that would hurt him and he knew who it was. so, instead of hiring another muralist to go up there because he gave us that information, we just had -- we buffed it over and had a blank coat of paint put over it. so, in our program we can utilize the artists to get the information we need to keep them safe and also we let the police -- law enforcement know this program is happening and when it's happening so that
they're hypersensitive to it. >> i'm going to go back over here and we have a couple comments. i think we're going to stick with this topic a little bit because it looks like there's a lot of interest. i'll get back to you after this gentleman back here. and i'll hold the mic and you just speak into it, okay, sir. let me get on this side of it and go ahead. >> don't wait until somebody gets assaulted like i did. make sure you're proactive about that issue. since i was jumped in june, what we do is a recon so we know where all the gang tags are because they're a problem. so, i make out a list. i draw out a map. i know how to hit them in 45 minutes or less. i want my officers back out on the street. i don't want them baby-sitting me. but i never go in alone again. i carry some protection.
i get a three-vehicle escort. our police department is all behind this. i use magnetic signs on my vehicle now and i always wear a safety vest. never go alone. we set up five different conditions to do that so we never have a repeat. it's not worth it. >> he's from hayward. >> he's in hayward and i'm going to come over to gideon unless anybody else there has a response to this. gideon if you'd like to stand up. >> i'd like to ask about, there are three pernicious forms of graffiti that in some ways have actually gotten worse. as the city of san francisco has greatly improved the graffiti situation, i've noticed that there's more graffiti on concrete, on sidewalks, on curbs and also on trees, tree trunks. and tree trunks, graffiti on trees to me is the lowest form of graffiti that there is
because it just -- it is so lacking in any consciousness about the environment and life and so forth. so, i'm wondering when i was in a graffiti advisory board, several of us tried to get some special attention paid to those things as well as glass etching. i don't know if glass etching has gotten worse or not, but particularly graffiti on concrete sidewalks and curbses and trees. i'm wondering if perhaps officer parerra [speaker not understood] can speak to that if any special efforts are made to address those. >> i'll speak to it. when we invoked the blight ordinance, we recently had it changed. we have now put that -- we were doing it as a department. we were doing the abatement for the sidewalks. sidewalks are actually private property. so, we have now changed that and put the property owner responsible for the graffiti on the sidewalks. that may be why you're
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