Neighborhood group IPCNA and friends oppose Chicago's new graffiti removal policy
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We, members of the Irving Park Concerned Neighbors Association (IPCNA), UNITE, and friends, wish to express our deep disappointment and concern about a new policy undertaken by city officials to handle the removal of gang graffiti using a ward-based grid system.
It is our understanding that this new policy, which we became aware of the week of Feb. 20, allows the defacement of buildings in our neighborhood by gang graffiti to stand without removal for up to 12 days in some instances.
Many of us reside in the 17th police district’s Beat 1723, an area that has been experiencing a significant increase in crime and violence in recent months.
We find the new graffiti removal policy unacceptable, particularly in light of recent reports that gang activity in Chicago is escalating. We urge the mayor, the City Council and the Department of Streets and Sanitation to consider the broader implications of undertaking a grid-based policy, one that may promise economic efficiencies but is already having a detrimental impact on our neighborhood.
Graffiti Blasters has been a very successful city-wide program with nationwide recognition; part of its success hinges on the prompt removal of graffiti. Any new policy that threatens to compromise this defeats the program.
We are deeply worried for our safety and ask that you respond to our concerns as quickly as possible.
Irving Park Concerned Neighbors Association (IPCNA)