Legislation by Senator Jeffery D. Klein, (D-Bronx/ Westchester), that would mandate convicted graffiti vandals to participate in clean-up programs as part of their sentence recently passed the State Senate.
The bill, (S.585), came as a result of Senator Klein's work to clean up graffiti and other blights in the communities that he represents. Senator Klein sponsors a graffiti removal program that cleans up 80 to 90 sites a month in the Bronx and Westchester areas.
“Graffiti is more than a quality of life issue. It creates blight, damages property and creates financial hardship for taxpayers and business owners,” Senator Klein said. “My legislation will help alleviate some of these burdens, while giving these vandals an up-close look at the damages that they caused.”
The legislation will require courts to assign anyone convicted of making graffiti, or being in possession of a graffiti instrument, to participate in a local graffiti removal program. There are exceptions in the event that no such local program exists, or that such a clean-up would be unnecessarily dangerous. Permission from the owner would also be needed to clean up private property.
Damian McShance, Chair of Community Board 8, said: "Senator Klein has always been a strong partner in keeping our community a safe and clean place to live. Thanks to the Senator's new legislation, these vandals that destroy the integrity of our neighborhood will be forced to clean up their own mess without any burden to the taxpayer
Anita Valenti, President of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers, said: "We're pleased that the Senator passed this legislation. Now these vandals will have to clean up the mess they have made to our community."
Al D'Angelo. President of the Morris Park Community Association, said: "This legislation will be a great asset to the Community. We thank the Senator for his efforts on behalf of the community. He's always there to help."
Senator Klein's graffiti removal program can be reached at 718.822.2049.