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Community Group Tackles Gang Graffiti

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Volunteers from Citizens for Balanced Housing will meet with the city's maintenance department on March 2 for training in graffiti removal.

By Tracey Ruiz | Email the author | February 22, 2011 | Photo courtesy of Toni Shroyer

Novato Graffiti Example

A community group best known for taking a stand against high-density housing is taking on graffiti abatement in Novato to make a statement against gang activity. Toni Shroyer, a member of the Citizens for Balanced Housing and chair of the group’s crime committee, said volunteer efforts to paint over gang graffiti is a proactive approach that “shows that Novato is committed, is passionate, about keeping our town safe and beautiful.”

The efforts of Citzens for Balanced Housing are being supported by the city’s maintenance department, which has scheduled a graffiti abatement meeting for volunteers from 5-6 p.m. March 2 at the Novato Police Department’s training room. The meeting will cover graffiti abatement operations and removal techniques.

She said graffiti on city property is usually handled quickly by the city staff, but the responsiblity falls on a property owner when it happens on private structures. So the group is concentrating its efforts on getting permission from private property owners whose buildings or fences have been tagged to get rid of the graffiti.

“So far we have knocked on private homeowner’s doors and asked the homeowner if we can paint,” Shroyer said. “Some people are incapacitated or working late or don’t have the money. So far nobody has said no to us.”

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