Anti-graffiti campaign under way in Brooklyn

December 9, 2011 5:46:18 AM PST
An anti-graffiti campaign is under way in Brooklyn to help business owners keep their buildings clean and keep customers spending money.

Some consider the colorful spray-paint graffiti to be street art, but in the bustling business district of Bay Ridge along 3rd, 4th and 5th avenues, it is frowned upon.

Dennis Monier has owned Tops Restaurant Supply for 43 years, and he also lives in Bay Ridge, so his neighborhood pride runs deep. He was dismayed on Sunday morning to see graffiti on his building.

"It's not good for the neighborhood, because it makes the neighborhood look dirty," he said. "We're trying to keep the neighborhood clean, the sidewalks, the walls, everything. And to have a graffiti-ed neighborhood, people won't shop here. So you do want this removed."

Senator Marty Golden is encouraging residents to take pictures of graffiti and post of his Facebook page in order for police to start tracking the vandals and make arrests. Part of the punishment is to clean up the neighborhood.

But the senator has also enlisted City Solve, a non-profit organization that cleans up the graffitti at no cost to the business owner.

"It really gives a sense of ownership and pride to the owners of these stores," Golden said. "That we're out there, giving that extra push to get their stores cleaned up, keep their communities clean so they can do business and survive and raise their family."